Why do we need another chicken blog or forum?

Many chicken forums are moderated to sell commercial feed, chemicals and ideology.
I prefer to find my own balance between nature, welfare and cost in raising happy chickens.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ISA brown x malay laying onset age...

Nice to see my first pullet egg from the ISA brown x Malay game.

She's 19 and a half weeks of age, which is a pretty good age of laying onset.

ISA browns tend to lay from 17 weeks onward. However Malay game are a lot slower, so 19 and a half weeks is a very good result. It suggests the cross is going to be a pretty good layer, despite being a lot meatier and larger than the commercial hybrid parent. Assuming she doesn't go broody at the drop of a hat, laying at 19 and a half weeks puts her roughly on a par with the average non-utility leghorn.

Not bad for the first stage of creating a proper dual purpose chicken!

Meanwhile I've also bought some non-aggressive light Sussex eggs, which come from exceptionally large, meaty, early-fattening stock. In fact they're show stock, but since Sussex have no upper weight limit (and heavy weights are valued in the show ring) they can be a very useful bird to cross with when trying to make decent table birds. However they're also big eaters, with fairly poor feed conversion ratios (at least in Australia), so I'll be using them fairly sparingly as I crossbreed.

At this stage I'll keep using leghorns, the Malay-ISA crosses, the australorp-leghorns and eventually the sussex in the hope that the end result will be good layers that can dress out at 2.2-2.4kg at 16 weeks.

But this might sound more technical than it really is... I'm not exactly trying to compete with industry. All I know is what I prefer as a chicken owner.

And that's healthy, happy birds that can supply some eggs and meat without breaking the bank.

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