CHARACTERISTICS OF A BOSCHVELD CHICKEN:
- The chickens survive and produce on what nature can provide, with only a small amount of maintenance feed to boost production.
- They withstand Africa’s varying climatic conditions and keep producing well in free-range conditions.
- They have inbred hardiness, which helps them to withstand poultry diseases.
- Cocks are strong, aggressive and have noble conformation. Hens are very fertile with strong, healthy offspring that grow well.
- Egg production starts at 20 weeks.
- No expensive housing is needed to make a success of a poultry operation.
- Cocks are ready for slaughter at 12 weeks old, depending on nutritional levels.
- The meat has a very good flavour.
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red originated in the New England states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Early flocks often had both single and rose combed individuals because of the influence of Malay blood. It was from the Malay that the Rhode Island Red got its deep color, strong constitution and relatively hard feathers. They were also developed from the black-red Java, where is most likely got its rose comb. The Rhode Island Red was recognized by the APA in 1904 for the single comb then again in 1906 for the rose comb.
Rhode Island Reds are a good choice for the small flock owner; it’s a good dual-purpose for meat (Yellow skin colour) and eggs, lying around 150 – 200 per year. They are relatively hardy; they are probably the best egg layers (shell brown) of the dual purpose breeds.
Cock: 3.85 kg
Hen: 2.95 kg
Cockerel: 3.60 kg
Pullet: 2.50 kg
Reds handle marginal diets and poor housing conditions better than other breeds and still continue to produce eggs. They are one of the breeds where exhibition qualities and production ability can be successfully combined in a single strain. Some “Red” males may be quite aggressive. They have rectangular, relatively long bodies, typically dark red in color. Avoid using medium or brick red females for breeding because this is not in keeping with the characteristics of the breed. Black in the main tail and wing feathers is normal. Most Reds show broodiness, but this characteristic has been partially eliminated in some of the best egg production strains. The Rose Comb variety tends to be smaller but should be the same size as the Single Combed variety. The red color fades after long exposure to the sun. They have yellow shanks.
Broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus), or broilers, are a gallinaceous domesticated fowl, bred and raised specifically for meat production. They are a hybrid of the egg-laying chicken, both being a subspecies of the red junglefowl (Gallus gallus). Typical broilers have white feathers and yellowish skin. Most commercial broilers reach slaughter-weight at between five and seven weeks of age, although slower growing breeds reach slaughter-weight at approximately 14 weeks of age. Because the meat broilers are this young at slaughter, their behaviour and physiology are that of an immature bird. Due to artificial selection for rapid early growth and the husbandry used to sustain this, broilers are susceptible to several welfare concerns, particularly skeletal malformation and dysfunction, skin and eye lesions, and congestive heart conditions.
The breeding stock (broiler-breeders) grow to maturity and beyond but also have welfare issues related to the frustration of a high feeding motivation and beak trimming. Broilers are usually grown as mixed-sex flocks in large sheds under intensive conditions,
Feeding and feed conversion:
Chickens are omnivores and modern broilers are given access to a special diet of high protein feed, usually delivered via an automated feeding system. This is combined with artificial lighting conditions to stimulate eating and growth and thus the desired body weight.
In the U.S. in 2011, the average feed conversion ratio of a broiler was 1.91 pounds of feed per pound of live weight.
The Transylvanian Naked Neck is often called Turken. Despite the name, these fowl are necessarily from Transylvania or a it happens Romania since they are found in places around Europe and the Middle East. The Naked Neck has been found in Romania since 1918. Some people think it is a cross between a chicken and a turkey because of the unfeathered area on the neck.
The Transylvanian Naked Neck is a dual-purpose bird for eggs (shell Tinted Brown )and meat. Standard weights Cocks: 3.20 – 3.60 kg; Hen: 2 – 2.5 kg
The Transylvanian Naked Neck has a very interesting appearance with the absence of neck feathers or hackles. This is cause by a genetic mutation that has been seen in Romania for hundreds of years. The gene creates an abundance of a feather deter called BMP12. It can be easily introduced into any breed. This creates the featherless skin. This skin turns red when exposed to the sun, further paralleling the turkey. Turkens have no feathers on a broad band between the shoulders and the base of the skull. They also have a reduced number of feathers on their bodies but this is not evident until the bird is handled. Turkens should be given protection from extremely cold temperatures as they have far less insulation than their normally feathered cousins. This characteristic is a novel feature that does not detract from the utility of the bird. The Naked Neck has a single red comb. The hens have been known to go broody.
The mulard (or moulard) is a domestic duck hybrid of Pekin and muscovy ducks. The mulard, therefore, is not just a hybrid between differentf species, but between different genera: the muscovy is (Cairina moschata) whereas the Pekin (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) is descended from the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Like many inter-specific F1 hybrids, mulards are sterile and are commonly called “mule ducks”. They can be propagated by mating male muscovies with female pekins, but most are produced by artificial insemination.
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