Hatchery Chicken Weights?

Hermits Garden

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Still trying to determine if I want one breed to improve, or a mixed flock. A lot will later depend on the neighbors who will build behind us, if they will tolerate roosters. But for now, I'll go with the assumption that roosters are okay--if they're not, my plans will just have to change.

My issue, if I go with one breed, is which is the best hatchery to start the flock with? I can't afford a breeder, especially if later I'll end up having to can the "improvement" part and simply replace retired hens.

So here's a thing I'm discovering:

The hatcheries list different weights for the same bird. I asked this question once a long time back about Buckeyes--and was told; "Maybe the hatchery with the lower weight is simply more honest."

Of the list of hatcheries I've considered, here are weights for Black Australorps:
Cackle--6.5 lbs
McMurray--5.5
Ideal--6.5
Meyer--6.5
Privett--5

The question, to my mind, is this: do the higher-weight lists just put whatever is SOP for that bird, while the others put up what they find their birds to weigh at maturity? Or do the higher-weight listed birds really get that big?

I know some factors come into play--what I'll feed them, how much free range time, etc. But the discrepancy, if it's real, means I'll buy from the hatchery with the birds for best potential growth. If the discrepancy is not real, then I can buy from a closer or less expensive hatchery. Hope that makes sense.

Does anyone have experience with Black Australorps from any of these 5 hatcheries? If so, what were the average weights of your hens?

Thank you for any input.
 

cavemanrich

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What is the size of flock in numbers you are considering??
What is your main purpose/desire for chickens?? Eggs,, or Both eggs and meat?
Black Australorps are good chickens,,, but you are located in a milder portion of Az, so you can keep most chickens in your area.
Of course I read your posts on the Az, thread. :old

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:highfive:
 

Hermits Garden

Vintage American Featherless Biped
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What is the size of flock in numbers you are considering??
What is your main purpose/desire for chickens?? Eggs,, or Both eggs and meat?
Black Australorps are good chickens,,, but you are located in a milder portion of Az, so you can keep most chickens in your area.
Of course I read your posts on the Az, thread. :old

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,:highfive:
Thank you. The coop will hold maybe 16 to 20 chickens, max, but I'd rather keep the flock down to around ten or twelve, depending on the laying rate of the hens.

I'm in it primarily for the eggs, but I'd want birds that would render at least a decent amount of soup meat once it's time for retirement. So tiny super-layers aren't really my thing--besides the eggs, I'd enjoy the time with them, and friendly is a huge factor.

It doesn't get too cold here--low single digits for a short while in Jan or Feb, and high nineties in the hottest of a hot summer. So yes, definitely a milder part of AZ! :)

I have just about decided that the growth potential of a particular hatchery doesn't matter, since I'm not trying to raise meat birds, but there's not an option to delete a thread I started.

I'm thinking Ideal Hatchery, since I can buy fewer than 15 at a time, or add a few broilers to the shipment to grow out. Most hatcheries require a minimum of 25 meat birds in an order. I'm fairly sure the neighbors won't tolerate roosters--what a happy surprise it would be to find the opposite is true, eh? But there's no use getting my hopes up.

Cheers!
 

cavemanrich

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I only keep chickens as pets, and for the eggs that we do eat. Flock is small,,,, since we are City Slickers. with limited back yards. We do eat plenty of chickens from the store though.
If I lived somewhere on a larger spread, where a larger flock was possible,, I would hatch out my own chicks,,, Chances are 50% would be cockerels,,,, So I would raise them to just before crowing size, and process them. This way a male chicken still has a good life with just one bad day.
I would raise dual purpose chickens,,,, of which there are many varieties. I know the White leghorn is an egg machine, but not much on the meat side.
If you decide to order whatever assortment in the future,,, you mention filling in the order with meat birds. CornishX are the #1 choice for most. They grow fast,,, and tasty tender meat. On the down side,,,, most individuals that raise them keep them in a tractor. Reason,,,,,,,,, the manure contents is overwhelming in quantity. Not ideal to keep together with your layers. Consider looking into Red Rangers. Also a meat bird,,,,,, but slower growing than the CX. Maybe a combination of both,, so you get some grown chickens soon at 8 weeks, and some at a later date.
 

3KillerBs

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P.S. I don't have Black Australorps from any of those hatcheries, I have Blue Australorps from Welp. I only have two adults so far and one is much larger/heavier than the other.

One started laying earlier and went broody this spring/summer. The other laid later but didn't go broody and hasn't stopped laying to molt yet.

Individual birds will vary regardless of the source.
 

Hermits Garden

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Does the law in your area give your neighbors the right to tell you whether you can have roosters or not?

If they're legal to keep then they're legal to keep. :)
See, that's the gray area in our place. This is a cul-de-sac, oddly enough in the middle of pine woods, surrounded by horse, goat, and chicken properties, in the county, not the city. There are only 4 lots on our cul-de-sac, ours, and three others. The deed restrictions state that there are NO animals except "normal pets" allowed, no chickens, goats, horses, etc. But it also stipulates that if the owners of the properties get together and want to rewrite the restrictions to change this, we can.

The other three lots have sold, and two of the three buyers are fine with chickens--have stated, in fact, that they want some too, once they build. The one right behind us (and these are long, skinny, one-acre lots, so they are RIGHT behind us) has not yet commented, even though I've asked directly. I think they'll be okay with hens, provided I keep a clean coop with no smelly-factor, but roosters may be a sticking point.

I'd rather not bull right over them in a three-to-one vote to change the restrictions, (assuming it doesn't have to be unanimous), and then have to live with a pissed-off, hostile neighbor. Even if it were cut and dried, legally, I'd hesitate to be a bad neighbor, if I don't depend on the birds to have food on our table. Hope that made sense.
 

3KillerBs

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I'd rather not bull right over them in a three-to-one vote to change the restrictions, (assuming it doesn't have to be unanimous), and then have to live with a pissed-off, hostile neighbor. Even if it were cut and dried, legally, I'd hesitate to be a bad neighbor, if I don't depend on the birds to have food on our table. Hope that made sense.

I find it very weird for anyone to move to the country and object to country things, but it happens. :(
 

Hermits Garden

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I find it very weird for anyone to move to the country and object to country things, but it happens. :(
Oh, it certainly does. The "future neighbor" south of us is in a state about the weeds that have grown up along our dirt/gravel cul-de-sac road. He's a city boy, and wants everything tidy and manicured. I tried to help him understand erosion control, how this year's rains were a major exception to the rule, and how letting seeds set on the plants for next year's erosion control are important, but...all he can see is how untidy the weeds are.

I really wish we'd had the $$$ to buy the other three lots, but we're not wealthy!
 

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