Breeding meat chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jmemom, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. jmemom

    jmemom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    If you have some patience with a newbie, I have some questions. [​IMG] I began my egg layers this past summer... I have 15 including Barred Rocks, EEs, and Golden Comets. (Waiting for them to begin laying any week now![​IMG])

    Next year I'd like to start on meat chickens. I probably will try a batch of the CX, but I'm wondering about getting something that can self renew. I see that some of you are working very hard to breed a good meat bird from CX, but I would be happy even with a slower growing meat bird. So I guess I'm wondering what would be a good breed to look into?

    I know the ones I have now are considered dual purpose, but I want good layers and good meat. Does that mean I should put up another coop and try to breed toward each end on it's own? Or is it possible to get both good laying and good meat from the same flock?

    Thanks so much!! [​IMG]

    Jamie
     
  2. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Breeding meat birds is possible but my question is why would you want to? It has been done. You can buy much better birds than you can possibly produce and for a lot less money. It is kind of like reinventing the wheel. If you want to raise your own meat birds just buy dual purpose chicks straight run. Keep the hens for eggs and eat the roosters. That is what people used to do. Keep in mind that your dual purpose breeds will make butcher weight in about 20 weeks and consume about five pounds of feed to make one pound of chicken. The CX will make butcher weight in six to eight weeks and it takes them about two pounds of feed to make one pound of chicken.
     
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    the first wheels were made of stone . . . I like the improvements made over time . . . rubber was made by accident . . . [​IMG]
    I suggest that first you try the CX to see what all the fuss is about; I did and I'm really glad I did so, the things I learned were not what I expected, and the things I liked and didn't like about them were not what I expected. It was a really great learning experience.
    My first year I tried the theory eat your leftover laying breed roos and like many wound up sorely disapointed.
    Many people like DP; I don't. I don't think you get good layers and good meat, I think you get mediocre layers and mediocre meat that are not thrifty with the feed. Steve is working on something that seems promising, but he is still in the starting stages, so we all will wait and learn fom his labors [​IMG] If I were going to buy a DP breed, so far the ones I have liked the best were BR and BCM. I loved the Buckeyes but did not find them hardy in my area.
    Now if you put up two coops and work towards a great layer, and seperately a great meatie . . . then you get to have more chickens!!!!

    AND WELCOME TO BYC!!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  4. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. jmemom

    jmemom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2010
    Thank you for the replies. I am not trying to improve on the meat birds already out there (although more power to those of you who are!!![​IMG]). The CX sound very interesting to me, but I don't want to buy new chicks every year. (I will be trying them in the spring for sure.) But I'd like to save some money and hatch my own meaties. So that's why I'm wondering if I should just get some more DP chicks. Or do I just try to find a nice meaty rooster for my current girls and hope they hatch good layers and good meaty roos?

    DH is a biology major, so I could interest him in the whole gene and breeding thing... [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The minor savings you MAY have by hatching your own meat chickens will be dramatically offset with the poorer feed conversion and less muscled carcass.

    Jim
     
  7. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Where I am, the folks who are trying DP often choose Buff Orpingtons. They can deal with our very hot summers and often below freezing winters (zone 8), haven't had broodiness bred out of them, they are fairly mellow, are pretty good egg layers, and the roos are tasty (even if they don't have puffy chests).
     
  8. jmemom

    jmemom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2010
    The minor savings you MAY have by hatching your own meat chickens will be dramatically offset with the poorer feed conversion and less muscled carcass.

    Jim

    This is a good point. But if I were able to free range the DPs (I wouldn't do that w/ CX, just seems too messy), that would offset the cost of the feed. My DP roos would go around 20 weeks, correct?? Or would they take longer since they would be free range?

    I'm sure the matter of taste would come into play, also. And that's not something I'd be able to tell until I got the CX.​
     
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It may seem like your saving money, but think what it cost to feed your stock for the 6-7 months a year you're not producing chicks for eating. This topic has been beat to death on here. It really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Buying CX chicks will definetly put meat in the freezer in a short period of time and at an affordable price, but, it's not sustainable. Raising DPs, hatching out eggs, and feeding out the offspring takes longer, and doesn't produce nearly the pounds of meat per pounds of feed. If you do a batch of CX, then a batch of DPs, you'll see what I mean.

    At the end of the day, you just need to decide what works best for your situation. In may be a good idea to try a batch of CX, and hatch out some chicks from the layers you already have about the same time, compare, and see what best suits you. Your BR are a great DP breed to start with, however, they will never be able to compete with the CX as a meat bird.

    Goodluck!
     
  10. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    ok then, given your clarifications I would go with your gut and get a nice big meatie roo to cross with your girls. Free range the chicks and eat the spares. the perfect back yard set up in my opinion. With that goal in mind I would suggest perhaps getting some freedom ranger chicks and keeping a roo out of there for breeding.
     

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