X pounds when mature. When is "maturation"?

DontKnow-Lost

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Mar 7, 2018
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when looking at the info for chicken breeds we see stats, such 2-3kg weight for chickens when mature. Now when is that, at 6 months, which is roughly their sexual maturation date?

Also is that live or dressed weight?

Thanks,
 

Melky

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when looking at the info for chicken breeds we see stats, such 2-3kg weight for chickens when mature. Now when is that, at 6 months, which is roughly their sexual maturation date?

Also is that live or dressed weight?

Thanks,

My Hatchery Meyer in the free Catalog 2018 had a weight chart by age for first 17 weeks of life for expected weight for a laying hen based on average. So helpful. Had to ask for Catalog now sends me one because I order but don’t know if that is in everyone. I go by 28 weeks as target to be at full breed weight and adult food by then. I received a chicken chart from BYC that had that information on it. Any Hatchery would probably send this information out upon request.
 

rebrascora

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The weight will almost certainly be live weight. Whilst they may be up to weight at 6 months I would say that they will probably increase a little more up to about a year old, so I would take that average weight as an adult chicken weight of a year old. It is very much an average though and depending upon where you have gained the information may not be accurate for birds purchased elsewhere. For example hatchery dual purpose birds like Sussex or Orpingtons will usually be significantly lighter than heritage breeder reared birds which are bred to conform to SOP and weight will be part of that. Hatcheries tend to breed more for egg production even with dual purpose birds and use lighter "production birds" in their breeding to improve their egg production, since most people buying Orpingtons and Sussex these days are wanting them as pets that lay eggs rather than egg layers that can then be eaten.
 

Acre4Me

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when looking at the info for chicken breeds we see stats, such 2-3kg weight for chickens when mature. Now when is that, at 6 months, which is roughly their sexual maturation date?

Also is that live or dressed weight?

Thanks,
Since you are posting in meat birds forum, are you interested in meat birds, dual purpose, or egg layers?

Meat birds are often described as reaching certain weight by certain age, so I’m guessing those are the breeds you are not looking at. But a dual purpose (eggs and meat), mean that you have to let them get to 20-30 weeks old for them to lay, and if you decide to process, then a dual purpose should have enough meat to make it worth your while. But, in reality, you can eat any chicken, at any age, of any size.

We raised some meat birds for the first time this fall. They were not Cornish cross, but they were very large and meaty (still walking and running) when we processed them at 7.5 weeks. Whereas our dual-purpose birds are 41 weeks old, and laying eggs for us. Apparently a laying hen will give you much fat to use if you want cracklin (crunchy chicken skin) and schmaltz (rendered chicken fat).
 

rjohns39

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When I grow Cx, they generally reach 2-3kg at about 8 weeks. The batch I'm currently working on has been much slower, so I've decided to let them go to 10 weeks. Weather has been really cold for my area and this time of year, which I think has contributed to the slower growth. My turkeys are the same, way small for their age.
 

Melky

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Jul 23, 2018
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My Hatchery Meyer in the free Catalog 2018 had a weight chart by age for first 17 weeks of life for expected weight for a laying hen based on average. So helpful. Had to ask for Catalog now sends me one because I order but don’t know if that is in everyone. I go by 28 weeks as target to be at full breed weight and adult food by then. I received a chicken chart from BYC that had that information on it. Any Hatchery would probably send this information out upon request.

Sorry didn’t see meat bird title at top. This is for laying hens.
 

Melky

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Jul 23, 2018
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When I grow Cx, they generally reach 2-3kg at about 8 weeks. The batch I'm currently working on has been much slower, so I've decided to let them go to 10 weeks. Weather has been really cold for my area and this time of year, which I think has contributed to the slower growth. My turkeys are the same, way small for their age.

That sounds about right for a meat bird. As long as you have them on high protein meat bird feed doing ok. It doesn’t sound like delayed maturation to me.
 

Ridgerunner

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when looking at the info for chicken breeds we see stats, such 2-3kg weight for chickens when mature. Now when is that, at 6 months, which is roughly their sexual maturation date?

Also is that live or dressed weight?

Thanks,

I don't know what ages they are talking about but I'm confident it is not 6 months. I can't remember which breed it was but I recently saw an SOP that gave different weights for pullet an cockerels versus hens and roosters. There was about a pound or so difference. By general definition they become hens and roosters at one year but I don't know if that is what that specific SOP uses. Since the breed weight is used in judging chickens it is live weight.

Chickens mature at different rates. They tend to put on weight after they are a year old. The skeleton may not grow much if any but they tend to put on meat. Brahma and Jersey Giants will eventually get huge but they are known to be mostly bones for a lot of their early life. I'd expect their maturity date to be well after they are a year old.

Not every chicken of every breed grows at the same rate or reaches the same final size. Not even close. I've gotten cockerels from hatcheries where the difference in individual weight at five months was at least 2 to 1. If you get your birds from a breeder the differences will probably not be that much, depending in the individual breeder's goals, but there will still be a difference. If a breeder is breeding for show (not all do) they breed for a certain weight on a specific diet. If you don't feed them that way they might not grow that way. They should still be better than a hatchery bird. Hatcheries have breeders too but their goals and the methods they use doesn't mean show birds.

At what age do you tend to butcher? What you want is for them to peak at that age. A lot of that will be heredity but how you feed them has an effect too. If you keep them penned where all they eat is a high protein feed they will pack on weight a lot faster than if they forage for a lot of their food. But your feed costs could be higher. I can think of one specific member that butchers at 14 weeks because of the way he cooks them. He has put a lot of effort into breeding a chicken that produces a nice carcass at that age the way he feeds them. I prefer butchering around 23 weeks, I cook them differently and mine forage for a lot of their food. We have different goals and manage them differently.

I don't know what your goals are. I don't know if you are OK buying chicks or want to hatch your own. For pure feed to meat conversion you can't beat the Cornish Cross. The various "Ranger" types aren't that far behind but they are behind. If you want dual purpose I suggest you try different things and see which ones best suit your goals and management methods. We are all different, I don't know what is right for you.
 

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