Sustainable meat bird flock getting closer: we have an egg!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by crperdue, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. crperdue

    crperdue Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    131
    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    I have a flock of Freedom Rangers and Muscovys from JM Hatchery and
    am hoping to breed my own replacements.

    I ran out of feed and had to go get more today. Well, since I was thinking
    they might be getting nearer to laying I guessed that it might be time
    to switch from broiler feed to laying pellets.

    I guess I was right because when I got back to the farm and started
    feeding up I found an egg!

    The oldest birds in the pen are muscovys that were hatched on March
    17th. I think it is a duck egg. Its not brown like a chicken egg. Its more
    of a pearl color.

    Of course, it wasn't in a nest box even though I have several spread around
    the pen and run. It was just laying on the ground. Hopefully she will
    figure out that these things are supposed to go in the nest and I can
    start trying to hatch some little meat nuggets, er I mean birds. [​IMG]

    I didn't have my camera today so I will try to post a pic tommorow.
     
  2. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

    219
    0
    99
    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    I don't feed layer feed, but rather grower to my muscovies. They are given crushed oyster shell free choice.

    My JM Hatchery muscovies from last year have been producing well for me. A couple offspring won Best of Show at the county fair last week, and in another two weeks are going to another.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. chickensrfood

    chickensrfood Out Of The Brooder

    94
    0
    39
    Jul 24, 2010
    So are you just going to hatch the eggs and keep more for breeding or are you going to make your own crosses as you go?
     
  4. crperdue

    crperdue Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    131
    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    Quote:With the muscovies, I will save some of the hatch to put back into the breeding flock.
    Nothing fancy, just picking out the fastest growers, decent layers, etc.

    When my Freedom Rangers get going I will be tinkering with them just a bit.
    Since they are hybrids, I will have results that are probably going to be all
    over the place. I also plan to add the naked neck gene into the flock as
    well. I'm hoping that will help them handle the heat and humidity here
    in the south.
     
  5. chickensrfood

    chickensrfood Out Of The Brooder

    94
    0
    39
    Jul 24, 2010
    Sounds cool what do you do with the Saipans?
     
  6. crperdue

    crperdue Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    131
    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    Quote:Something silly most likely. [​IMG]

    We are going to breed a Saipan rooster over some Cornish Rock cross hens.
    Just want to see what the cornish X might look like if its stretched out a bit.
    Of course, I'm having to half-starve (at least they think so) the pullets so they
    will not just drop dead on me.

    Tinkering with meat birds is fun, you can always eat the failures....
     
  7. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    I've been getting a few eggs from my Ranger pullets. The one I found today was the darkest of any of the layers I have. Not Maran dark, but a shade darker than the typical Delaware, RIR, BO type egg. It's the first really dark one I've seen and also the first normal size egg I'm 100% sure came from a Ranger.
     
  8. crperdue

    crperdue Chillin' With My Peeps

    318
    1
    131
    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    TimG: How old would you say your rangers were when they started laying
    full size eggs?
     
  9. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    My Rangers will be 19 weeks old tomorrow. I found the first pullet egg at 15 weeks. I'd say they are normal size now, but it's hard for me to say for sure because some of my regular layers have been laying JUMBO eggs recently, so the Ranger eggs still look small by comparison.

    The Rangers have been producing some soft shelled eggs (at least I assume it is the Rangers). And, there haven't been a lot of the smaller eggs, so they're either not up to speed yet or they are poor layers. I don't expect them to produce an egg a day, but I also think they just aren't in the swing of things laying wise just yet.

    BTW, I also have found that my Rangers are slow to figure out the laying boxes even though they have the example of the layers they are running with.
     
  10. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    My Muscovies would never consider using a nest box. They will build their own nest if given hay or something to build it with. Mine make their nests in the corners of the duck house.

    Their eggs are smooth and have a dusky pearlness to them. Not at all like a chicken egg. The white of the egg will be very thick, the yolk much larger than a chicken egg. The first few eggs are never fertile and are just a tad smaller than their later fertile eggs. Let them at plenty of crushed oyster shell and I give back crushed egg shell to my ducks and chickens. The ducks eat a lot more oyster shell than the chickens do and they eat plenty. Even the Drakes will be in the oyster shell dish from time to time once they are 4-5 months old.

    Good luck with your projects.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by