For Self Sufficiency?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ChelC, May 1, 2008.

  1. ChelC

    ChelC Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new to chickens and just starting with layers. We will be raising up and butchering the extra roos.

    We have the chickens for various reasons, one being self sufficiency. I would like to raise meat birds, but from everything I've read, I need cornish x to really be worth my while and they don't live for breeding. So if I'd like to be able to breed my own birds for meat, would I be better off dealing with the less cost efficient roos of my dual purpose breeds? Is there a good breeding pair you'd recommend for meat birds that will live healthy enough to breed out? Do they tend to be more aggressive and would they need to be housed apart from my regular laying flock?

    I'm having a hard time searching for this info. I do not want to simply buy x's every year because it's more cost efficient, but I also don't want to waste a ton of money.
     
  2. StoneBridge Farm

    StoneBridge Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The crosses are the standard, however, the Delaware are birds that get larger quickly, though not as quick as the crosses. Many people like the older breeds as well. Another fine dual purpose bird is the Buff Orpington. They are a heavy breed, but take longer to get to butchering weight. For your first time I would purchase straight runs.
    A great site is polyface farm. Joel Salatin is the master at broilers. I highly recommend his book, Pastured Poultry Profits... another good book by him is You Can Farm. Chicken tractor is another great book.
    I will be growing my first broilers this season as well. Good luck!

    SBF [​IMG]
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:If you are breeding hens, you'll have to deal with using the surplus cockrels for meat. They're not ideal for meat purposes, though. No purebreed is a good meat producer compared to hybrids

    Quote:Get yourself a couple Dark Cornish roosters then breed them to whatever hens you are raising. They will make decent meat crosses and you can truly be self sufficient then.

    Quote:Broilers are not aggressive. But, you will need to separate them since broilers have different nutritional requirements from hens. You also don't want your older roosters harassing your broilers as they're growing to market weight.

    Quote:It is more cost efficient to buy the day old broilers; but I agree it's not nearly as fun as doing the science yourself. All I can predict is you will waste a ton of money raising heavy breed cockrels. You probably be better off doing your own backyard crossbreeding, though.

    I have relatives in the UK who have Indian Game (Cornish) roosters. They leave them with their layers, then when they fancy doing a crop of meat birds all the eggs will already be fertile with the correct sire and ready to incubate.
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I raised Barred Rocks for meat once. I guess, I really wouldn't do it again. They just aren't really satisfying to me, because I love a whole roasted chicken. Even plump roosters of any purebreed are scrawny with the keel sticking way out of the breast.


    Quote:Those are awesome resources. Just don't take everything he says as gospel. Use it as a base for your system of meat birds, don't clone his as he has some dubious ideas in there IMO.


    Quote:Awesome! [​IMG]

    Raising a bit of your own food is something everyone ought do.
     
  5. StoneBridge Farm

    StoneBridge Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Greyfields:

    Thank you, and yes I am using him as my "muse". I have thought about going over to VA to his farm day... but at $90 a pop... that seems a bit expensive. I have also been to your website many a time. I rather enjoy it! That is what I am striving for. We also purchased our first pigs for butcher. They are yorkshire/Durek crosses. They should reach around 250# by fall, however, mine might come up short. I am trying to use veggies and grass... and supplement with grain. And trying to find a place that will custom mix around me is crazy!!!

    SBF
     
  6. chcknrs

    chcknrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    FYI, Greyfields does free tours, as long as you buy some eggs! [​IMG]
    Actually I think he would do the tour anyway, if you came all the way from Ohio. I am trying to get DH out there this next egg run, so he can see how easy it is to get good food from your own land.
    I bought fryer chicks from MMH, now I think I may not be so happy with them, but it will be a good experience, and then I will go from there!
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Pigs Rock. I mean. Seriously. Pigs make the farm go round. You got laze and forgot to weed the brocolli? No problem, pigs will eat it. You didn't sell that last dozen eggs at the market? No problem, pigs will eat it. No one would take your free squash and zuccinni at work? No problem, pigs will eat it.

    If you have weaner pigs this month, they will gain very well over the Summer. Mine are always ready within 6 months.
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I look forward to your next egg run. Just give me a day's notice, so I'll be sure to have washed eggs that day so you can get the freshest possible.

    The mud is lessening, the waters receding. I think there is no way we'll be selling this Friday at the market, as I'm swamped with work. But, things are looking good for meat early June (lamb, chicken) then beef later in June.
     

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