Confused-----want a sustaining flock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by dianehall, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. dianehall

    dianehall Hatching

    Oct 1, 2015
    I have read and read and gotten advice, but I am still very confused.
    I live in North Florida. I want to raise meat chickens and eggs. I have two separate coops available for whatever I need. I have some RIR and a couple misc chickens-- all are molting and I haven't had eggs in a long time.

    I am currently working on adding fodder for better health.

    I am ready to buy more chickens, but I just don't know what to buy or from where. Obviously I don't want genetically altered hatchery chickens. I want an old breed that is an egg layer and will contain enough meat for slaughtering.

    ANy guidance would be so appreciated!

  2. NanaKat

    NanaKat Free Ranging Premium Member

    Have you tried posting on the Florida thread in the social section yet?
    There are many breeders in Florida with birds that thrive successfully local to you. These folks could not only advise you, but could be a resource of birds to fill your coop.
  3. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    Try searching "dual purpose breeds" lots of threads should come up to help you find some ideas.
  4. IMO there is nothing wrong with 'hybrid' dual purpose hatchery birds in a sustaining flock over true heritage breeds as most of these more modern dual purpose hybrids produce more eggs and produce more meat then most heritage breeds...

    What you generally want to avoid when creating a self sustaining flock is the highly refined Cornish X meat bird breeds, that have short life expediencies and a high risk of health issues as they mature and they don't breed true...

    Rhode Island Reds will fit your bill well...
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  5. Ifish

    Ifish Chirping

    Feb 28, 2015
    A good dual purpose breed will provide eggs and meat for personal use. It would be better to start with good breeder stock than with hatchery stock. Hatchery stock are good egg layers, but are very lacking in the meat department. Being in Florida, I would contact cpartist on this site. She has some wonderful birds that would have what you're looking for.

    You will have to formulate a breeding plan, and one of your two coops could be set up for breeding. This would give you a good supply of young cockerels and older hens for meat, and refill the laying house with pullets.

    Hatchery chickens are not genetically altered. There are a lot of Hybrids at hatcheries, farms, and backyards alike. Any chicken can be eaten, but only the cornish x's have the plump breasts. Well bred, dual purpose birds have a good amount of meat, but not the super plump breasts.

    Oh [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  6. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    You may want to read these threads.

    And maybe this thread if you decide you want to create your own sex links. The first post contains a lot of useful information.

    Hatchery birds have not been genetically altered, Cornish X included. They are the result of selective breeding programs, just like those with backyard breeder flocks. They just have different goals. Most people order hatchery chicks for layers, so they concentrate on egg laying abilities more so than meat. Private breeders tend to work on the whole package. That being said, a true dual purpose breed will have less meat and take more time to mature than a meat bird, and will lay fewer eggs than you'd get from a production type.
    2 people like this.
  7. kayakfish

    kayakfish Chirping

    Feb 17, 2013
    Cumberland, VA
    DELAWARE is a great ultimate purpose breed, and lay a nice size tinted egg, and process out with a very nice carcuss, for the table.

  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Excellent links and information - agree on all counts.
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    X2 on keesmom's post and Ol Grey Mare's comments; excellent links and information. :eek:)
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Where did you hear that hatchery birds are genetically altered? This is false information. Even the Cornish cross meat birds are not genetically altered, they're simply a result of intense selective breeding.

    Besides the excellent information provided above, you need to first be sure you'll be happy with eating a dual purpose cockerel. Get you hands on some free roosters from Craigslist or the feed store flier section. Butcher them and cook them and see if you like actually eating the meat. Lots of folks are not prepared for how a dp carcass looks, and the same cooking methods one uses on a CX don't always translate well to a more mature bird. Doesn't matter what breed they are, or how pretty they look, if no one in the family wants to eat the meat the birds are useless, and worse, freeloaders.

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