Hens or straight run?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by freerange freaks, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. freerange freaks

    freerange freaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I will be placing my first order for chicks and I need some help. The breeder asked if I wanted to order all hens or straight run. At a day old, how does he tell if the chicks are male or female?
    The breeds I have chosen are: Golden and Silver laced Wyandottes, Buff Chantelacer(sp?), Speckled Sussex and Americaunas. I want to end up with 36 hens for next October. I do have more space in the warmer months with my chicken tractors. I will also want 25 meat birds. Should I just order straight run and use the roosters as my meat birds? Would they be big enough? Or should I order hens?

    Jennifer.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Just order hens. Meat birds are special and if you grow out those roosters for 5 months, they probably would not weigh as much as your 8 week cornish x meat bird, and be much tougher and stringier... Good if that is the type of meat you like, not so good if you are used to store type meat. I'm sure you'll end up with a few roos even with "pullets" ordered, so I'd get 40-45 pullets for safe measure.
     
  3. freerange freaks

    freerange freaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Thank you very much for the advice. I don't want to hatch any babies yet, so when there are little chicks that turn out to be roosters should I keep any at all? Do the hens lay better or are they happier when there is a rooster around? Or does it make no difference to them?
     
  4. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2007
    how much space do you have? they say that you should have at least 9 hens for each roo. if you have the space i think roosters are neat. they are big and pretty and full of funny roo-tude. i 'spose it just comes down to personal preference in the end.
    also, if you want to incubate your own eggs you need a roo (obviously).
    silkiechicken is right on about the ordering though. from what i've read no matter what you order you will end up with a few roos anyway so there ya go!

    have fun and post pics!
     

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