I'm very proud of my new breeding stock. My fertility test on my 10 week old Texas A&M quail ended up pretty good in my opinion. We have 48 healthy chicks from 60 eggs. I can live with a 80% hatch rate.
All of the chicks are the same size. That's my goal right now. Since I started back in October I have been trying to concentrate on the mature size (meat weight), and I feel like I've been chasing my tail. I hope I'm on the right track now to a more dependable end product. The main problem I was having was a large disparity in chick size. The large lethargic chicks are about as bad as the weak runts.
Since I will start out with almost identical chicks, I should be able to select the best to be breeders to increase the overall size of the end product. A slow beginning for any chick will not be adequately represented at 10 weeks of age. A small chick, that was pushed away from the food, did not have the same chance to reach his/her size as a larger chick, In the same token an extremely large chick is not able to move around enough to exercise properly. The large ones are the Cornish Cross Chicks of the quail world, without the feed conversion.
My thought is that an active chick from day one that ends up larger than a chick the same size on day one is a superior choice for breeding. I have read studies from Texas A&M university that state that one breeder was able to increased the size by 20 % in only three generations. That's the results I'm looking for!
I plan to bring in some new blood lines this fall. I have two hatcheries in mind (Lakenvelder Farm or CBF SuperQuail) and haven't decided which to use yet. This new blood will allow me to compare/contrast and mix genetic inputs. Have I told y'all how much I love messing with quail?
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