first timer looking for info!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by birdbrain5, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2010
    i'd really like to get some chickens to raise for meat. we are trying to become more self sufficient and eat more healthy home grown foods. i have no clue where to start when it comes to doing this, is there a good book out there that will have all the info i need? i dont plan to do the butchering myself yet, i hope to be able to do this in time but not quite yet, so i will have to find someone to do that for me. as far as raising the birds i have a few questions:
    -if i order chicks from a hatchery, what is the best breed to go with? i dont really understand 'roasters' 'fryers' and terms like that. i figure i will keep some of them whole to oven cook, and have some cut up.
    -which is the easiest breed to raise for meat? dual purpose breeds or specific meat breeds?
    -can i let them free range so i get a real 'organic raised chicken'? so i have to supplement with feed and if so, what do you all feed to get the most chemical free meat in the end?
    -if i order chicks, do i order males or females? does it make a difference?

    is there anything else i need to do/give them when raising, anything specific?
     
  2. txreddirtgirl

    txreddirtgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Decatur, Tx
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Whether or not you can free range depends upon your predator pressure, the size of your property, and the amount of traffic. Better to have them fenced inside a large area, in my opinion. Then they are safer and can still eat plants and bugs and won't get hit by cars or killed by dogs. They will probably need something much more secure at night.

    Cornish Cross, Rosambros, Kosher Kings, Freedom Rangers are hybrids designed to make a lot of meat for a minimum of feed in a short time period. That's the most economical way to get good home raised meat.

    To get chemical free meat (what does that mean, anyway?)...... To get organic meat, you will have to buy certified organic feed and keep your chicken area free from pesticides and herbicides.

    Roaster broiler fryer has to do with the size of the bird when it is butchered.

    Straight run (mix of sexes) chicks are cheaper. Males will grow larger. Females probably don't eat any more feed per pound of meat, but they will be smaller.

    Breeds of chicken that aren't specifically bred to produce meat will grow much slower and use more feed to produce a pound of meat. They will be butchered much later to give them time to grow.
     
  4. chickendidwhat

    chickendidwhat Out Of The Brooder

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    We raised Freedom Rangers and they did very well. There is nothing special to raising meat birds, give them food (we feed non-GMO feed ) and water and shelter. We raised the Freedom Rangers in a tractor and they did fine. I personally don't like Cornish X but obviously a lot of people raise them and they are the standard for meat birds. This year we tried White Giants and they simply aren't getting meaty enough.

    Do you know where you will have them processed? Are the processing plants readily available in your area? We are in central Indiana and we don't have much for chicken processing - we do our own.


    Greg
    www.thissmallfarm.com
     

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