Saturday was D-day for the Broadbreasted bronzes. Correy's daughter, Brin, came over Friday evening for some knitting and dinner, and because it was too late to take her home, spent the night. At O'dark thirty, we got up, had coffee and loaded turkeys in the dark and the rain. It was actually easy to tell which was which - the Auburns were skinnier!
After hooking Brin up with her boyfriend, I headed north. Belinda wanted a live hen for breeding some meatier, faster growing birds in her home flock, so I stopped there and her daughter, Elise, picked out the biggest hen. Belinda came with me and off we went to Willamina. After the birds were in process, we went into "downtown" Willamina to get ice to pack the birds in for the drive home.
Ok, I'm weird - I have a compass in my head, and rarely get lost. Google maps must have gotten in there and messed with it, because coming out of the grocery store, instead of going straight, I turned right. I mentioned that I didn't think we'd come that way, and Belinda avowed that she knew where we were, so we kept going. By the time it was too late to turn around, we were over half-way to the coast. A 6 mile drive turned into almost 60. It was very pretty, in a primeval, drippy sort of way (lots of fog, moss and ferns), but I'm not used to driving/sitting that long yet. Fortunately, my knees came through it very well - I wasn't as stiff as I thought I'd be.
So weights: 16.95 lbs., 2 in the 17 lb. range, 2 around 19 lbs., 1 20 pounder, 1 at 21 lbs., a 23 lb., 2 in the 25 lb. range, 2 in the 27 lb. range, one 28 lb. and one 29.5 lb. They were averaging 80% of live weight. Since most everyone I talk to wants smaller birds, I am re-thinking my breeding program. The standards will be mostly around 18 lbs. for toms, 15 for hens, and that will work, but I'm thinking about adding in some midget whites, who like their name, are smaller. I was fortunate to find a buyer for 5 of the larger ones (I kept the "big guy"), so have only medium-big ones to find homes for, with more to come in November.
Even with the addition of the new birds (none of whom are actually standard bronzes, but more on that later), the feed bill will be drastically reduced with the hoovers out of the picture!
I'll take some pictures for next post to show the difference in all the birds that I have...