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Breeding of meat birds at home - Possible???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mommysongbird, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    So we have purchased Red Rangers again this year from Tractor Supply, and we have also purchased many other breeds from some other places like Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Partridge Rock. We were given a Orpington mix rooster about 7 months old. We know we have at least 1 Barred Rock rooster and at least 1 Red Ranger rooster.

    I was told that even if we keep some RR pullets back, they won't breed (or won't breed true) to the RR breed, but if the RR pullet is bred by say the Barred Rock, will we still get some sort of good sized meat bird??? And what about the RR rooster or Buff??

    I know all chickens can be consumed for meat, but I would like to have some birds that are worth my time. We tried Cornish Cross last year, lost all we purchased by 3 weeks to 4 weeks old. We just don't have a good setup for them inside.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Red Rangers are not a breed they are hybrids, that's why they don't breed true. Yes you can breed them to other chickens or between themselves. The fast maturing rate will carry on in some of the offspring. With careful selection for rate of growth, body frame and muscle mass you can choose breeders to continue on. Within three generations you'll get a lot of uniformity in the offspring. Basically creating a line of meat birds that will breed true. You can't expect the same performance of the original stock of meat bird hybrids but can achieve a good dual purpose flock. If it will be the meat bird of your future is up to your expectations. Some can't get away from the CornishX for size and breast portions.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Egghead_Jr.

    I am aware that they are not a true breed, but a hybrid, I just wanted to make sure keeping at least one rooster and a few pullets was going to be something that would help in keeping a meat supply through the winter months and for the next few years at least.

    We can't hatch during the fall/winter or really early spring because our house is just not warm enough to have brooders going, even with ceramic heaters going 24/7. We can start hatching new stock in mid spring and throughout the summer if needed.

    Really the size of the birds don't bother me, it's just for my families consumption. If I need to cook 2 birds at one time, I can. I just don't want to be processing my layers (NOT any that are dual purpose, but strictly layers) if I don't have to.

    We also have rabbits for meat, but I love chicken. [​IMG]
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Yeah, we keep a single variety and hatch out enough each spring to choose breeders. Most of the cockerel culls are done 12 to 14 weeks of age when they are still grill worthy. Smaller birds as they are the culls that didn't make the cut and at that age unless a major fault is on a bird they are simply the smallest cockerels. Very good eating, I brine them and cut in halves for the grill. The other cockerels I grow out to around 20 to 24 weeks and make another selection for breeders, the rest are roasters. We sell off the pullet culls throughout the summer and fall. Keep the best birds as layers/breeders and they are rotated out for stew/gumbo/pot pie fall of second year usually. Makes room for more pullets which will be better layers. Also sell off a few year old layers that are not breeders but don't sell birds older than that just eat them. Personally wouldn't feel right selling a bird past it's prime.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    I am not sure we will ever sell any of our older birds. LOL We have 3 right now that are 5 years old, they are from our original starter flock that we hatch, just a bunch of barnyard mutts. LOL

    We don't have a place to put like selected breeders, they just all go in together. We are fixing a new lot/pen and new coop now for our heavier birds to go into and then another one to put all the meat birds in. But eventually all of them will most likely be in the same place together.
     

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