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Master Gris Chicken Diary
#16
[quote name='goldilocks' date='03 June 2010 - 09:01 PM' timestamp='1275595272' post='195805']

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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Hi Goldilocks



Unfortunately not, we have tried reinstroducing by letting them range and she just attacks everything in sight even the bird that is the same colour as her. I don't think it is fair to try to rehome her as I wouldn't want someone else to go through this, I would feel so guilty, she is such a nasty chicken. All the other girls squat down when you go to pick them up but not this one and she has even started to go for my hand when I go to pick her up, she really is a feisty one for some reason, a chicken with an attitude! I think that we are going to have to dispatch her over the weekend as it is far too stressful.



Regarding the feed, I think that it probably averages about 150g per bird per day at the moment as they are having a scoop of feed each - hope this helps? This week, I will work it out properly for you starting from tomorrow to give you a rough idea.



Now the big question - beekeepers diary! To be honest, I'm just learning at the moment as we are being mentored by another beekeeper with our allotment hive. This is our second year and fingers crossed we may get some honey at the end of the summer. Having said that, my OH bought me a beehive for christmas and the man that is mentoring us is currently putting some bees in my hive so that I can manage it on my own as well as helping with the allotment hive. I would be happy to do some posts about my experiences and what happens each week in the hive, I know that some of the other members on the forum also keep bees so perhaps we could have a 'Bees' Section on the forum, just an idea... <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />
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#17
, I know that some of the other members on the forum also keep bees so perhaps we could have a 'Bees' Section on the forum, just an idea...

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<img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/cheer.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='*cheer*' /> <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/thanks2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thanks:' /> <img src='http://poultrychat.com/oldforumIcons/style_emoticons/default/sFun_cheerleader2.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Confusedquizz' /> what do think admin?
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#18
Well back to the Master Gris, I went up to the allotment tonight to feed and water them and they had dug themselves a little dustbath under their shelter. It is nice to see these birds enjoying being chickens rather than just eating and drinking.
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#19
The Master Gris are really growing now, they are 9 weeks old tomorrow. They're definitely not such hungry birds as the Coloryields or the 757's were which is a good thing, makes it feel much more natural and definitely seems the best option. So much so that I've had some more eggs delivered today to pop in my incy!!



I think that we may have a problem with one of our birds though, it has developed a bit of a limp, it seems quite happy eating and pottering around with it's friends but it limps when it walks. Cluckingnuts - what would you do in this situation? I think that it may be fairer to dispatch but just wondered what you thought?
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#20
How long has it been limping? If it's only recently it could be a sprain. Have you checked the soles of the feet for cuts or something embedded?
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#21
[quote name='cluckingnuts' date='22 June 2010 - 04:46 PM' timestamp='1277221560' post='198261']

How long has it been limping? If it's only recently it could be a sprain. Have you checked the soles of the feet for cuts or something embedded?

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A few days now, no cuts and couldn't see anything stuck in it, it just looks swollen on the sole of it's foot. Still seems quite happy though in itself, it just struggles to walk around to much so spends a lot of time sitting down, I guess that's what most meat birds do though...
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#22
Is it worth trying to bathe it?

How long until you would have dispatched it, if it was ok?
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#23
Are any of its toes broken? If it doesn't look as though it's getting any worse I'd give it a chance, but if i obvious pain then cull.
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#24
[quote name='Maximoss' date='23 June 2010 - 07:33 PM' timestamp='1277318031' post='198480']

A few days now, no cuts and couldn't see anything stuck in it, it just looks swollen on the sole of it's foot.

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Sounds like it's got an abcess or something in there - a form of bumble foot. Might be worthwhile giving it a good old soak in hot water and see if you can see anything.
You've only got one life - live it!
squizzers
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#25
Well the poor boy with did seem to have bumblefoot so unfortunately we had to cull him before we went on holiday. I didn't want anything to go wrong while we were away as although my butcher friend was looking after them, I felt that it was my responsibility.



The rest have now turned 13 weeks and are looking fine sized birds. I think that I will leave them another 2 or 3 weeks and then dispatch them. That will give me a week or so to move the run a bit so that the new Master Gris that I have hatched will be able to go on the fresh ground.



I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how much different the Master Gris' are compared to the Coloryield. Having said that, I'm definitely going to raise the Master Gris as my meat bird going forward as the whole experience is much nicer. Hatching your own eggs and then watching them grow up seems a much more realistic approach to me than collecting a box of day olds from a layby off a motorway junction. It certainly puts it into perspective more as you never know how many chicks don't actually make it from a hatchery and I dread to think what happens to the ones that don't, I'm sure they're probably not culled quite so humanely.



Perhaps with the autumn birds I may even be able to leave them a few weeks longer to get a nice sized bird for christmas, it won't be such a problem once the clocks have changed with cockerels at the allotment.
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#26
Hope you had a good break

Just awaiting the size/taste test now then.

sounds a good plan for the autumn birds.

Save me trawling through the diary did you say what size house and run you have your table birds in?
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#27
[quote name='goldilocks' date='22 July 2010 - 02:52 PM' timestamp='1279806778' post='201552']

Hope you had a good break

Just awaiting the size/taste test now then.

sounds a good plan for the autumn birds.

Save me trawling through the diary did you say what size house and run you have your table birds in?

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They are just in a shed with a doorway cut in it. The run is probably 1.5m wide by 5m long but I reckon you might be able to have a less in a smaller space maybe.
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#28
Well, we dispatched the Master Gris birds yesterday and were really pleased with them. They ranged from 1.6kg for one of the hens to 2.65kg for the biggest male, think he may be saved for a christmas feast, he really was a whopper! I was most impressed as they were only 15 weeks old, perhaps next time we would be able to cull the males first and then keep the girls a bit longer but I needed the run for the next batch. OH said that he found them much easier to dispatch than the Coloryields so that's a definite plus and they did have a lovely shape to them, quite a lot of breast meat, particularly on the heavier ones. They also didn't seem to have as much fat but perhaps that was due to them being fed more greens from the allotment.



Overall, I think that I definitely preferred hatching my own birds and raising them than collecting them as day olds and it's much more convenient having the eggs arrive in the post than having to trek out to the M25 to meet a man in a van. I can't wait to get some more eggs in the new year, I'll have to find out when they will be available as I'm definitely going to go the Master Gris route rather than the Coloryield option in the future.



Just the taste test left to do on these birds now but I'm sure that I won't be disappointed with them. We've got another 13 Master Gris that we're raising at the moment to last us over the winter - my butcher friend is having some of those too, I did a deal with him, I'll pluck the birds if he guts them as that's my least favourite job.
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#29
Wow 2.65kg he's a monster!!

thank you again for keeping this and your other diaries they have been really interesting.

Maybe if my broody goes broody at the right time next spring I could hatch some under her, I will pm you nearer the time.
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#30
[quote name='goldilocks' date='04 August 2010 - 04:38 PM' timestamp='1280936284' post='202862']

Wow 2.65kg he's a monster!!

thank you again for keeping this and your other diaries they have been really interesting.

Maybe if my broody goes broody at the right time next spring I could hatch some under her, I will pm you nearer the time.

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I know and that was the weight once he was ready for the table. He was absolutely huge and we dispatched him a week early too so I was really chuffed by that. I'm guessing the girls would have got a bit heavier too had we been able to leave them a bit longer, just wanted to rest the ground for a bit before the next batch head up there.



We portioned up the smaller birds, the legs and wings going for the bbq and then the breast for whatever really, last night I popped the breast meat into a Green Thai Curry, it was so tender, absolutely delicious, so a big thumbs up!!



Goldilocks, thanks so much for your comments. I know growing your own isn't for everyone for lots of different reasons but I just wanted to give others an insight into the process. It's definitely worth giving it a go next year if you can!
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