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meat birds in with laying hens

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

We have 10 3yr old laying hens right now.  We are hoping to get about 50 meat birds in a couple weeks to raise through the spring.  We have a large coop and pen big enough to hold them all comfortably, but I am wondering about placing the meat birds in with the hens once they are big enough.  We had meat birds once before but had no hens at the time.  Will they be okay together?  Any advice is welcome!

post #2 of 14

I wouldn't recommend it.  Layers and meaties have very different needs.

Buff Orpingtons, Barnevelders, Speckled Sussex, and Black Copper Marans.  Cornish Cross from March-November.  Wish List - Dark Cornish
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Buff Orpingtons, Barnevelders, Speckled Sussex, and Black Copper Marans.  Cornish Cross from March-November.  Wish List - Dark Cornish
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post #3 of 14

When I first had chickens, I bought some meaties by accident - well, I honestly didn't know what I was doing. But anyway, the male meat bird lived a long time. He killed two of my hens when he was trying to mate with them because of his size. He wasn't being mean, he was just doing what roosters do.

Anyway, now that I know what I'm doing... I am raising my first batch of meaties this year. I do plan on separating them because they need a higher protein content. I have meaties and layer chicks brooding together right now, but they will be separated shortly. I plan on butchering them before they try mating, so I don't think that will be a huge issue this time.

Can you put up a temporary wall? I have used green plastic 4' wall that I bought a Home Depot. It was pretty cheap. I don't think the meat birds will fly around too much! Then when I'm done with the meaties I'll be able to remove the plastic pretty easily.

ChickyLaura

I have various chickens - including "RIRs", Turkens, Silkies, and EEs, Anconas, Cornish, Brown Leghorns, etc. I always have some sort of project going on - right now we're raising a batch of meaties. 4 rescued dogs. 4 rabbits, including 2 English Angoras! We also are branching out to Turkeys - right now 4 BBB, but 4 Midget White Turkeys are on the way!
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ChickyLaura

I have various chickens - including "RIRs", Turkens, Silkies, and EEs, Anconas, Cornish, Brown Leghorns, etc. I always have some sort of project going on - right now we're raising a batch of meaties. 4 rescued dogs. 4 rabbits, including 2 English Angoras! We also are branching out to Turkeys - right now 4 BBB, but 4 Midget White Turkeys are on the way!
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post #4 of 14

I wouldn't do that if I were you hide

 

 

  

 

 

NPIP 31-538   

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NPIP 31-538   

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post #5 of 14

When left to free range my cornish cross were strongly bullied by my layers. It was a ridiculously funny sight to witness: the huge and dinosaur-like meat birds squawking and trying to clumsily run away from the skinny and stringy layers. I had to alternate who got to free range because my layers seemed to be particularly focused on going after the meat birds. It was almost as if they recognized some kind of survival inferiority and wanted to eliminate it from the gene pool!

post #6 of 14

Your meat birds will require a different diet than your laying hens.  If you put them together, and your hens eat the same feed, then your hens may need to go on Weight Watchers after you have processed your meat birds.  lau

I am actually raising meat birds with hens with no problems.  All of them get along just fine.  The only birds that don't like my meat birds are my turkesy.  I have to closely supervise them when the flock is out free ranging.  My meat birds were given to me by accident and they never went to freezer camp.  So, it can be done.  I was told that the meat birds would not live past a few months old.  Today, they are 4 years old.  Who know.  idunno

NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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NPIP Certified -115 Chickens, 19 Geese, 19 BR Turkeys, 7 Rabbits, 120 Muscovy Ducks , 9 Guineas, 9 Peafowl, 8 sheep, 1 Goat and currently have 100 broilers to be processed March 2014.  And it's broody/hatching season all over again for 2014.
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post #7 of 14

I thought about keeping mine together since I only have 4 layers and 6 meaties....but after thinking about it its not a good idea. The meaties aren't going to roost so they might get pooped on at night. they have a different diet than the layers and the layers might pick on them since they are slow.  I just made a small chicken tractor type cage out of scrap wood, chicken wire and plastic roofing for the meaties.

post #8 of 14

which is the best dual purpose chicken
that are good for meat and egg layers

post #9 of 14

I will be the oddball in this bunch it seems. I have done two batches of meaties mixed with layers. They were all the same age when I received them. I butchered meaties at 7-8 weeks. I had no issues. Meaties like to eat and did so and layers were more interested in scratching and seeing what was going on. They were in a coop area together.  Maybe I just got lucky but it works here. We have another batch coming April 4th and will be doing it again.

Wife to a wonderful retired military gentleman that is now an OTR long haul driver for our company, mom to a 19 year old daughter, 3 bonus daughters age 20-30 and a bonus grandson, 4 dogs age 8-11 yrs old, and now chickens 51 or so (white leghorn, barred rock, compine, phoenix, delaware, amerecauna, rir, many mutts, and cornish rock meaties, OE bantams, red sex linka), what is next, dare I ask.
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Wife to a wonderful retired military gentleman that is now an OTR long haul driver for our company, mom to a 19 year old daughter, 3 bonus daughters age 20-30 and a bonus grandson, 4 dogs age 8-11 yrs old, and now chickens 51 or so (white leghorn, barred rock, compine, phoenix, delaware, amerecauna, rir, many mutts, and cornish rock meaties, OE bantams, red sex linka), what is next, dare I ask.
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuntrygirl 

Your meat birds will require a different diet than your laying hens.  If you put them together, and your hens eat the same feed, then your hens may need to go on Weight Watchers after you have processed your meat birds.  lau

I am actually raising meat birds with hens with no problems.  All of them get along just fine.  The only birds that don't like my meat birds are my turkesy.  I have to closely supervise them when the flock is out free ranging.  My meat birds were given to me by accident and they never went to freezer camp.  So, it can be done.  I was told that the meat birds would not live past a few months old.  Today, they are 4 years old.  Who know.  idunno


Good for you. You must have the secret.

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