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Dave C

Table bird project is Back On

If you remember this time last year I was quite excited about the Freedom Ranger and Poulet Galouise table bird hatching eggs I was setting.
It all ended in tears when Mr Fox killed the lot 3 weeks before processing  

Well I am trying again
The eggs are coming Tuesday and I will also be setting 21 eggs from my little La Bresse Galouise flock.

I am really looking forward to comparing the 3 breeds on the table.
Let's hope I get to taste them this time  

Anyone else doing table birds this year ?
bodger

I'll just be eating my rejects Dave but here's to you having some luck with your project.
horace

Best of luck with your venture
Rena

I've thought about it.... Sadly not gotten any further. I really want to try the freedom rangers as they sound like a nice all purpose bird. I'll def be watching your adventures. Maybe a radio in the area your birds are, will help deter any fox activity. I keep one on all the time here and although I don't think it's an end all, I do think it helps.
Dave C

Thanks everyone  

The plan is to keep all the La Bresse hens and 2 cock birds
So far there laying ability is excellent so if the table qualities is good this breed will be everything I want utility wise.

The Freedom Rangers are just to compare.
maxie

Im hoping to breed my ixworths,ive got a decent cockerel and two nice meaty pullets,the other five pullets arent worth breeding off.
My mate down at the allotments sometimes get a few ross cobs to fatten up hopefully  get some off him.
brewer66

HY Dave, Can I ask where you have bought your eggs from ?
I want to try some Labresse Galouise to see how they compare to my Ixworths. Thanks
sod

Sounds good so will be waiting updates,
Dave C

The table bird hatching eggs are from s and t poultry but the La Bresse Galouise hatching eggs are from my own little flock
Dave C

maxie wrote:
Im hoping to breed my ixworths,ive got a decent cockerel and two nice meaty pullets,the other five pullets arent worth breeding off.
My mate down at the allotments sometimes get a few ross cobs to fatten up hopefully  get some off him.


Good luck with your IXworths  

The Ross cobs are the ultimate meat bird but I'm after something that can free range and is sustainable breeding wise
brewer66

Thanks Dave, hope you are successful this time.  
Dave C

Well its started allready  

First of all my Brown Farm Rangers that i ordered have been sent White, then i am borrowing an incy of a mate who assured me it was fine,
Thermometer is all over the place and my Bransea Incy with the La Bresse eggs in is showing that it had low temp overnight

If this hatch producess anything it will be a miracle  

Give me some broodies any day
bodger

I know the feeling very well.
Dave C

I know you do mate  
Dave C

Time for a quick update,

Although the volume of chicks I have hatched is not great, I do have some  

So I currently have Farm Rangers, Poulet Galouise and my Pure Breed La Bresse to fatten and compare growth rate, size and flavour.

And last week I set off another batch of La Bresse as well as a batch of Dark Indian Game which can also be compared to the other types / Breeds as well as bringing something else to next years breeding plans.

How are your Table Bird Plans coming along ?
Dave C

Well the taste test has experienced some technical difficulties
We have only managed to hatch 3 La Bresse
I think they are 2 pullets and a cock bird so not the end of the world but they will be kept for next years breeding and if upto standard the cockerel will replace my current old boy.

The White Farm rangers are a good old size and should be ready in about 3 weeks and the Poulet Galouise also very large should be a week or so behind them, there is only 1 hen who is much finer boned and light in her feet, I'm going to see if I can keep her for breeding next year just for a bit of fun.

The broody rearing my Indian Game killed 2 of the 11 chicks but things seem to have settled down now so will see how they turn out but don't think I will be eating any of them this year.

How your table birds doing ?
maxie

Ive just got ixworths myself hatched six out as im a bit limited due to a few councillors on a power kick!
They are putting some good weight on though only about 4 weeks old so far.
Id love a bit more room to exeriment more ,but you can only work with what youve got and ive only got a decent sized allotment.
The council are trying to kick a lad off who has a bit of a smallholding,him and his dad before him have had it for 55 years,hopefully he will win his case and the town council will calm themselves down.
Dave C

The Farm Rangers dressed out at 2.2kg which I am very happy with.

The leg meat is very dark with them free ranging and a lot of breast meat also.
All in all I'm happy with them although I prefer the Pouilet Galouise as a bird they are much more active and free range very well
Will see what size they make.

My La Bresse taste test will be on hold as it looks like they are all hens.
Dave C

The Poulet Galouise table birds are for the chop tomorrow
So I'm interested what weight the will dress out at, as the look a lot larger than last years birds
Dave C

We'll a little behind time the Poulet Galouise were processed today.
11 weeks is recommended but they would be 14 weeks on Wednesday  

They all dressed out between 3.2 - 3.5 kg  
So a little bigger than I thought but one will be for dinner tomorrow & the rest in the freezer.

But I'm more than happy with that weight  
Dave C

The amount of breast meat on these birds was fantastic, flavour & texture also very good.

Very pleased with them, I've kept a hen back to breed with next year, I know they may not breed true but it will be a bit of fun to see what I will get.

I will either use the old La Bresse cock bird on her or maybe one of my new Indian Game birds I hatched this year.
Just a bit of fun.
bodger

The spice of life Dave. If things stood still, it would be a very boring world. What are your plans for next season?
Dave C

That's a good question mate  

I've been very disappointed with the fertility of my new La Bresse which has caused poor hatch rates, I have 3 very nice pullets to add to my breed pen but no cockerels to try on the table.
So a new smaller breed pen with only 5 hens in with the old fella is the plan.

Also a La Bresse x IG will be tried on the table.

As well as trying to breed from the Poulet Galouse hen I kept back.
And hatching some more Poulet Galouise to compare size and growth times.
These results will determine whether it's worth continuing breeding my own birds or just buying in fertile eggs.

Some of the birds recently processed






Dave C

This is the sister to the above roast dinners



I'm thinking of using an IG on her if she makes it to next year.
Keep a cock bird back then use it on some pure PG hens the following year.
Keep some hens back to be used on the same cock bird.
And so on, hoping to get a sustainable breeding flock.
I'm not expecting them to have the same 11 hatch to process time, but we will see  

By the way, she is 18 weeks now and just laid her 3rd egg.
bodger

They look quite similar to the Sasso hens that I've seen.
Dave C

Yes I think most of the ranger type broilers have a similar look.

I know compared to the Hubbard & Sasso farm rangers I have had these Poulet Galouise free range very well and have a very good movement.
As big as the cockerels were that went on my table they never looked like going off there legs, if anything they moved better than my La Bresse co k bird, ha.
RPF

Hi Dave, what ration did you have them on? What's the maximum weight you reckon you could get these bad boys up to without their legs going? Robin
Dave C

Hi Robin, really good to see you on here mate  

Please you finally decided to join the ellite  


There was no special rations for the PG's really, they werent fed ad lib, they got Growers in the morning, some more thrown down in the afternoon and some corn to get them to bed in the afternoon.
The rest of the time they free ranged in out top paddock, which is full of clover and chick weed.

They never looked like going off there legs, but i dont think they would of gotten much bigger as the last couple of weeks the stopped putting weight on, they are recommended for processing at about 11 weeks and expected to dress out at 2.4kg, so i'm very pleased with the 3.2kg average i got.

The Farm Rangers were more like a Hubbard / Sasso broiler type, with there funny walk and sitting next to the feeder, i didnt like there type really as they didnt want to free range like the PG's did.
Dave C

My Indian (Cornish) Game growers at 11 weeks











I have 3 cockerels the bird in the top pic being my choice at the moment.
And 6 hens, the best will be bred from and the others going in the layers or broody pen.
RPF

This is one of my Jubilee hens Cerca 4 months
RPF

Here's one of the cockerels
bodger

At what age would you aim to finish your IG? With them being a traditional type, I would imagine quite a bit older than 11 weeks.
Dave C

I would think about 5-6 months, although my long term plans won't be putting IG on the table my plans are to cross them with my La Bresse and PG.
Although tasting one or two would be good to compare.

If I were to finish the spare cockerels for the table it would possibly take even longer with the dark nights coming.

I think Robin is look to process his along with his crosses so will be interesting to see how they fair.
What you think Robin ?
RPF

I reckon the IGs need a 20 weeks perhaps judging by mine. But you don't have to pile on the grub. My LBXIGs are coming on very well on the whole but I've got one pure LB in particular who is a cut above the rest. I doubt I'll have enough IGs spare to have for the pot this year. Possibly a Jubilee cockerel or if my blue cock isn't up to scratch.
Dave C

My IG are about 11 weeks now but I would say my LB were bigger at that age.

Robin I will be very interested to see the difference between the 2 pure breeds when you process at 20 weeks  

Also the difference in shape and amount of frame.

How long to go now mate ?
RPF

Hi Dave, I'm going to check some of them in a couple of weeks. My dark IG is a very good size indeed now at about 16 weeks. He's for keeping though. Might have to put my jubilee cocks in the pot as they are far behind him, even though jubilees are a slighter build.
Dave C

How's the birds coming on Robin ?
Are you about ready to process any ?

Update on my meat growers
My la Bresse are about 19 weeks now and shaping up quite well.








Dave C

The IG are starting to fill out now as well
Although the pics don't do the justice









Enjoying the fallen apples




I only want to keep 1 cockerel & 3 hens as I will only be using them for cross breeding.
Not sure wether to keep them all until after the winter or sell / process the other 3 hens and 2 cockerels now
Dave C

Extended the IG pen to give them some fresh grass

I've never known a breed eat as much grass and greens and as little pellets as these.




They are filling out nice now but still slower to mature than my La Bresse, im hoping a cross between them will be ideal
Dave C

My Poulet Galouise which is a Label Rouge style french table hybrid
She is 21 weeks now and been laying like the clappers for 4 weeks already

I wish I could hatch some eggs from her straight away as you never know how long they will last as they are designed to be processed at 12 weeks, but she's very fit and rangers a good 100 mts or so from her run every day.








bodger

Those young IG look stunning Dave, they really are striking.
RPF

LBXIG Cerca 19 weeks
RPF

jubilee hen
Dave C

They are looking a good size Robin,

in the LB X IG cross is the IG Dark or Jubilee ?
thought a bit more colour might of leaked through.

I know the LB are dominant white but thought the red sometime came through  
RPF

They are crossed with Jubilee. The one in the photo has a brown dot on each wing. The other, whose photo wouldn't upload has brown in his hackles and wings. One hen is lavender and the other is white but look just like IGs. For sure, if they were crossed with darks they would have more colour and size.
Dave C

After loosing my entire flock I've been round some local mates who I've given surplus stock to over the years.

1 has IG hens and the other a Cockerel, so they've agreed to put them together and between us we'll have some hatching eggs in about 3 weeks time.
There's also some LS hens who's parents originally came from bodger, will be crossing with the IG cock so the table bird project might be having yet another comeback
Also can get some welsummer eggs from birds I retired last year, but haven't decided if I'm going back to them or taking the Marans route.
It's only the La Bresse that I've lost completely!

Going to order some PG broiler eggs in as well to keep the hens back for breeding as per my original plan.
Here we go again!!!!
Dave C

Picking up 20 Poulet Galouise Sasso broiler chicks on Saturday to kick off my project again and get some meat on the table.

Also setting some eggs from these Hubbard X Ixworth's
What you think





Dave C

A few pics of My Slow grow Sasso Galouise which are 2.5 weeks old now.










Dave C

Had a walk down the village to my mates place to have a look at some of the Indian Game I gave him last year.

This big fella was one of my rejects but is getting drafted back into my project





bodger

He looks to be a real bruiser. If he was a reject, then the one's that you lost must have been really good.
Dave C

To be honest mate all 3 were cracking birds  

But if I had to split hairs the one I kept had yellower legs.
The good it did him  

I know you can't eat colour but something has to separate them.
Dave C

My meat birds are 6 week now and weighed them yesterday
They average between 1.03 - 1.07kg so are progressing well.





horace

Thems some right drumsticks
Yorkshire Geordie

horace wrote:
Thems some right drumsticks

And LEFT drumsticks as well.  
Martyn
horace

Yorkshire Geordie wrote:
horace wrote:
Thems some right drumsticks

And LEFT drumsticks as well.  
Martyn
 
Dave C

Some of my Buff Plymouth Rocks
4 weeks and averaging 315g (a bit puny compared to my meatballs)
Not sure what they going to bring to my meat project, but I like buff birds.
I'm hoping they have a strong statue, but we will see.

Toddy

horace wrote:
Thems some right drumsticks


One of my friends is a chef. For family Christmas dinner one year she got an entire ostrich 'drumstick'. She told the kids they were eating a dinosaur    

Horace is right though; your meaty birds are looking really hefty.

M
Dave C

Thanks, I'm looking forward to tasting my growers in about 6 weeks  
Dave C

They are 8 weeks old now with an average weight of 1.82kg.
So I think they will be ready in about 4 weeks.















I'm keeping all 4 pullets but starting to narrow down which 2 cockerels I will keep back as breeders.
Yorkshire Geordie

They look right canny, Dave.  

That fence, as you have it, won't keep them in or safe, mind.      
Martyn
Dave C

Yorkshire Geordie wrote:
They look right canny, Dave.  

That fence, as you have it, won't keep them in or safe, mind.      
Martyn


do you think I need a smaller mesh on there Martyn  
Yorkshire Geordie

I was being a tad cheeky, sorry Dave.  

It was this view that prompted my comment ..........
                       
Martyn
Dave C

Bit of boring info for you, ha.
I've been researching my Sasso hybrid meat birds to try and find a bit more info on there breeding and what to call them, understandably Sasso keep there breeding top secret and just call the Slow Grow a T551 and the Medium grow a X431A, as lovely names as they are I looked at what the Hatchery called them.
They call the Medium Grow a Farm Ranger which is ok, But the Slow Grow they call a Poulet Galouis (which I don't like) so translated it means Gallic Chicken, now Gallic was a ancient tribe similar to the Celts and the Gallic Rooster is the emblem of France.

So from now on I'm calling them and there offspring Gallic Chickens.

I like the shape of this Gallic Pullet on the left.












Dave C

Yorkshire Geordie wrote:
I was being a tad cheeky, sorry Dave.  

It was this view that prompted my comment ..........
                       
Martyn


I know you were mate    
Dave C

My Buff Plymouth Rocks are 6 weeks now
They have a decent shape but not much weight to them, now at 430g.




They are not in my project plans for next year but possibly later depending how things shape up.
Dave C

The Sasso Gallic growers were 10 weeks yesterday.
The weight range is 2.24kg - 2.41kg that's from the 4 random birds I just cought.
With them being free range they are getting wiser each weigh in.

There faster than they look, ha.


Dave C

As soon as the hens start laying they will be introduced to this Big fella





Dave C

Had a busy day yesterday, chose the Gallic keepers 4 hens , 2 cockerels and moved them into another large pen after fitting a new window and low perches, they will free range when the others are processed.
The Buff rocks went in with them, there Ark was cleaned dusted and the Guinea fowl came out the brooder and went in there.
The Farm Ranger chicks went into another Ark also cleaned & dusted.

And all this with man flu  
Dave C

Quick update -

I'm processing 6 Gallic this weekend, so interested to finally get them on the table.
Here are a couple.







The Guinea Fowl Keets are 4 weeks and enjoying there outside run.
Although I'm not enjoying there morning song at 5am, ha.




The Farm Rangers are also 4 weeks and growing like weeds.
The rare 2 headed chicken!




And a couple of IG hiding in there as well


Dave C

Well the big guys are off to freezer camp later today  

It's not as warm as it has been but still don't think I'll get to hang them.
Will let you know how I get on.
brewer66

What diet do you feed to your table birds Dave ?
bodger

I'm looking forward to seeing the results Dave.
Dave C

Got the use of this plucking machine yesterday




To be honest it didn't work as well as I hoped.
Only took the larger feathers off and left about half to pluck by hand.
So still took me 2 hours to pluck 6 birds.

With the weather cooling a bit I left them to hang and will draw them tonight.
Dave C

Well quick round up of my 12 week old Sasso Gallic boys that got the short straw.

Removed food Sunday night, water Monday afternoon.
Used a killing cone for the first time which I found very good and will using them again.
Used my mates old plucking machine which wasn't the best so took about 2 hours to pluck, then hung for 24 hours.

Drew the birds tonight which were very clean with good offal, went well and took under an hour.

Lowest dressed weight 1.89kg
Highest dressed weight 2.12kg

So happy with that, bring on the next batch.


Yorkshire Geordie

Look good - plenty of leg meat.
Thank your lucky stars you weren't plucking pheasants!  
That is a job for pheasant pluckers, or so I'm told.  
Martyn
Dave C

Or a pheasant pluckers mate  

Yeah thanks mate, there's plenty breast meat as well  

Looking forward to seeing if they breed true
bodger

Those are just the right size too Dave.
Dave C

Yeah 2kg was what I was aiming for.
They were easily fit enough to take larger but to be honest I needed there pen for the next batch.

Will see how the 6 I kept back fair as breeders.
bodger

You'll obviously have to keep your breeders as lean as you can
Dave C

Yes you're dead right they will be going onto layers pellets in a couple of weeks, feeding once in the morning and again before bed.
Free ranging the rest of the time.

Tempted to try and breed a batch off them in the autumn just in case they don't make it over the winter, but they seem fit enough especially the hens but just have to see how big the cockerels get.
Dave C

Here we go again, This is the next batch

I have Farm Rangers and a few Indian game in there.
They are 5 weeks old and about ready for a larger pen.
Will b weighing them next week.











Dave C

The Sasso Gallic I kept back for breeding and the Buff Rocks all went into a larger permanent house last week.
Let them back out to free range today.

Gallic Pullets



Buff Rocks at the back


This Gallic Pullet is a very nice Salmon colour





I have high hopes for this cockerel over the Farm ranger hens

bodger

They're looking terrific.
One day, I might be tempted to get an IG and run him with my LS. The result wont be anything kike those of course.
What food are you feeding them? Being a bit of a traditionalist, Id probably feed them on home milled feed, so that would mean a wet mash of barley, wheat, oats and Soya meal. I realise of course, that the soya wouldn't be the most traditional of ingredients.  
Dave C

Thanks John, I know there only hybrids but I'm quite pleased with them.

There on growers at the min and I finished the other cockerels off on corn, I will be putting them on layers to keep the weight off them and the are free ranging further down the field every day.

Gona do one more batch a week Tuesday and its gona be all IG,
Start saving them eggs up  
Dave C

Tried the first chicken for our dinner tonight.
Had us 5 and Dad over and it tasted lovely, loads of flavour, plenty of breast meat and went down well with a bottle of red.




Very pleased with the end result.
horace

Glad it turned out ok
Dave C

Weighed the Sasso Farm Rangers today at 6 weeks they average 1.36kg  
Which is about 300g more than my Sasso Gallic did at that age.




Check out his blue eyes

Dave C

Guess what we having for dinner again




Hopefully not as well done as the last  
Yorkshire Geordie

A polythene bag soufle?  


Martyn
Dave C

2 of my Sasso Gallic hens laid this morning

They are 17 weeks old    
Dave C

11 little Indian Game Chicks hatched out of 24 eggs.
That's the post for you.


sod

they good great
Dave C

Haven't had a weigh in with my Farm Rangers in a while due to working away, but boy they have grown.
















They are 10 weeks now and between 2.9kg and 3.4kg
Bigger than my Sasso Gallic when I processed them at 12 weeks.
Dave C

Decided to process my 4 largest cockerels as there movement wasn't good and I couldn't look at them any longer struggling to walk about.
Killed them Monday and dressed them last night, they all made between 2.5 & 2.8kg dressed, not bad for 11 weeks.

I have kept 2 of the lighter weight cockerels to grow on a bit as there movement is much better, hoping to make a Christmas birds from them.
And obviously keeping the hens for my breeding program  
Dave C

Just lost a lovely Dark laced Indian Game Pullet to a dog attack !!!!
Never seen the dog before and after breaking a stick over its back probably never will again.

I'm wondering if it's just not meant to be with these IG.

It was only 1 of 2 I got from my first IG hatch
The other is a nice Blue cockerel at about 11 weeks now.







Luckily I have a batch of chicks coming through which are doing well so finger crossed.
horace

Good luck with them
Dave C

Just weighed my 2 remaining Farm Ranger cockerels they are 3.5 & 3.6kg.

These were the lighter of the birds that I kept back to grow on.  
They are 14 weeks now, so I will either process them this weekend or grow them on for maybe a 4-5kg bird.
Dave C

Moved my Farm Ranger pullets that I'm keeping for breeding into a bigger hen house tonight.

This young lad is going in with them.




He is 2.87kg at 16 weeks old
So looking like a keeper.
bodger

He certainly looks the business, fingers crossed that his produce do the business in the oven too. You're unlikely to get any hybrid vigour, so its not a forgone conclusion but I don't think that you can go far wrong.
Dave C

Thanks John, I think he would dress out at about 2 kg so at 16 weeks I would be happy with that.
I'm looking to breed for early maturity so he is the type I'm looking for.
I have 12 chicks at about 7 weeks following him so will be interesting to see how they fair, also looking at crossing with the Sasso Gallic and Sasso Farm Ranger hens I've kept back.

This strain of IG also are decent layers of reasonable sized eggs compared to most, so looking forward to next years experiments.

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