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How to collect data?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NTBugtraq, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    So I have my first flock; 30 unsexed “special dual purpose” from Frey’s. They were 4 weeks old when I got them on Sept. 8. They doing fine and the males are ~1.3kg now (just started their 7th week.)
    So far everything has been easy, but I have to make some decisions. One is when to cull the males for meat. I’m the analytical type, so knowing how much a bird grows per day can really help make the culling decision. At some point the conversion ratio will be against the birds. To this end I want to try and start collecting data. The next question was; “Ok, how do I ID each bird so I can keep track?”
    Should I worry too much about the pursuit of the birds to weigh them? They definitely do not appreciate me trying to pick them up.
    Can anyone point to any feed consumption vs growth data for this bird?
    Anyone suggest a good reasonable live weight at 11 weeks?
    Finally, right now the plan is to cull all of the males and let the layers carry on. I wouldn’t mind avoiding the cost of new chicks by keeping a rooster to fertilize eggs, but my hope is to eventually get into Marans rather than this “generic” breed. Should I just go on with my plan (to keep the layers until I get the Marans, and then cull the layers) or could I actually have both (Marans and Special Dual Purpose) in the same coop/run. The coop is 6’ x 8’ with 10 laying boxes, and the run is 8’ x 24’.
    If it makes a difference, I don’t close the doors between the run and the coop at night, so they can sleep wherever they want. Could this help avoid issues between different breeds?

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    Cheers,
    Russ
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do some browsing/searching in the meat bird forum.

    You can use zip ties or bands to ID birds.
    Take them off the roost at night for handling and they are much more docile.

    You can mix breeds in coop and run if you have enough room for the number of birds you want to keep....
    ......unless you want to control breeding between certain breeds, then you might want another coop/run.
     
  3. NTBugtraq

    NTBugtraq ex-Surgeon General

    Thanks Aart. There is a lot of data in the meat bird forum, but you gotta agree, its all about 8-10 weeks to culling and not birds that take longer (other than to state "the others take longer")...;-] Not exactly what I was hoping for.

    My roosts are outside of the coop, and while they have just started using them regularly in the day, they all go in the coop at night (even though I don't close or open the coop doors ever, or even go and visit them at any particularly regular time). IOWs, they're not on a roost at night.

    I'm actually now thinking the 24' run is too long, so I might build a 2nd coop mid-run, allowing me 2 entirely separate flocks.

    Thanks for the answers.

    Cheers,
    Russ
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    30 birds in 6x8 is a tight fit, especially after it gets cold and snowy out, they like shelter at night.
    I'd build another coop at the other end of the run and partition the run as needed...would be a a fairly versatile setup.

    Yes, most the meat bird discussion is about Cornish X butchered at 8-10 weeks, but there are folks discussing other breeds too, you just have to dig thru more info.....
    ......or search better......
    ......good info does not come easy/quickly on BYC.
    Try the advanced search>titles only>Meat bird forum> Heritage meat birds

    You might look/search over on http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/poultry
     

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