The Heritage Rhode Island Red Site

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Robert Blosl, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Mowhawks took a long time to get going. I put lights on them last sept. and they really did not start until about Feb. Right now I am getting about 9 eggs a day form 15 hens. I can say they lay much better than the silver laced Wyandottes from one of the best breeders in the country.

    It is my belief that as we continue to breed for type and color most of us pay less attention to laying. I do not use a trap nest so of course do not know which birds are laying and which are not. So, as a result there is no selection for laying ability. Breeding for laying ability requires more energy than I am willing to put into the program. It may make me a shiftless breeder, but simply haven't the opportunity in terms of schedule. There is no one here during the day to let my trapped birds out of the nest.

    I don't know if you started them with lights in the fall or not, but I can tell you without them, laying doesn't really get going until you have 12- 14 hours of light.

    Hope yours get going soon
     
  2. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's interesting. Explain the trap nests??
     
  3. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are all manner of trap nests. But the long and short of it is that you design a nest that traps the hen in the nest so that when she goes in to lay she cannot get out until she is let out by someone. In that case you can record which hen laid the egg and let her out to go on about her business. If you google trap nest's you will find a number of ways to create the nest. There are some that close the entry but allow the hen to go out the nest to a different yard but in that case you would need a nest for each bird in the house. It is complicated and takes effort. It was one of the ways the old breeders kept track of who was pulling their weight in the henhouse and who was not. There are few that still do that these days. I believe Bob did some trap nesting in his career at some time or another. He will be able to give more detail than I that is for sure.
     
  4. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting!
     
  5. immyjay54

    immyjay54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so much for jumping in on this and I hope that you don't think I was trying to bad mouth you or your birds. I just wondered if it was just mine or if others had the same problem. lol I still appreciate everything you did for me. I do not trap nest either. The first bunch I got from you will be 1 year on the 30th this month and the other bunch will be a year 5/29. One or more had started laying a few months ago but very far and few between. It has been over 3 weeks since I got an egg from them. I do know that we had an awful winter this year and that is probably a lot of the problem.
    Thanks for your comment and gee, 9 eggs a day from 15 hens is very good in my opinion. I guess I will just do as so many say, BE PATIENT. lol
    Thanks
    Jim
     
  6. wvdoubledfarms

    wvdoubledfarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Very nice looking boy there jim!
     
  7. Robert Blosl

    Robert Blosl Rest in Peace -2013

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    I did not use trap nests as I was two days to late to buy them from Ralph Braselton in Kansas. However, he gave me some great tips and I just watched ten chicks in lots of ten chicks hatched per week or twice a week. I would look at the ones that feathered the fastest and marked them. I raised the others as well but always watched them. They would crow first, then the females would start getting red in the face first then lay first. You have to know their age to do this so I wing banded them lots easier than trap nesting. I had some females that where as slow as two months to lay than the other chicks that where faster. So I would have just the fastest laying and developing chicks in a breeding pen. May only hatch ten to fifteen chicks per female but they had the trait. Do it all over again the next year. Mate fastest feathering and crowing male to females who layed before every buddy else. Each year they went faster and faster then at the five year mark its seemed all the chicks would feather fast and mature fast then they all had nice webbed feathers on their backs the pullets. They looked like they got smaller but when I weighed them they where a pound over weight. Then I saw a change in type more brick shape, color was the same and my females started looking great like peas in a pod. During breeding season the backs where undamaged from the males mounting them. So get you a toe punch a Jeffy wing band set and some wing bands and some five by seven cards and log them in and watch. That's all I did.

    One thing I learned from Gary Underwood in the North. He would turn the lights on say at 4 am and the birds would get off the nest. They started laying maybe at six am till noon. He wanted a strain that layed early in the am so he would collect his eggs by say 8 am and put them in the incubator to hatch. Before he knew it in a few years all the females layed early. It was part of the fit of the fittest principle as the late eggs would be froze or chilled after 8 am and would not hatch. Something elese to try for you in the cold country. I see no reason to not turn the lights on like I do in October. Put the timer on a half a hour before dark and add the time to the timer so you get 15 total hours of light to their eye balls. In no time the eggs will pop out. In a few years your chicks will hatch in Dec and Jan they will be mature for the fall shows or fairs and that will be a pattern. In bantams if you do this they will be larger. I don't hatch bantams till March and April to keep the size down. So that's the tip of the day.
     
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  8. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No not thinking you were badmouthing at all. These birds are what they are. I don't deem myself to have been breeding them long enough to make them mine to begin with. When mine started laying they did start with a vengeance so thinking you still have hope. I get frustrated when I hear of folks with ordinary hatchery stock averaging nearly an egg a day from the stuff they have. The upside on these birds is that the fertility is very good when they get going, nice big consistent eggs. As we get more and more of these birds we will need to select for laying ability that is for sure. But if we want to keep good heritage stock (if that is the proper nomenclature) we will, as many have said need to build the house, paint it, then begin to fine tune. One of the reason my laying has slowed down is that about three of the **** things are broody. They have that gene left that is for sure.

    Looking at a previous thread regarding showing birds. I do not show mine. I have not made time for it. Bob and NYReds sorry don't recall your name and to lazy to go look, whom I respect a lot indicate that breeders should show and I don't disagree. I do however use the standard to make my selections and hope I do the best for the birds I can.

    I know breeding horses is a lot different than chickens, but I will use an analogy anyway. I am quite involved in the draft horse industry and some of the best breeders in the country of Belgian and Percheron horses are Amish. They are not allowed to show the horses, but certainly have stock every day that win all over the country. They know the good ones from the bad ones and select based on that. Ultimately the stock they breed do get shown by others so there is an evaluation that does go on. I feel good when I get information that birds that came from here do well at the shows.

    Good luck all.

    Got my last hatch (I think) in the incubator now. I am sending a mess of them to Anna Pearson. She did show a Cockeral from here that did well last week. I hope she will show the hell out of the ones I send her on Monday.
     
  9. winniem13

    winniem13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks! They are for my daughter's to show in junior division APA shows.
     
  10. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Thanks. Very interesting also!
     

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