How early can you tell which chicks will grow up to be the largest adults?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cmohlin89, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. cmohlin89

    cmohlin89 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm curious because I'm rather limited for space, so if I could weed out the birds I don't need at an early age that would be nice. Has anybody noticed if there is a trend with the larger chicks actually ending up being the larger birds as adults?
     
  2. Ogdenfarms22

    Ogdenfarms22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should have researched breed and went for a smaller breed. Like bantams would be a good breed so,ce they are much smaller than the average chicken.
     
  3. flytie

    flytie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had one chick that was bigger than all the others end up as one of the smallest/medium birds in my flock. However, she is a different breed than everyone else, so I don't know if that really applies to your question...
     
  4. cmohlin89

    cmohlin89 Out Of The Brooder

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    That's the tricky part, I'm crossing a handful of breeds and my goal is big meaty birds. I'm sure growth patterns can vary between breeds though so maybe it isn't something that could be easily predicted.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Fast growth and large adult size aren't always correlated, depending on breed. Jersey Giants, for example, grow slowly, but large frame is important. If you are selecting for large meat type birds, pick your best adults as breeders first, and then ID your chicks as they grow. Larger size/ weight at twelve weeks of age is good! Also, hybrid vigor will be a factor that won't continue in future mixed generations. Mary
     
  6. cmohlin89

    cmohlin89 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm glad you mentioned hybrid vigor- I completely forgot about that. Hmm, I wonder if I can still make a bird that consistently reaches butcher weight at 14 weeks. Maybe that's far too ambitious and I should try for closer to 16 weeks.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you please clarify what you meant by that statement???
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    One of the most successful methods of producing large meaty critters, chickens and beef steers for example, is to maintain two separate breeding lines (breed groups) and cross the best individuals of each group to produce individuals who are better than either parent, because of hybrid vigor. Those offspring, when bred to each other, won't maintain that improvement, and the F2 generation will not display uniform traits. Mary
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    It's also true that serious large-scale producers are looking for maximum production for minimal cost, over large groups of animals. Not the same management, etc, as small scale folks like most of us. Mary
     

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