rhode island red rooster and isa hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jaylensnana, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. jaylensnana

    jaylensnana New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2013
    I have 1 Rhode island red rooster and 15 isa brown hens, if i keep my hens will the chicks produce as well as my hens do now?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    ISA Browns are a special hybrid cross, they do not breed true in the next generation. With a rooster from a good egg laying breed like the RIR, the chicks should still be excellent egg layers, but they probably won't be as good as their mothers, they may be as good or better than the average RIR. Here is an older thread where someone was breeding ISAs and other sex links for a couple of generations.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/660815/breeding-sex-links-third-generation
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    That's an old thread. I'll cut to the chase for you. No.

    The 4 way cross of the ISA is intended to "nick" a breeding term for that special hybrid jump a bird gets. They will only lay as well as a typical hatchery stock good layer, but nothing like the ISA for size of egg, early onset of lay, etc.

    Nothing wrong with doing this cross. Nothing at all. But lay like the ISA mothers? No.
     
  4. jaylensnana

    jaylensnana New Egg

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    Thank you so much for your help. I just rescued 15 ISA's and put them in my pen about 2 weeks ago. So I actually have 10 RIR hens. 20 ISA hens and 1 each of the roosters, but the ISA hens I rescued are last years stock as well as the ISA rooster. wasnt sure who to keep, since my originals were this years stock. I would keep all of them, but I dont have the room, we are butchering on the first. So any input would help:)
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Breed your red birds. The ISA is from the deep end of the genetic pool. Just too many variables come out when you breed them. If you could carry that super laying forward, it might be worth it. but in our experience the "super" traits simply don't. Above average? Yes. Super? No.

    Breeding the ISA also creates such unpredictable offspring by way of color. If you want a consistent look, just breed the reds. This just depends on what your goals are in propagating these birds, really.
     
  6. jaylensnana

    jaylensnana New Egg

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    eggs, lots of eggs, and a few to eat. Looks arent important to me. Are last years birds to old to butcher for meat?
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    They'll be excellent as Pot Pie, Gumbo and any recipe that calls for a stewed chicken or slow moist cooking method. I'd try one roasted covered at 300-325F for 30 min per pound to see if it's too tough for your tastes before dismissing the idea of roasting all together, roast breast down and add some water to pan.

    Remember, older birds that excersise have firmer meat, not tough just firmer texture. It wont taste like store bought 9 week old CX rather it will have flavor. Leftovers, bones, skin and necks make the best broths you've had too. A true mothers sauce. When I make gumbo I cut out the back of chickens and neck to make the broth used in recipe day before. Or you par boil (without actually boiling, temp 180-200F) , peel meat off and then continue simmer carcass for broth.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  8. jaylensnana

    jaylensnana New Egg

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    Thanks! I was afraid they would be tough. Everyone I talk to says they will be, but none of them raise chickens...... I rescued these poor babies because I didnt want them to starve to death, but keeping everyone is NOT an option, just too many.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’m assuming your RIR’s are from a hatchery? The ISA’s should lay more and bigger eggs, but hatchery RIR hens will should also lay a lot of eggs, just maybe not quite as big. Like Fred said, if you cross the ISA’s with the RIR they will lay somewhere in between their parents. If that RIR rooster came from the same flock as the RIR hens, he should pass on the same type of egg laying genetics as the RIR hens you are seeing. So you should get hens that lay somewhere in between the ISA’s and RIR’s.

    The ISA’s are bred to be smaller than the RIR’s. There should not be as much meat on them as there is on the RIR’s. That’s so they can be more efficient in converting feed to eggs. They don’t have to use as much feed to maintain that bigger body. They’ll pass that trait on to their offspring too.

    The ISA’s are a four-way cross. Their grandparents each come from a specific flock, so the ISA’s are a jumble of genetics designed to peak in those birds. You are never sure which genetics are going to be passed down to the offspring. I’ll stand behind what I said above but those are in general. There can be some variations in exactly which and how much the different traits are emphasized in the offspring, but all the offspring should show those traits. It’s not just color or pattern here you may get some differences.

    If you are happy with the egg laying size and frequency of your RIR’s, breed those so you get more meat. If you want to increase egg size or frequency and will sacrifice a bit on meat, breed your ISA’s to the RIR rooster. Or breed some of both and decide when you see the offspring. You can always weed them out later if you are not happy with the results, plus you can eat the mistakes.

    If you want meat, eat the ones you don’t want to eat and breed the ones you do, especially your roosters. For egg laying, breed the hens that lay the way you want them to. Both roosters and hens will contribute genetically to egg laying and size, but roosters don’t lay eggs so you can’t evaluate that except by seeing what his mother and grandmothers laid. By keeping the roosters you want that hatch out of the eggs you want and evaluating the hens egg laying, in a very few generations you should a flock that ties into your goals pretty well.

    You can eat any chicken any size or age but you have to vary your cooking methods based on age. Those older hens will need to cook slower and with more moisture than a young fryer. There are lots of threads in this section about how to cook an older bird. Crock pot, stews, roasting in a covered pan to keep moisture in, chicken and dumplings, coq au vin. Lots of choices.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/25/egg-chicken-other-favorite-recipes

    None of the hens will have a lot of meat on them but the ISA’s should really have not much. When I butcher my chickens, I cut them into serving pieces, thighs, drumsticks, breasts, and wishbone. These are cooked for the table. But I also save the backs, necks, wings, gizzard, and heart for broth. I save the feet too. I know there is a YUK! factor for people with the feet, but with practice if you scald them you can twist the toenails off and peel the skin off. That cleans them up enough for me.

    I put the backs, neck, wings, gizzard, heart, and feet in a crock pot along with bay leaf, peppercorns, onion, carrot, celery, and some herbs like basil. Oregano, thyme, and/or parsley, fill it to the top with water, then cook that on low overnight, say 12 hours. Especially with an older bird you’ll get a broth a lot better than anything you can buy at the store. Old birds make the best broth.

    I go even further. I pick the meat off the neck, wings, and back, plus whatever is floating around because a lot has cooked off the bone. You have some really well-cooked meat great for tacos, chicken salad, casseroles, anything you want cooked chicken for.

    With hens there is not a lot there so when I butcher I might process 4 hens and make three packets of parts for the broth, sticking them in the freezer until I make broth. If you feel there is not enough meat on a n ISA hen to make it worth cooking the parts, use the whole carcass for broth and pick the meat, just be careful of small bones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

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