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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Thomas Lamprogiorgos, Sep 14, 2018.
Which are the breeds that can thrive best when the feed is just cheap corn and pasture?
How much pasture, and what plants are in it?
It is like a forest with plenty of grass and insects.
Slower growing if meat production desired. In past I would suggest using a heritage breed but most current examples heritages breeds I have seen recently are far removed from what they used to be.
A game cross is what I would lean towards.
I think that the best choices for slow-growing are the jersey giants and the orpingtons.
What do you mean when saying "far removed from what they used to be"?
At one time many, if not most chicken breeds, had to get by on less with a lot also being kept free-range. Selection pressures for that very different from what have been operating for the last 100 years or so where confinement and complete feeds are the rule. The more current situation does not select for qualities you want in a free-ranging flock.
I have barred rocks, orpington(buff, black, and blue), brown leghorns, rir, black austalorp, GL Wyandotte, and EE. All of them are very active foragers. When free ranging all day, they barely eat a large coffee (the Folgers jumbo can) can of feed. There are about 35 of them that are free ranging. The other are my extra roosters that are getting butchered today.
My turkeys on the other are straight up pigs. On top of being active foragers, they just love to eat. 14 turkeys and 4 who are allowed to free range still eat a 50lb bag of feed in about a week.
I am making a point. Have you been acquiring your birds from someone that raises all their birds free-range? Or from a commercial hatchery?