Save the big ones?

JDHiggy

Hatching
Nov 26, 2020
3
6
5
Howdy. I am 68 years old and raising my first chickens. I have 20 Rhode Island Reds. I am saving 5 for eggs and butchering the others. There is variation in size. Some are 1/3 to 1/4 bigger than the others. 12 weeks old. I thought “save 5 big ones” because I felt they would lay more eggs. My wife says “save the smaller ones because they will grow bigger.” (Then get bigger chickens in the freezer). Any thoughts on this?
 

springvalley123

Songster
May 22, 2015
454
1,356
227
North of Phoenix
I'd make sure they were old enough that I didn't butcher any pullets, to make sure I had enough hens. I'd allow for a month or two from the first crowing to feel safe that I'd eliminated all the cockerels. I did have one amberlink that was half the size of the others, and she grew up to be the smallest and laid the smallest egg. But, I don't know if the biggest hens lay the biggest eggs necessarily. So if you do butcher the biggest, you'll definitely get more meat, and you'll probably end up with smaller egg layers, but maybe not necessarily smaller eggs.
 

JDHiggy

Hatching
Nov 26, 2020
3
6
5
I'd make sure they were old enough that I didn't butcher any pullets, to make sure I had enough hens. I'd allow for a month or two from the first crowing to feel safe that I'd eliminated all the cockerels. I did have one amberlink that was half the size of the others, and she grew up to be the smallest and laid the smallest egg. But, I don't know if the biggest hens lay the biggest eggs necessarily. So if you do butcher the biggest, you'll definitely get more meat, and you'll probably end up with smaller egg layers, but maybe not necessarily smaller eggs.
I ordered 20 pullets but do have one cockerel. I was going to keep him and 4 pullets in case I want to incubate.
 

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