We ordered in 12 dual purpose large brown egg layers. I love so many thinks that my Icelandic J line land race rooster has added into the main mixed breed flock but the reduction of egg size is the one thing I need to correct in the coming gens. These are sex linked and are all hens.
He reduced egg size from a large to a med in weight on most of his offspring and then I had a weasel attack late winter and sadly lost four of my bigger brown egg layers. I had five years ago added in a some green egg layers but while they were stunning, great temperaments, they did not really lay well.. .. no let me change that.. they really did not lay well.. they were from show lines and produced 3 to 4 eggs a week.
However breed down to the Icelandic line, I was able to increase the laying rates back up to normal rates but the Icelandic helped bring down the egg size.. giving up one thing for another.. I would take regular steady layers that really produce well even if It means I lost some size..
Now that I have the colors I want added in, the smaller combs and that great forage built-in, I want to use the coming laying hens to be to bring in the genes to bring back up the size on the eggs in the next generations.
I ordered in 50 white rock meat birds. I had only planned on 40 of them but it cost me 4 dollars less if I ordered 50 then if I ordered in 40.. as the price really went down at the 50 mark.. so be it.
While I have raised chicks for many years now, I have never raised white rock’s.. I have also gone with the slower growth rates of the heavy dual breed chickens.. but this year, the simple fact is that I had to take a very hard look at the growth rates, the return rates and the feed costs.
I heard from a friend who raises her birds very much like I do and she said they did them last year for the first time and had very good luck with them. I am hoping I will find the same thing. We will see how it goes and if it saves us money in the long run. They are mixed run unsexed.
It will have to really prove themselves because if I was not buying them, I would be hatching my own chicks, so right off the top, we have earn back the money that it took to buy these chicks from the hatchery.
While I will run the chicks as a group of 50 at the start, as soon as I can, I will be splitting out the bigger chicks (males I assume) into their own group of ideally around 25 and keeping the smaller (female’s I assume ) into their own group. I have heard they can be quite lazy and I want to make sure that the bigger are not pushing the smaller off the feeder or water or prime shade etc.
I also ordered in 10 turkey pullets, I had planned on buying the smaller white but again it turns out that you have to pay extra to get the mini-classic so I went with the more cost-friendly choice and got the great big White Broad Breasted Turkeys. These are mixed run and unsexed so we will get a mix of smaller females and bigger males.
I am very hopeful that my female turkey will be laying an trying to sit eggs and I will be encouraging her to do so at the right time and I will be able to slip the pullets under her and that she will raise them for me.. It will make things so much easier if I can make this happen..
The plan at the moment is to butcher at smaller sizes for at least some of them, I have no need for 50 pound turkeys, well other then one or two for when I hope to have some family come a nice meal around thanksgiving etc.
I still plan to do all the ducks inhouse as they say.. all my own eggs, my own hatching or the hen hatching and raising them for our own use. I am still wanting ideally a min of 48 ducks but more would be better.
I am excited to see the plans come together here on the farm.
How about you? Have you got eggs in your incubator? Do you have chicks ordered? Do you live in ones those places that brings in chicks of all kinds to the feed stores and you can just go and pick what you want? Do you get your chicks delivered by mail?
Is feed costs effecting your own plans for what you are choosing to raise this year?
So unless something else changes, that is the April update for you, somehow.. somehow I made it though spring and did not make it to a single spring bird sale! O my gosh.. you have no idea how hard it was to not go to a sale lol..
I adore my spring bird sales! So SO much.. but I stayed with the plan! I am working the plan..