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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Update on bare bottomed chicks...

Starting to make sense. I've spoken to the breeder, and he says he also had some chicks hatch with bare bottoms and extremely slow feathering. I'm relieved to know it wasn't something I did!

 Fortunately 2 chicks were mostly fully feathered a week ago, which is more normal. One has a bare bottom, so I'll have to watch offspring if I use these 2 for breeding.

 Unfortunately I don't have the patience to look after generations of slow feathering birds, so the others aren't keepers. Never mind; in my experience (which is small but climbing), it's rare to find all the traits I want in one package (which is why I've set out to make my own).

It's a shame isn't it? All I want is about another 400g on my birds at 16 weeks. Meanwhile meat hybrids go off the scale at half that age, and also feather quickly. Meat hybrids also haven't sacrificed egg numbers in any major degree, unlike purebred meat birds like Indian game (Cornish) and speckled Sussex.

I always felt that meat hybrids were a little disgusting to breed from. No backyarder wants to reproduce traits that cause pain or early death. But chicks that can't feather up and are more vulnerable to chilling, picking and other unfortunate results are arguably just as sad. It seems I'm between a rock and a hard place here.

Back to the drawing board! (Lucky I like drawing boards.) :-)

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