Query about feed consumption


In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 4, 2009
Holland, VT
I raised the BBW this year, at 16 weeks they were eating 100 pounds of feed a week plus grazing. Will the heritage breeds eat less? Will the midget whites eat proportionately less? I'm trying to plan for next year as I want to have some of both. Different coops/runs for different reasons. BBW for bulk, MW to build small flock. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
Yeah heritage breeds will eat substantially less than the BBW. The BBW were "modified" to only be concerned with eating, the egg laying, reproducing, and broodiness was almost totally bred out of them. If they are allowed free choice access to feed they will do nothing but what they are "programmed" to do: EAT. My BBW's eat until they can't eat anymore then lay down next to the feeder until they are hungry again, leaving the feeder only to get some water. Heritage breeds, on the other hand, still retain the desire to mate, reproduce, lay eggs, and sometimes sit on a nest....Thus making them too busy with other things to just stand around and eat. The toms will feel like they have to strutt and drum all day and the hens have to scurry around to stay out of the tom's way.
So to answer your question: heritage breeds will eat less but they also won't get the size. I raise royal palms and beltsville whites in a breeding flock but keep BBWs to fatten for the table. The RP's and the Beltsvilles are half(?) the size so naturally they eat ALOT less but I think that fed properly make a nicer table bird than the BBW's...This will be my last year with the hybrids...I agree with you They eat too much and Who needs a 50# turkey for dinner?
Thanks for the info. I would really like to raise the heritage, but didn't want to get eaten out of house and home myself! Since the feed intake should be lower, it looks like the percentage of having a year-round flock has just increased greatly.
thanks again

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