2013 chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cws451, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. cws451

    cws451 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    East Tennessee
    hello everybody i am new to backyard chicken and to raising chickens as well :)...My purpose for raising them are meat and egg. I have 4 BSL and 1 RIR with plans to get more. The reason why i chose those birds because i read they were dual purpose birds and i can use them for meat and have a decent weighing bird. im willing to raise cornish x but i would like to have chickens that can reproduce If someone more experienced could weigh in on my situation and maybe give some examples of good meat chicks that would be great.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :weee Glad you joined us! :frow

    Basically any of the dual purpose breeds will work for you. Certain breeds like New Hampshire or Delaware were developed specifically for meat, but since the development of the Cornish X the characteristics that made then good meat birds have pretty much been lost. Some of those characteristics were rapid weight gain and conformation so you got the cuts of meat you wanted.

    If you plan to pluck them, it’s probably a decent idea to get a light-colored bird. When you pluck, you always leave behind some pin feathers. They are not that noticeable on a white or buff colored bird but really stand out on a dark red or black bird. They won’t hurt you but you just get a prettier carcass with a light colored bird. If you skin them, it doesn’t really matter.

    What I suggest is that you look through the Henderson Breed Chart to look for the characteristics you want, them go to Feathersite to get pictures of what they look like.

    Henderson’s Breed Chart
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Feathersite
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html
     
  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Figure out what exactly your goals for the flock will be. Just big birds to eat, alot of eggs to sell, or a mix. Also look at your environment. Look for bird breeds that will meet your needs as to environment and husbandry also. Don't buy a silkie to live in the north where it is cold and snowy, they just ain't built for it. When you pick you breed (or breeds) that seem to fit your goals, buy breeder stock if you can. You will get a better bird that is more typical of the breed that you have researched and selected as meeting your needs. Hatchery birds tend to come from parent stock that produce alot of eggs, because hatcheries really need lots of eggs to hatch and sell chicks from. Which is great if you want lots of eggs, but a bird that lays alot of eggs may not have the heavier body type that the dual purpose birds should have to produce a nice carcass for eating.
    For example, I am looking at getting Buckeyes when it is time. Here are my reaasons for this breed:
    - they have pea combs to reduce the worry about frostbite in the winter,
    - they are a very pretty bird, and their coloring will kinda blend into the environment. I need a bird that is not white or light colored. We have alot of flying predators (hawks, eagles, falcons) so I need a chicken that will not stand out as a dinner flag against the dry prairie. Not much for brush or trees that they can use for cover at our place.
    - they are touted as being aggressive foragers, which I will need if they are to free-range some at our place.
    - they are known to be somewhat broody. If I can get a broody bird to sit and hatch eggs for me, she will have a long happy life at our place!

    Just remember what you are aiming for when it comes time to butcher. When you butcher you will want to eat your smaller/lower production birds and leave your biggest, best birds to be your breeders. Eventually, all your chikens will be the bigger, better birds since you ate the lesser desired genetics and removed them from the gene pool.
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Ohio
    My Barred Rocks are looking pretty tasty, right now. The hens also lay well.
     
  5. cws451

    cws451 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2013
    East Tennessee
    mstricer i have actually looked at the barred rocks and im thinking about getting a couple. They look like really good birds
     
  6. trunkman

    trunkman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Rock Hill SC
    When I decided to start a flock I purchased Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Austrolorps, Jersey Giants, barred rocks, and Easter Eggers because they are all dual purpose birds, cold hardy, good egg and meat producers. This is my third year with these breeds and the research I did proved to be true but as far as meat production goes I find the barred rock is the friendliest, fair egg producer and best full bodied chicken thus far, the rest don't have the plump breast you want in a meat bird. I haven't processed one yet but from the looks of the hen I have it looks like it would be my first choice. Only bad thing about them is that they don't come close to Cornish as far as fast growth to butcher size.
     

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