Hatchery choice?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by orrpeople, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. orrpeople

    orrpeople Overrun With Chickens

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    Ordering Cornishx this fall (will probably try something different in spring) - Does anyone have particular hatchery choices?
    Thank you so much for you input!!
     
  2. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    McMurray Hatchery is the only hatchery that I have ordered from. They have great customer service (they will send you more chicks if some of yours die in a certain amount of days) and overall they have great stock!
     
  3. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've bought every meat bird available from McMurray (Pioneer, chef, Red Ranger, Cornish X), they have great healthy chicks, and honestly the Cornish X was my favorite!
     
  4. vonrow

    vonrow Out Of The Brooder

    We've been working with Cackle Hatchery. We opt for the "fry pan" special; 100 birds -4 different breeds usually, with 5 random (freeby) exotic chicks tossed in. This year we ended up with a pair of Cochins, a Spitzhauben, a Sultan, and some other hen I have yet to ID. We are pretty stoked over the Spitz rooster and the two Cochies -as they are a male and female pair. (and HUGE size wise) The Sultan was lost to an Owl but the other 4 have been added to our Layer and breeder flocks. Looking forward to a buncha feather-footed-fuzzballs next spring.

    The 4 breeds of meat birds this year were Red Rangers, Cackle's own Red heritage line, Dominicks, and what looked like a White Cornish. The white birds were not crossed, and they didn't grow fast. The Heritage line and the Dominicks dress out with the largest birds coming in at over 6 pounds. The other 2 breeds were about 4 to 4.5 pounds once dressed out. The freezer is full and we still have 5 Doms and a half dozen of our own hatched meat birds to process yet.
     
  5. orrpeople

    orrpeople Overrun With Chickens

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  6. orrpeople

    orrpeople Overrun With Chickens

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    How old were they when you were able to process them?
     
  7. vonrow

    vonrow Out Of The Brooder

    How old were they... oh, good question. We also raise our own birds starting with hatches around April-ish. The ones from Cackle were shipped to us on the end of May this year. We started processing sizeable birds at the end of July and all through August, doing a couple dozen each weekend. We still have 5 Doms left but we haven't done them just yet because they are keeping the last half dozen or so birds from our incubators company. Once those guys are up to size in the next week or two we will finish em all out. Over all, I would say an average of 3 months is what we shoot for. You could do it in less time by limiting their movement and raising the amount of feed each day. We range our birds and try not to over-feed the guys so it takes us a little longer.

    Oh, I forgot to note that Cackle adds at least one freeby "packing peanut" per 25 birds -in the event that there are any D.O.A birds. This year they dropped 7 packing peanuts into our shipment, heh. (so the tally goes: 100 choice, +the 5 exotics, +7peanuts =112 birds) We have been using Cackle for a few years now, and have yet see even one death when the birds arrive. A little cold sometimes, sure -but this is northern MN and winter never really goes away up here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  8. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is really good to know because I assumed that the fry pan special was roosters of all breeds they sold but it sounds like you had good results. Dumb question, can keep them from fighting with hens on the property?
     
  9. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the Roos are in a bachelor pad, where they can't see the hens they don't know what to fight over.
     
  10. vonrow

    vonrow Out Of The Brooder

    For the most part, yes, they are all roosters. Over the years we have found an odd pullet or two tossed into the mix. Weather those are the packing peanuts or not I can't say. The girls we do find can be counted on one hand. This year we only had 2 hens in the whole 100+ shipment. An owl snatched one early in the summer while the 2nd one we added to our layer flock once the boys figured out who/what she was. The funny thing was that she kept jumpin the fence to get back with the guys -who were all to eager to see her again! But we convinced her to stay with the ladies after a few days. As far as fights go, our bachelors get almost 2 acres of pasture to range around in and be good ol boys until harvest. There are the series of stand-offs and the usual pecking order, but no blood, gore, or injuries. (even with the lil lady who kept sneaking back in)
     

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