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Considering raising chickens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SuseyQ, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2016
    Hi,
    I'm just getting into quail breeding and I'm considering getting into chickens. I'm in a suburban area so I doubt roosters would work at all for us. I'd like to raise chickens for meat and their eggs. Does anyone have any suggestions for doing this when you have limited space and can't have roosters d/t neighbors? What is a reliable breed for meat and eggs? What breeds are calm and not mean? At what age should the hens be culled and should I have a different meat bird than egg bird?

    Thank you in advance,
    SuseyQ
     
  2. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal Premium Member

    I don't know much about meat birds, but I do know about egg layers. One breed that is good for meat and eggs is the Buff Orpington. They are super sweet and we love the two that we have. They are quiet so they would be good for a suburban area. They are also very pretty. Another breed is the Rhode Island Red. I have heard that they can be friendly but the one we have is skittish and and kind of territorial. I hope this helps you a bit and if you have more questions feel free to ask. :)
     
  3. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    henny1129,
    I grew up with Rhode Island Reds, Bantams and Leghorns, but they were my sisters "pets". I know nothing about them to speak of. Do you keep your breeds together or separate?

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  4. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal Premium Member

    We keep all of our breeds together and they do well. There is the occasional peck from the older hens at the younger birds but that is bound to happen. It can get more aggressive when you introduce new birds into an already established flock, but they all eventually work it out and become friends. I also thought about another breed that might fit your needs: the Buckeye. They are good egg layers and really good meat birds. We have one that is a bit skittish but once you pick her up she is a sweetheart. We also got this bird at 6 weeks of age though and she had little human contact. The chicks you raise from a couple days old are always the best. The Buckeye is a rare breed though so you would probably have to order them online opposed to going to a co-op or TSC and picking them out. :)
     
  5. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    henny1129,
    Thank you for the ideas. I just realized another need would be that they are heat tolerant. I had a spot with a little shade that I was considering, but I realized they will need some dirt, most likely so that's not ideal. I'll keep thinking on this. From what I've read the Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds seem like good bets.

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  6. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal Premium Member

    Yes, those are good choices and the Leghorns are excellent layers. I believe both are heat tolerant so that will work well. :) As far as where to keep them that would be suitable, you had good thinking to give them some dirt. However, if there is no other place to put them that will be suitable the chickens can scratch around and make some dirt for themselves.
     
  7. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2016
    henny1129,
    I'm glad these will work. If they will scratch to make their own dirt I guess we are okay. I guess they can always eat the bugs and seeds from the grass area. Are either of these good for meat? The only problem I see is that you wouldn't really want to kill good egg producers at 90 days, right? You'd only kill the roosters at 90 days, I suspect.

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  8. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal Premium Member

    The Leghorns are rather small, so probably not the best for meat, however extremely good for eggs. The Rhode Island Reds are good meat birds. They start laying eggs when they are 20-30 weeks old. However you won't be getting a constant amount of eggs for a couple more weeks. Also the Rhode Island Reds aren't as good egg layers as the Leghorns so they would probably be the best for meat.
     
  9. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2016
    henny1129,
    I'm read so much conflicting information. I heard that RIRed were some of the best egg layers. Is there one good solid source of information you can recommend that doesn't contain a lot of conflicting information?

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  10. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal Premium Member

    I think that a lot of people have many different opinions of the Rhode Island Reds, so they write what they think in articles. The truth is that Rhode Island Reds are good for what you make them for. If you feed them the layer pellets which has more calcium in it, they will lay more eggs. If you feed them higher protein market feed, they will get bigger and be better meat birds. However, if you end up feeding your different breeds different feeds, you probably would have to separate them (which I did not think about when I responded earlier). Our RIR is ginormous and would be a great market bird. Here is a link that talks about the history of the RIR, it has some valuable information about the breed too:http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens/history-rhode-island-red-chickens/
     

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