considering meaties


9 Years
Oct 3, 2010
I've been reading here and it looks like Marans are a tasty bird. I saw some others and it boils down to taste and each has their own opinion. We'll probably need to try different ones.

My biggest question is regarding the number of chicks to start with. We're a family of 5, 7 during the summer. I know we ate a lot more beef this past year because we were given a cow to fill our freezer! And a pig, too - but I need a pig with more bacon and less sausage. Anyways.... back to the chickens.

So we haven't eaten much chicken with the cow and pig. I know we'll eat more if we have it in the freezer. How do you go about determining how many chicks? I'm figuring that we'd raise a bunch and then freeze them for the coming year's consumption. Raise/process once and be done with it for a year.

Would one chicken be a complete meal or would we need multiple chickens to feed the family if we were just "grilling out"?

Our other line of thinking is to keep a number of hens for the purpose of laying/hatching more baby meaties to keep us supplied with enough meat. Has anyone done this to shed some light on how many laying hens would be reasonable to keep for the sake of laying/hatching chicks to keep us fed?
First, Hello and Welcome from NE Ohio.

We have a family of five - when we started out, we did 3 batches of meaties (cornish-x's) over the course of the year (25, 35, and 50) to ease into it. The roos were plenty large to suffice for one meal (leftovers were routine). What we found was more effective was to cook 20-30% of the birds up front, either cubing or shredding the meat for quick cassaroles or stuff like soup or tacos. While we had everything out, we made chicken stock too. We ate chicken almost exclusively for 6 weeks and it did get old, but hey, we had full tummies.

A rule of thumb of 2 layers per person should be okay most of the time. We have fourteen active layers and I have enough extra eggs that I sell to cover the cost of feed.
Marans are tasty. No one marans roo will not feed a family of 7. I like the the Marans. I won't raise them solely for meat though, I use the culls after a hatch. Feed them at 27 % protein for 24 weeks. I raise Cornish X for meat. I like it too, much to my surprise. It cures my need to have chicks and they are gone in eight weeks and you can start over and have chickies all spring and all fall, and if you are very careful you can have some in the summer too.

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