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 Post subject: Best utility strain??
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 11:34 am 
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Gallant Game
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I am thinking of switching breeds. Currently have SLW but am thinking its time for a change.
They are nice birds and I have improved the quality of my flock but they have a terrible problem with broodiness plus they can be freeloaders! LOL

I have been getting a LOT of cockerels from my hatchings and they have proven unsuitable for a table bird even if culled before they start to crow.
Is there a table bird that has enough meat on it at about 3mths of age that will still allow me to grow on the pullets for eggs?


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 10:15 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Anyone??


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 8:46 am 
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Showy Hen
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You could try Sussex, they are pretty hardy and reliable, and reasonable egg producers, tho the males take longer than 3 months to mature at least the LF do. My LF females were not particularly broody, although I would expect virtually any breed to be less broody than a dotte! Isn't the Australop a utility bird?


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:27 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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They were my thoughts but at 3 months the utilities tend to be at the gangly teen stage.
Marans might be an option. My cockerels tend to grow out fairly quickly (I think :thunk :thunk ) Ask Jose on one of his Marans threads


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 9:52 am 
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Gallant Game
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As a matter of interest, does anyone know what breed the commercial poultry suppliers use for table birds?


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 12:27 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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This might help

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8012300&p=567627&hilit=baida#p567627


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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 1:30 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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MrsBiscuit wrote:
You could try Sussex, they are pretty hardy and reliable, and reasonable egg producers, tho the males take longer than 3 months to mature at least the LF do.


From my experiences with light Sussex i would describe them as poor to below average layers at best, especially when you consider how much they eat, the piddling size of the egg, and the lost eggs due to clumsiness.

Any of the utility birds are not gong to be table size until they are more like 6 months. Wyandottes and Orpington males are big enough for a roast for our family of 5 by then,



Ron

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Showy Hen
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That may well be the case, particularly with exhibition birds. However I had white utility birds from a closed utility flock. Even then I will admit they were not outstanding layers, but they were fine, I would call them average to slightly above, they were not clumsy and their ability to forage was second to none so I was pleased with the productivity ratio of food.

I hear good things about Marans hens, but I know several people have had bad tempered boys.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Had Marans for a short while, hatched out 22 from 24, and ended up with only 2 pullets to POL, then sold them.

They were terrible in terms of hardiness, you'd check the pen all good, 2 hours later a dead one, with no apparent reason why. 3-4 days later another dead one. This was from about 10 weeks of age onwards.



Ron

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 3:18 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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The marans jose has seem as strong as an ox, i had no sickness or weak birds from any of the marans cross i hatched, have kept 3 pullets that are at point of lay now and are super healthy.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Mine are tough as nails. Nothing is vaccinated here and they cope well with our extremes of weather.


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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Avgen have just imported La Bresse, Utility Sussex and Ixworth.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 9:44 am 
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Gallant Game
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Yes I was going to contact Avgen but a bit wary of the cost??

Also Rotten, I got the same results when I hatched out my last lot of SLW....and even though I feed my lot well the young boys are quite skinny and not worth the effort if used for table birds which is a shame as there are so many males in a hatch.


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:25 am 
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Dapper Duck
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The price of the birds would reflect the costs to import.
Once they get to 2nd and 3rd generation of breeding the price will reduce and there should also be an option to obtain fertile eggs from breeders.
I know in some breeds there is an option to buy males (rather than trios) from Avgen and that could be an option to 'improve' existing stock in the meantime?


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:02 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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I've raised some Barnevelders for the first time, they seem great, they grow fast and are very sturdy birds, I'd say any of the cockerels would have been alright size for eating before they started crowing.


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