All the help I can get....

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BR, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. BR

    BR Hatching

    Aug 7, 2009
    hi everyone! I am a newbie...dont even have chicks yet and i am already confused/overwhelmed. As you can tell, I might need some hand holding. I live in north FL (around Gainesville) and I was trying to research which type of chickens we should start with. I am more concerned with meat rather then eggs...would like to make sure we get a decent table bird at the end of the day. Also, how many should I start off with? Would two or three be ok or better in packs? HELP!!
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Crowing

    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    Are you just wanting birds for meat or eggs too? The heavy breeds can do both but there are some that are just for meat and don't live long.
  3. [​IMG] to BYC. Just using the search function on the forum will bring you a wealth of information. It does seem overwhelming at first because there's so much to learn, but most of it is common sense.

    I recommend the Gail Damerow Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens as an excellent primer. Here's a link to it on Amazon:

    People here will be really helpful. BYC has been my guide from the get-go. Good luck!
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Hi and welcome!

    Don't be overwhelmed. There is a lot of info to digest, but really, raising chickens isn't all that hard.

    If you are interested in meat birds, go to the meat bird section and read through the threads there. You'll find a lot of interesting stuff.

    I don't actually raise meat birds. We do eat the occasional extra rooster from our laying flock. And the meat is great! I can only imagine that a bird that was actually bred to be a meat bird would be even better.

    I think that most folks who raise meat birds raise the Cornish Crosses. If I ever do it, I will go with the Dark Cornish. Maybe a mistake, but I like the idea of having a flock that can sustain itself. Plus, I like the look of them. Very hawkish and wild looking. Pretty birds, in my opinion.

    If you are looking for a laying hen that will be big enough to make a nice table bird after her laying days are over, maybe a Sussex or an Orpington would be a good breed to consider. I have a couple of Buff Orps, and they really are large ladies! I expect that any of the dual purpose birds would have less breast meat than the chickens you buy at the grocery store.

    I guess how many you should get depends on your situation. How much room do you have, how much meat do you want to put in the freezer, etc. Also consider any local ordinances that you may have regarding poultry.
  5. trilyn

    trilyn Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    East Syracuse
    [​IMG] from NY!
  6. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida!
  7. Hen_House_Rocks!

    Hen_House_Rocks! Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
  8. eaganchickens

    eaganchickens Songster

    Sep 21, 2008
    [​IMG] from MN!
  9. Darlasmum

    Darlasmum Songster

    Aug 2, 2009
    La Crescenta, CA
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

    cross will give the most breast meat, if that is your preference, but they need to be slaughtered way before laying age, around 8-10 weeks or so. And you cannot keep and breed some for next year, on a practical level.

    Dual purpose heavy breeds are a good way to go if you want to raise and reproduce your own, and have both meat and eggs, but you will not get as much breast meat from them. They have a richer flavor but do not taste as much like store bought as Cornish cross do.

    Dark Cornish and freedom rangers from JM Hatchery are other alternatives for good meat birds that can be reproduced, although freedom rangers are also a hybrid and will not breed true. Dark Cornish will, as will heavy breeds.

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