Did I make a huge mistake when I ordered my chicks???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Country Gal, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    I placed my order for 25 chicks on the following rationalization: I wanted 1/2 to be egg layers, and 1/2 to be for meat. When I placed my order, the 1/2 I ordered for meat I ordered as males because they are larger than the females. Did I make a huge mistake??? Am I going to have way too many roosters in the coop and is all craziness going to break out??? Or am I safe believing that the chickens will make it to the kitchen table before they become overly protective/dominant/etc.?

    My chicks aren't coming until the end of April, so I think I can still call McMurray and change my order if need be...

    Thanks for your help!

    And one other question, at about what age do roosters start crowing? [​IMG]
  2. pegbo

    pegbo Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    I don't think you made a mistake. You usually butcher meat birds at about 8 weeks so the Roos aren't going to be a problem. Just make sure you feed the meat birds the feed for meat birds and not laying mash. You'll want them to grow fast.
  3. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I wouldn't worry about your meat birds making it to sexual maturity, as most are ready for market at 8 weeks. Just make sure they don't die on you before then. They have a tendency to eat themselves to death. They grow so fast, it seems they grow faster than the egg layers. My friend Denise didn't know what to think when she found her first meat chicken dead, two more followed before they were taken to market. They tend to be alittle piggish, so if you keep your egg layers with your meat birds make sure your egg layers get enough to eat. I don't know exactly when roosters crow,maybe 5 months or so. What kind of egg layers did you ordered. Don't be surprised if a rooster chick didn't slip in. That is how Denise got Jack. He was supose to be a hen. I don't know if this was a mix up with Murray MacMurry or the feed store she got her chicks. Good luck with your birds.
  4. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Thank you so much! I feel much better now...
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    For the males you ordered for meat... did you order Cornish crosses? If you didn't get Cornish cross males for meat... you're going to have a lot of scrawny boys running around for about 4 months if not longer.

    If you want meat at 8 weeks you need to get those meat birds, not just the male counter parts of the layers unless you want to keep them for a long time. They aren't gong to look like store birds eather if they aren't the cornish crosses.

    If you did get 12 Cornish crosses, be prepared to need to butcher them all within a month or so of each other, otherwise they will become too large and have more deaths/health problems.

    What kinds of males did you get? That might be easier to determine what you should do.

    Best of luck!
  6. allen wranch

    allen wranch Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    If you are raising meat birds, you need to separate them from the layers to provide a different diet. If they are the Cornish crosses they need to be separated so you can control their feed intake.
  7. Country Gal

    Country Gal Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Well, since I ordered the male counterparts instead of cornish crosses, I made a few more inquiries and ended up changing my order. I now am expecting 8 Silver Laced Wyandottes (females), 7 Light Brahmas (females), 8 Buff Orpingtons (females), and 1 male of each the Light Brahma and Buff Orpington.

    I'm already dreaming of the possibility of culling out the females in the fall, and keeping the 2 roosters and trying to hatch some eggs...
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    There is a fellow up the road in Skamakowa who farms eggs from pastured chickens. It's an admirable operation he has there, ranging about 800 layers I think in hoop houses. He orders in batches of 200 of identical breeds (barred rocks, red sex link, golden sex link and some kind of black sex link I think). That way he knows when putting the 200 new layers in, he takes out 200 of breed XXX and sends them to auction.

    With every batch of 200, though, about 5% are mis-sexed. I've made a deal with him that if I come help him pull the males out, usually after about 5 or 6 weeks when they start showing, I can have them to do as I please. Now this is easier said than done, in the dark, when the differences between males/females can be slight.

    So where am I going with this?

    Well, I immediately put the males on broiler starter/finisher, while the chickens that remain behind are on starter or developer. Usually two weeks after I get the first batch, there will be 2 or 3 more males which appear and I go get those too.

    The difference between the birds on broiler feed versus the new arrivals who had been on developer is shocking. You couldn't even guess they were form the same hatch because of the bulk differential.

    So, as noted above, if you want meat birds, get them on the right food quickly!

    As for my deal with the farmer, it's usually not worth the gas money to drive 90 minutes to an auction to sell 10 or 15 males (or at least not the time). So we get free 'meat' birds a couple times each year, although they're no cornish crosses. But you'd be surprised how tasty coq au vin is with a properly finished barred rock male.

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