Dilemma w my breeds of chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NormaJeanChickenQueen, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. NormaJeanChickenQueen

    NormaJeanChickenQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2011
    Hi-- I am a new member and a new "chicken queen". I have 4 chickens-- one is a buff Orpington that I got at 2-3 days old. Actually, I got 3, but two died within 24 hours. I went to my tractor supply to get 2 more, but they were being sold at a minimum of 6 and I didn't want that many. The store clerk directed me to the parking lot, where a man was selling chickens out of his truck. He sold me 3 white pullets, probably a month old, but he didn't know what kind they were. I know I should have been smarter about this, but I wasn't.

    I believe the 3 white hens, one is laying brown eggs, are "meaties" because they are HUGE and eat all the time. Dixie, the buff orp, is much smaller and very quick.

    The dilemma-- I want the chickens for eggs, not meat. Are the 3 big ones gonna eat me out of house and home? I would not be comfortable eating them Being as it is almost August, is this the wrong time to try to get more (smaller) chicks ? Would probably prefer bantams.....the chickens are more like pets, but I'm just not sure which way I should go. I don't really want more than 3 or 4 chickens

    Thanks for any advice/ suggestions
     
  2. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Post pictures of your truck chickens in the "What Breed or Gender is This?" section and we'll do our best to let you know what you have on your hands.
     
  3. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Hi,
    I actually hatched "meat" chickens for a 4H project. Not knowing they were meaties when I decided to hatch them well withing weeks they were HUGE in a few months they were so big they could hardly walk and just layed in front of the feeder all day. My advice to you is to probably get rid of them to someone who eats them because if not they will eat themselves to death.

    The reason they eat so much is the steroids that are injected into them that make them grow fast and have huge breastes. ( I perosnally thinks is EXTREMELY cruel!).

    Hope you figure something out. [​IMG]
     
  4. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, it sounds like you got 2 broilers. They are sweet chickens, but they have an extremely short lifespan of about 6-12 weeks. [​IMG] You can try and put them on craigslist and trade both of them for one younger pullet. That is probably your best bet. Do a search on here for broilers, and you'll see what I mean. Eventually, your buff is going to be alone again. You need to find her a friend.

    Good luck,

    Shelly
     
  5. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2009
    Central Ohio
    If you do have meaties they most likely are a Cornish X (cross), which is a hybrid, not a 'true' breed--they were bred to grow rapidly and turn food into meat in a short period of time, which means they cost less than the dual purpose breeds that take a bit longer to reach the same size because they don't have to be fed for as long. Steroids have nothing to do with the hybrid bird's insatiable appetite--they were bred to eat constantly and grow large quickly. I've read of tender-hearted folks who want to give them a long life and have raised them well beyond the usual age of butchering (around 8 weeks), up to a year or a little beyond, but they do tend to have health problems (may have under-developed lungs, not fully feathered as their protein goes to meat not feathers, joint problems,etc.)...bottom line, if you have meaties they might not be the best choice for companion birds for your lonely girl, so don't feel bad if you re-home them to someone who uses them for the reason they were bred...post some pics and I'm sure a lot of folks could clear up any doubt.
    Best of luck and welcome!
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    The reason they eat so much is the steroids that are injected into them that make them grow fast and have huge breastes. ( I perosnally thinks is EXTREMELY cruel!).

    I don't know who informed you of this but it is not true. [​IMG]

    Your large white pullets could be White Rock hens, particularly if they are laying brown eggs, though WRs aren't known too much for eating all the time or for moving slower than BOs. It would be great if you posted pics of these birds. Do they get up on your roosts? Meaties won't even attempt roosting, IME, unless your roosts are nearly on the ground.

    I wouldn't sweat it if they are CX hens, just process them for dinner and advertise that you want a few laying age hens...someone is always selling out there.​
     
  7. sred98

    sred98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Quote:I don't know who informed you of this but it is not true. [​IMG]

    Your large white pullets could be White Rock hens, particularly if they are laying brown eggs, though WRs aren't known too much for eating all the time or for moving slower than BOs. It would be great if you posted pics of these birds. Do they get up on your roosts? Meaties won't even attempt roosting, IME, unless your roosts are nearly on the ground.

    I wouldn't sweat it if they are CX hens, just process them for dinner and advertise that you want a few laying age hens...someone is always selling out there.

    Actually, I had a CornishX that we let go a little longer than normal. He was about 6 months old and he figured out really quick that the pigs had the best food and a small pen. I went out this past winter and he was roosting on the pigs! I guess he climbed up on them when they were sleeping and he'd stay on them while they walked around! It was really cute. The pigs didn't mind him at all and he loved it. He was raised by a broody and free-ranged until he figured out the pig pen idea. When he started having trouble walking (limping) he went to "freezer camp". Well, that and the fact that he tried to start breeding some of my slower girls and I was afraid he was going to hurt them!

    But, you mentioned one laying eggs? Are you sure it's not the buff? They lay brown eggs. I doubt that the meaties are laying eggs, yet. Like others have mentioned, please post a picture of their body and feet. A frontal full body would be really helpful!

    Shelly
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  8. NormaJeanChickenQueen

    NormaJeanChickenQueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2011
    Wow--- thanks for all your replies. I will take some pictures, but as a newbie, may not be allowed to post them yet. I will post as soon as I can tho.

    I really think one of the white hens is laying-- she is the only one going in the nesting box, which is on the ground. They can walk very slowly and make no attempt to roost. They would never be able to get up on one. The BO is not quite 4 months old, so isn't that too young to be laying?

    I figure the truck chickens are maybe 5-6 months old, got them mid April and they already had lots of feathers. Their feet and legs are huge. So are they already past a normal life Span? One of my dogs weighs 10 lbs and I know these chickens are heavier than she is!

    Sigh-- will have to get rid of them, I guess. Will still post pics, thanks for all your replies.
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Definitely sounds like CX hens to me. Advertise them for someone who may want them for food? Anyone who raises chickens to sell knows exactly what breed they are selling....don't be fooled next time, huh? [​IMG]
     
  10. Flawedatdesign

    Flawedatdesign Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2011
    Dixon Missouri
    Maybe see if you can't work out a trade for some chicks.
     

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