Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Fred's Hens, Aug 2, 2013.
here are my hens
Amy, I never discourage a person, especially a younger person, who has an interest in Plymouth Rocks and the Barred Plymouth Rocks in particular.
Your birds are hatchery grade birds, of course, and you likely already knew that. The hatchery grade birds are a great way to get introduced to chicken keeping and to hone your husbandry skills. These kinds of birds are mass produced, like McDonalds does food. They often lay lots of eggs.
Now, to help you understand that the true bred, bred to Standard Barred Rocks. They are almost a different bird altogether. These lines have been carefully bred for a very, very long time. Many of these birds have heritage that goes back 100 years to the Pilgrim lines, the Ralph Sturgeon lines, and the E. B. Thompson lines of long ago.
The standard bred bird are much, much larger. They mature more slowly. They tend to be much calmer and more business like going about their scratching and foraging. They can even go broody on occasion. Their tails are wide, the barring looks like a TV test pattern in crispness. The combs on the females will be much smaller than a hatchery grade female.
I'd peg your birds at roughly 12-14 weeks old. Not much older than that. Sure you can breed them, but they'll only produce more of the same. Maybe we can get you come better birds. Once you see these standard bred birds in person? Your eyes would pop out and you'd be hooked!!! LOL
Here's some young birds about the same age. Can you see the difference? In person? You'd be amazed.
Here's a hen from last year's group. Can you see how much tighter and crisp the barring is? The hatchery hens have very loose, fuzzy feathering, while the standard bred hen will have much tighter feathers.
Can you see how high the tail is on your hen? That is a serious fault in a Rock. This suggests that the breeding is very suspect. Your hen has a nice breast, and a fair head, but the top line and tail miss the mark for a Rock altogether. There are reasons why that I won't get in to, unless you want to know why.
Here is a pullet from last year that I think you'll see the nice back line and tail.
Wow! yes i knew mine were hatchery quality but i liked the breast line and never knew the tails were supposed to be so low! very pleasing to the eye! i knew my barring was off for sure! thats what happens when mass populations are bred from questionable lines! i will never be able to get birds like yours from birds like mine will i?
You need to hatch out some eggs or get some chicks from one of the breeders on this thread. Let any of us know how we can help. We love to encourage new folks.
i will be getting an incubator this april so i may try hatching eggs but i really prefer to buy chicks! i will keep in touch! thanks and i love your birds!!!good thing my hatchery girls couldnt see those pics! but yes they lay five to six eggs a week so i still love them very much!
Here's a white rock bantam cockerel. Matt1616 gave my son a pair when we were down at his place a few weeks ago.
I'm having infertility problems this year with my Good Shepard Barred Rocks. I have two pens, I have seen the cockerels breeding, but no fertile eggs. The males were hatched last spring (March-April mainly), so they are going on a year old. One pen has 4 hens and the other has 4 pullets. I just candled my third setting. I set eggs weekly. The first setting was 7 eggs from just 2 of the older hens. Then I added 2 more older hens (sisters) to that pen and set 15. All infertile. Last setting from that pen was 19 eggs. All infertile. The other pen, the male was introduced a bit later, so I have just 2 batches from that pen. First batch of 11, then second batch of 20. All infertile. Anybody have any suggestions? They get Red Cell in a bowl every other day and a 19.5% protein ration, organic corn-soy free feed. Both pens are on lights with timers so they are getting plenty of daylength. This is very frustrating.
Marcy, if it were me? I re-vamp the diet for a month. Forget the Red Cell and the other base feed and feed something else. Are you certified organic? Is this a requirement for your program and integral to your project? If so, then go get something else, anything else, that is organic and has 20% protein in a fully balanced feed.
If not, then let us know what feeds your local feed mill supplies and maybe we can suggest something. It is urgent for you to get to the bottom of this ASAP and by golly, I'd want to know quick and I'm sure you would as well.
Cold turkey. Complete change in feed. Stay on the new program for the next month. Within 3 weeks you'd know if something was amiss in your previous diet. If nothing changes within a month, then alert Houston that you've got a problem.