First Year almost Completed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cattleman999, May 13, 2011.

  1. cattleman999

    cattleman999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I am taking time to reflect on the last 10 months today. I purchased my first 6 hens last July and today there is just over 200 chickens here. My wife goes around muttering something about a mental institution. I don't know what she is talking about. She doesn't understand chicken math I guess. Today we are up to 50+ laying hens, 50 CX that are less than a month from freezer camp and 102 DP roos arrived yesterday. This is my third batch of CX and while I appreciate how quiclky they make freezer camp, I don't have the best luck raising them. I usually have death losses in the excess of 10% for various reasons. I am trying the DP roos to see if there is a difference in flavor and if I find some that are satisfactory as far as growth and size I will probably convert my laying hens to that particular breed as the current hens age out. More and more the idea of something that is sustainable is appealing to me. I would like to have a self sustaining flock that will keep us in eggs and meat. The DP roos I have are barred rock, buff orpington, silver laced wyandotte, and rhode island reds. Does anyone have any idea what I can expect on the grow out times and carcass traits for these breeds? I am not real concerned with how long it will take since I am only raising these for our consumption I just would like an idea of how long they will take to get to a decent size. On another note, I do hope that we don't see the same percent increase in the coming year that we have seen in the last year.[​IMG]
     
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    I have prettty much followed the same path and thought, although I am a few years ahead of you. I did not like the DP for eating, they took so long to grow out to a decent weight and even then the bone to meat ratio was off. Also as you grow a bird past 20 weeks the get fine "hairs" that don't come off with the plucker - not attractive on the table. also I found the resting time for a bird that much older was far longer - something I never respected and therefor often had tough meat. If I try something diffferent again it will be caponizing . . . that is tempting me greatly. However in the meantime I have gotten better at raising CX which I like more with every batch. Next year we are going to put in a permanent run for them with auto lights, auto feed & auto water.
     
  3. cattleman999

    cattleman999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    I am going to rebuild my tractor for my meaties this weekend. I built one from pvc and a tarp and I am not satisified with it. It tends to blow around in heavy winds and doesn't seem to provide the birds as much protection as somehing more like the Salatin syle. That is what I going to build this weekend. I don't think I could stand to clean up after the CX in a permanent run. I would be curious though as to how you build it and how it turns out.
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Question: What does DP stand for?
     
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With 102 DP roosters, your wife will have NO trouble waking up at 3:00 am. in a few weeks. [​IMG] Be prepared to experience life in the dog house. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. cattleman999

    cattleman999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    Quote:DP stands for dual purpose or chickens that some use for meat and egg production.
     
  7. cattleman999

    cattleman999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    Quote:My thoughts are to start processing them once they start crowing and continue doing so until I have them all processed hopefully by 20 to 24 weeks. My initial thoughts were to start around 16 weeks and end by 24. That should give me a good idea as to the differences in carcass traits at the different ages. I am hoping the crowing doesn't start much before 16 weeks but we just planted a huge garden so we need to get an early start on the day anyway to tend to that. My wife has made a remarkeable adjustment to living in the country. She grew up a city girl but now is quite comfortable helping with all the chores except the proceesing. We have two horses and 3 bottle goats at the moment to go along with the chickens. A couple of days ago we had a severe T-Storm blow through and it was blowing my tractor around so we were outside in the pouring rain trying to take care of them. She was wearing flip flops and soaked to the bone so she went ahead and helped feed the goats and the horses once we secured the chickens. I looked over and she is walking through the horse pen which was a sloppy mess by this time in those flip flops and I thought to myself then that there was no way under the sun that her mother or sister would be caught dead doing something like that. I definitely picked a gem. I jokingly told her, on another occassion when she was washing eggs to be sold, that there were women everywhere that would love a chance to have the life she has.
     
  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    you better seriously tell her that there are men everywhere who would love to be her husband!
     
  9. cattleman999

    cattleman999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I tell her all the time that everything good in my life revolves around her.
     
  10. FarmerRob

    FarmerRob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I think you will be disappointed with these as meat birds. They are going to be much more expensive to raise due to the slow grow out time and the need to feed them every day. They are not going to give you the meat you have gotten with the Cornish x. The loss rate you had is not uncommon with the C x. I think you may well wind up with lots of mini-chickens in the freezer.

    If you want a meat bird that grows out well to a good size and doesn't have all the lethargy and health issues of the C x, I suggest you look at the Freedom Rangers from JM Hatchery. They take a little longer to finish than the C x but nothing like your DPs will. Therefore they are going to give you more meat for much less food costs.

    BTW the crowing won't just be in the early morning. It will go on throughout the day and with some it may go on beyond that. Your wife may decide to help you dispatch them after listening to 100 crowing Roos.
     

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