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Continuous Chicken Flock for meat & eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MrsPorter, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. MrsPorter

    MrsPorter New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    I have read books from the library and searched online but I can't find a resource on how to grow meat and eggs from the same flock and have the chickens reproduce to replenish the flock for the next year. I am interested in learning how to raise my chickens to supply my family with eggs and meat all year until Spring when they have babies. I live in Arizona and I am looking at ordering 18 Buff Orpington's hens and 2 roosters. I was going to get all the same breed to avoid cross breading. Chickens can't survive too many summers here and I would like to harvest the ones that don't go broody or more then two years old plus roosters. Can anyone recommend a resource on how to successfully do that?
     
  2. JHorn91180

    JHorn91180 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    Northeast KY
    Not sure what u r asking. If u hatch and raise chicks annually from your flock then that's how u replenish it. U keep some back as breeders and layers for next year. I would invest in an incubator to help u out.
     
  3. MrsPorter

    MrsPorter New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Yes, but maybe I am making it harder then it seems. Is it that easy? All I need to do is make sure I have enough layers and breeders for the next year?

    I guess I am worried about inbreeding and crossbreeding. Does it actually work? How many do I need to start with? I have only raised chickens for eggs in the past and I want to make sure I am doing everything right.
     
  4. JHorn91180

    JHorn91180 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    Northeast KY
    Works fine for birds for so many generations but always good to add new blood in every couple years. U will figure out how many u need by trial and error as u do this to keep your family fed and have a flock going.
     
  5. MrsPorter

    MrsPorter New Egg

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    Mar 19, 2013
    It has been on my mind for sometime and you were able to simplify it for me. I am ordering my chicks this week. Thank you!
     
  6. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Battle Ground, WA
    Google for Rotational Line Breeding will help you with this. It's a little more involved but if you're only hatching for yourself for a short time each year it wouldn't be that much extra work and the inbreeding risks are less. Basics are set up multiple breeding pens, the first year mark every bird, mark the chicks as they hatch (toe punch, wing bands, whatever as long as you know what pen they came from) females stay in same pen (All females hatched from pen 1 will only ever go in pen 1 for breeding etc) while the males rotate each year (pen 1 males go to pen 2, then pen 3 the next year, then pen 4 and so on and so on however many you make) Doesn't have to be the same breeders just so long as the "family" is the same. (i.e. in year three the male in your third pen will be a male that came from pen 1 even if it's a cockerel that hatched from pen 1 the previous year. and all the females in pen 3 are females that hatched from pen 3 regardless of age).

    Where it gets complicated is selecting the traits you want every year and not breeding from birds that have traits you don't want. My old 4H leader taught me no matter what breeding method you use you will only have what you tolerate. If you breed from poor layers or constantly ill birds that's what you'll have. If you breed from slow growing fowl that's what you'll have. So on and so on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013

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