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#88048 - 08/01/08 11:23 PM how to weigh poultry
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
How do I weight my birds (Bantams) when I want to compair their weight to the standard?

Holding them while I stand on the scale won't work & I can't see them sitting still to set them on a large food scale??

Karen
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Karen

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#88049 - 08/02/08 01:46 AM Re: how to weigh poultry
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
You could put them in a cat cage weigh the lot and then deduct the weight of the cage.

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#88050 - 08/02/08 09:28 AM Re: how to weigh poultry
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
I have a kitchen scales, and my bantams will sit still on the tray--hands off- long enough to get their weight! Set it on the floor, so they are not so anxious to fly down.

It is GOOD to KNOW the weight of your Show and breeding birds!

CJR

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#88051 - 08/03/08 07:13 AM Re: how to weigh poultry
Yegua308 Offline
Chicken

Registered: 08/04/04
Posts: 84
Loc: Texas
I bought a digital postal scale off of E-bay for very little. It has several different ways to weigh, in Lbs, Ozs, grams etc. You can also set it to zero after you put what every you are weighing your birds in(or on) on top of the scale. Mine weights up to 35lbs. You could put a pet carrier on the scale, tare it to zero and then put the bird in side.
I agree with CJR- it is good to know the weight of your birds. I raise (and show) Modern Game bantams. I keep my scale handy when it comes to picking breeders, not that I cull Everything that is not standard weight but I will offset large to small birds.
I also weight this time of year as I cull, it helps me judge my birds and gives me a feel for what is correct.
The digital scale is so easy and rather compact that I even take it to shows. I break it out from time to time with my Cornish and Old English friends to start a lively conversation.

Bob

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#88052 - 08/03/08 08:57 AM Re: how to weigh poultry
BC Breeder Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada
I don't even consider a bird a potential breeder until after I do my weighing. I set a cutoff weight (usually standard weight) and then discard all that fall below the weight. Since most show lines fight to maintain reproductive vigour AND size, erring on the side of oversize has never been a problem. Mind you, our focus is on show birds with utility importance. Obviously, bantam breeders would take a different approach.

I picked up an old platform/balance scale from a recycled goods dealer. The kind used by old fashioned hardware stores with both the platform and dish. No electricity and it will never wear out. It's water and weatherproof.

Trick to using any scale is to ensure it is always level when being used. Otherwise, weights will be inconsistent. I tend to weigh the birds outside in or near their runs, usually on uneven ground. Therefore, I built a simple wooden platform for the scale and always use a level to ensure that it is level before putting the scale on it.

When weighing large birds like geese and tukeys, I hold the bird and then subtract my weight from the combined weight. To speed things up, I just add standard weight to my weight and then write down how much the bird deviates from standard weight.

Standard chickens and ducks are easier, I weigh a feed bag and then place enough counter weight to bring the balance back to zero. Then I place the birds in the feedbag for weighing.
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#88053 - 08/03/08 05:49 PM Re: how to weigh poultry
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Thanks every one, I'm getting some ideas on how to weight them.

Only now are they getting to the point of being close to standard. My original birds had one each of almost every color gene!

Karen
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#88054 - 08/03/08 09:13 PM Re: how to weigh poultry
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
My kitchen scale can weigh up to 5lb, which is more than enough for Bantams.

I tried it out and it worked just fine. Just like CJR said they stayed still just long enough to weigh them.

Thanks again.
Karen
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Karen

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#88055 - 08/04/08 11:49 AM Re: how to weigh poultry
A. Charles Offline
Chicken

Registered: 11/13/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Arkansas
A lot of good methods here.

I weigh mine on a digital postage scale I bought off Ebay. A piece of shelf liner on the scale will keep them from slipping. Start them off as chicks and after a while they will get used to it. I first weigh, and sex, all my birds at 5 weeks. Then weigh them again at 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, and 28 weeks and also keep track of weight at first egg. Information like that comes in handy when you are focusing hard on breed improvement.

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#88056 - 08/06/08 01:16 PM Re: how to weigh poultry
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
A C, do you find that the weight of a 5 week chick (or for that matter at 8 - 12 ect, is a good indicator of adult weight? In other words does a chick that's on the small side (or large side) pretty much stay that way until maturity?

Karen
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#88057 - 08/08/08 04:59 AM Re: how to weigh poultry
A. Charles Offline
Chicken

Registered: 11/13/04
Posts: 93
Loc: Arkansas
Karen,

Yes, in my experience those weights are all important as an indicator of adult size. The five week weight is more of a base for future weight measurements than anything else. But, if I have a bantam chick that weighs 5 oz at 5 weeks I can be pretty sure from past experience it will be too big as an adult to make a show prospect. Some of my Bantams lay huge eggs for their size and their chicks will obviously be bigger at five weeks. But for my birds, 2.0-4.0 oz at 5 weeks is a good weight. From then on, I don't want them to gain more than .75-1.0 oz per week, depending on their sex. But I have noticed that between 5 and 8 weeks there is a lot of development. When I weigh my bantams at 8 and at 12 weeks, I keep that 8 and 12 ounce figure in mind as the upper limit on size. Of course, there are always plenty exceptions to those guidelines. But most of my bantams do seem to grow at a steady rate until they reach sexual maturity. When you are unsure of how a bird is doing size wise, it really helps to be able to go back and compare them to the different weights at various stages of their parents and your best birds.

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