Barred Rock hen + Wellsummer roo = good meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SparrowSong, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    69
    May 20, 2013
    I only have 5 hens and 1 roo, and we are wanting to raise our first batch of meat birds. Our hens are Barred Rock, Easter Egger, and Speckled Sussex. Since the Barred Rock is the biggest, I thought her offspring with the Wellsummer roo would make the biggest chickens to process.

    Anyone have pointers for a newbie? How old should the chicks be before we process them?

    Also, this is probably a silly question, but years down the line, when my Barred Rock hen flies to the big chicken coop in the sky, one of her offspring with the roo will NOT be ok to keep breeding with the roo, right? Chicken incest is what I'm thinking (don't laugh!) but inbreeding is as bad for chickens as it is for other animals, right?

    Thanks for any and all suggestions.
     
  2. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    305
    148
    Jun 10, 2014
    Inbreeding is called "Line Breeding" when we're talking about animals or plants (you'll get better results searching on that term). It's commonly done in show flocks, or any flock where the owner is trying to exert significant selective pressure. It's not a big problem for a long time as long as you're actively culling animals that don't meet your selection criteria.

    The key to breeding for meat is "Eat the ones you don't want to eat, keep the ones you want to eat" or something along those lines - basically you don't eat the best meat birds - you save them as breeding stock.

    The big concern with linebreeding is that if you're not being selective, and not culling, you start concentrating traits that aren't necessarily desirable - IE, if you've got a hen with bad feet, and you aren't actively culling birds with bad feet, there's a chance that you end up concentrating that trait (IE all your birds are homzygous for bad feet), and then you're always going to have birds with bad feet.

    You'll eventually need to introduce new blood, but you can go a bunch of generations before its a problem - especially if you keep an eye on things and try to avoid breeding birds to their siblings and such.

    This is one of the typical charts:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    69
    May 20, 2013
    Thank you for the info; it is very interesting! My intent is (for the next few years, anyway) is to process the entire batch of chicks we hatch. My coop is small and at full capacity, although we have a separate area to raise the babies until processing time. So, it will be a while before we need to replace a roo or hen. I have no interest in show breeding or anything of the like, just learning to be more self sufficient and learning the ins and outs of raising/processing chickens.
     
  4. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    69
    May 20, 2013
    Can anyone tell me how old the chicks would need to be to process?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  5. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    401
    4
    123
    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    In my extremely limited experience and opinion, a minimum of 4 months old before you have a decent size bird. I have only processed 2 small batches of extra roos that I started. One time they were 7-8 months old and the second time they were 4-5 months old. Any smaller and they just don't seem worth it (for the type of birds you have). You are using what are called "dual purpose" birds. Those birds you have are decent layers, but not fast growers. If you want to raise meat birds that you can process earlier, I would think you'd want a breed that grows fast and is specifically for meat.

    My birds are dual purpose also. I processed a couple of White Bresse Roos, a Dominique/Breda cross and a couple of RIR mutts. This time around I processed a Wyandotte, a Wyandotte cross and a couple of Easter Eggers.

    Good luck!
     
  6. SparrowSong

    SparrowSong Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    69
    May 20, 2013
    Thank you so much!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by