Housing dual purpose birds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by colinml, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. colinml

    colinml New Egg

    Dec 30, 2009
    When housing dual purpose birds, in this case, Barred Plymouth Rocks, are the layers housed seperately from the ones intended for the freezer? From the reading I've done so far, it looks like there are some reasons to have completely seperate facilities, but I don't see lots of people talking about having multiple coops. Can someone clarify the issues for me, so I can do a little more research?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  2. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was wondering the same thing. Right now I feed different protein rations to my layers than I do meat birds. But I only have experience with Cornish as meat birds.

    Lots of people say that dual-purpose heritage breeds get fed a lot higher protein ration that I am feeding now. Is that for eggs? Weight gain?? Or breeding success???
  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    We don't separate ours. We don't feed our differently either though. Sometimes, DH puts up a temporary fence to separate the ones he is gonna butcher that day from the others (so they aren't eating just before he butchers them). Other times, he doesn't even do that though and deals with the consequences (full intestines).

    Edited: CARS we feed all of ours 16% layer pellets, but are changing them over to 20% breeder pellets. If they are young (not laying yet) we feed them grower's feed, which is about 20% give or take a few percent. The roos eat whatever the hens of the same age are eating. s for comparing to what a Cornish is fed...no clue since I only raise dual-purpose. We occasionally give scratch as a treat, so the 16% is too low for our flock. We are getting broken feathers and feather eating, so that is why we are increasing. We will be hatching a few eggs as well this spring too, so we figure a breeder pellet is probably a good idea.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  4. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    From what I know, dual purpose birds are kept as layers, and such should be quite healthy on a layer pellet. I can't see any reason why not to mix them, The big advantage in the dual purpose bird over the standard layer such as a ISA Brown, is that you get a bigger chicken for the table when thier laying drops off. They may not lay as many eggs overall, but the layers are all most useless as even a stew bird when they are done.

    Now if you were raising strictly meat birds, I could see not mixing them, as they do eat a different feed. As well your coop would get filthy much faster, as you don't usually free range meat birds, and they produce a ton of poop. As well meat birds are raised from day old chicks, which you wouldn't want to mix with mature layers. Different coop needs altogeather.

    I would just keep the Barred Rocks with your regular layers, and feed them the same stuff.

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