Selecting for sexual development

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by greentree, May 11, 2008.

  1. greentree

    greentree Songster

    Jan 14, 2008
    My FR's are 7 weeks old. They have been easy to sex for about 3 weeks. The cockerals have full wattles and combs, and one is making crowing noises. I have not determined which one is trying. I have 7 that are male, 8 that are female.
    I was going to pick the heavier ones to hold out for breeding.

    In the meat birds, would you select FOR early sexual maturity, or for delayed maturity? Is weight gain or FCR related to sexual maturity negatively or positively, or at all? I have 1 male that is a bit smaller, and was going to use him for dinner.
    I suppose if it is the smaller one crowing, that would answer my question!!

  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Awesome idea! My Cornish X FR hybrids are growing very well and keeping right up with my gold rangers.

    Quote:Awesome question and I cannot answer it with 100% confidence. My gut is telling me it shouldn't make a difference, except you would expect an ever-slight weight gain advantage to the males.

    Quote:My guess is the FCR is not affected. But of course, when hatcheries publish FCR's for birds, they're surely taking an average of many samples.

    My advice is to select on size at the 56 day mark. By size, I mean weight. You will often be surprised that the largest looking birds may not be the heaviest, because they may have put a lot of growth into carriage rather than muscling.

    Also, if you were to weigh the birds weekly and check their growth, you would probably find the bird which was heaviest at 5 weeks will likely not be the heaviest at 8 weeks. They will all have slightly different growth profiles. So, I would pick a day and weigh them and select the heaviest pullets.

    There are also a few more intangibles. If it's hard to decide amongst finalists, look for ones with their legs farthest apart. This gives their breast more potential for growth. I would also never pick an ugly bird, either, becuase after all you have to look at them. [​IMG]

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