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Master Gris Chicken Diary
#1
Well, I have finally managed to track down the Master Gris Table Birds and have hatched a few chicks. We did have a really good fertility rate but unfortunately due to incubator issues, not all the wiggling and pipping eggs ended up hatching. Still, that hasn't put me off hatching again, once the replacement incubator arrives I will be buying some more hatching eggs to try again.



I’m looking forward to seeing how much different these birds are to the Coloryields that I’m raising at the moment. These birds are due to reach a good size in a slightly longer time than the day olds that are on the market (I think about 16 weeks) but still quicker than dual purpose birds. I really wanted to find a compromise between buying shop birds and the dual purpose breeds as we can't have these on our allotment site as they start to crow before they reach maturity. It’s also been nice being able to hatch them from eggs rather than just getting them as day olds as you definitely feel like you have completely broken away from the intensive rearing that occurs in the food chain.



They do look very sweet at the moment, I will take a photo of them later before they start to get their feathers. They definitely aren’t as ravenous as the other types of table birds that I have raised in the past.



I will try to do a bit of a diary of their progress again as I think it’s quite useful for people who are considering raising their own meat birds to be able to have comparisons. I know that when I was first looking for day olds and now hatching eggs, there is very little information around even on the internet for how and also where to get hold of these birds and also information of what to expect when they are growing up and in particular fors and against of different breeds. I'm definitely not an expert by any sense of the word, just thought there might be people who are considering raising their own birds but don't know how where to start.
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#2
Brilliant! i do love your diaries and keep up with great interest comparing to mine! HOw about an update and some piccys on the coloryield diary!

urfileds diary
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#3
[quote name='Gecko' date='27 April 2010 - 01:47 PM' timestamp='1272372465' post='190183']

Brilliant! i do love your diaries and keep up with great interest comparing to mine! HOw about an update and some piccys on the coloryield diary!

urfileds diary

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Hey Gecko, thank you. Yes, I must take some more photos. The last few weekends have been manic at my allotment, catching up after the horrible winter and wet spring. I will take some photos tonight and post them later!
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#4
[quote name='Maximoss' date='27 April 2010 - 01:18 PM' timestamp='1272370708' post='190180']

I really wanted to find a compromise between buying shop birds and the dual purpose breeds as we can't have these on our allotment site as they start to crow before they reach maturity.

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I'd say that this, combined with the fact that the hybrids tend to produce better roasting meat are main advantages of rearing hybrid meat birds. If you have limited space or have to rear in a public area then rearing pure breed based cockerels is very difficult.
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#5
Hi Maximoss this is the first time I have seen your diary, though I can see by the replies that you've had they are popular. I am not surprised as I imagine quite afew people are trying to source info on meat birds. I am considering putting some hatching eggs under my broody next year and will be following your exploits with great interest. <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />
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#6
Well, the chicks are now a week old and so far they have been a pleasure to raise. They have now got their wing feathers and are beginning to get their tail feathers. When the garage door is opened in the mornings, they now come out from under their electric hen to see what the noise is about and start to cheep away almost to say hello. They seem to be quite friendly and are starting to jump up on the electric hen and running around their brood box. They do have lovely grey feathers which makes them look quite sweet, I do hope they don't look sweet forever.



It is definitely much nicer to experience them as baby chicks doing chick things rather than just being interested in food and fighting to get the best place round the feeder. I do wonder if this will change as they get older, I hope not. So far they do seem to be a lot different to their faster growing relatives but in a positive way.
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#7
hmm. wing feathers at one week, and they're notas fast growing as the others. <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/mellow.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':mellow:' />
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#8
[quote name='goldilocks' date='30 April 2010 - 07:42 AM' timestamp='1272609763' post='190564']

hmm. wing feathers at one week, and they're notas fast growing as the others. <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/mellow.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':mellow:' />

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Definitely not, which is what I'm liking most about them. I think I've said before that at our allotment, we got the rules changed so that we could keep chickens (technically hens) but not cockerels. So I had to find a bird that reaches a good size before they start to crow and any of my fellow plotholders realise that there are some cockerels in there. The faster growing Hubbards that I had last year were a good insight into whether or not I could raise the birds for their intended use, and then the Coloryields were the closest I could find to a compromise until I came across the Master Gris. So far so good, this morning the first chick to hatch was starting to show signs of tail feathers coming through, with the CY's the feathers were already through by now.
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#9
The chicks are now coming up for 2 weeks old and their appetite is definitely increasing, they are getting through twice the amount of food in a day compared to a week ago. Some of them look significantly larger than others so I'm wondering if they will turn out to be boys. Most of them are now beginning to get their tail feathers too. They seem much happier than the other types of table birds that I have reared in that they seem to like to explore their surroundings more and run around their brood box, taking flying jumps off the electric hen and then jumping back up again. Although they are eating more, it doesn't seem that their only interest is food which is a nice thing I think.
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#10
Well, the chicks will be 3 weeks old on Wednesday and they all have their tail feathers now along with feathers on their backs and are just starting to get them on their legs. They now have more feathers than fluff, so it's not going to be long before they have the heat turned off during the day if it warms up this week.
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#11
[quote name='Maximoss' date='10 May 2010 - 09:42 AM' timestamp='1273480962' post='192252']

Well, the chicks will be 3 weeks old on Wednesday and they all have their tail feathers now along with feathers on their backs and are just starting to get them on their legs. They now have more feathers than fluff, so it's not going to be long before they have the heat turned off during the day if it warms up this week.

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We turned the heat off the chicks during the day from Thursday and then last night (Sunday) I left the heat off at night as well. When I went in about 9pm to turn the electric hen on, they were all perched on top of it so figured that it was now clearly part of their furniture rather than a means to keep warm. They have got most of their feathers now, just some fluff on their heads. Their colours range from a white with grey flecks to a lovely mid grey mottled bird. Their appetites are definitely picking up but they definitely aren't such fast growers as the other 2 types of bird that I have raised. I think that they will definitely be on chick crumb for at least another week whereas with the Coloryields, I was already mixing in some growers pellets at this stage.
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#12
The chicks are doing really well and getting bigger by the day. I think I'm going to start mixing in some growers pellets with their chick crumb over the weekend for a week before putting them onto growers full time.
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#13
The chicks have now turned into mini chickens and are a mottly grey colour, quite nice looking birds. They are now happily tucking into their growers pellets and their appetite is definitely picking up. I think that they are nearly ready to move up to the allotment once I have cleared it out and disinfected the ground from the other birds which are going on Friday. However, I think that I may keep them at home for one more week as I think that we are going to send our bully up to the chicken pen for a week of solitary confinement to see if that will get her to behave. There is enough room for the chickens at home and it will probably be a good thing as they aren't as big as the Coloryields were at this age.
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#14
Well, we moved the Master Gris mini-chicks up to the allotment run on Monday after it had been given a clean out and disinfect. They have settled in very well and love their new found freedom and are enjoying exploring. They were a bit unsure of the bigger feeder and drinker to start with but seem to have got the hang of it now and are tucking into their feed quite happily. I'm going to do them a nice big batch of veggie peelings at the weekend which I'm sure they will love!
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#15
Has a week of solitary sorted your bully?

How much would you guess each bird is eating a week?

any chance of a beekeepers diary or am I being cheeky? <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />
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