How do I keep from getting attached?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by savingdogs, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    So last year we got dual purpose birds and love raising chickens! We are doing excellent on the eggs and need all these layers for our egg customers.
    We plan on hatching chicks next year and eating the cockerels, but that will not supply our family, we eat chicken about every other night.

    I'd like to raise a meat chicken that I could order from a hatchery, keep in tractors, then butcher all the males save one and keep the hens to raise some of my own next year (even if I had to use an incubator or other broody hens, I have several that go broody).

    What breed would I want.....and something that we wouldn't get as ATTACHED to would be good. We just plain like our current chickens too much to see them as dinner.

    We have raised and eaten our own muscovy ducks so it isn't that we are squemish, but our Buff Orpingtons and RIRs are just too nice and friendly to think of chopping off their heads.

    I know about not naming them.......but what else do you do when they come as adorable chicks?????? Y'all must be using a thought process I need to develop, share it with me!
  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    I had a real hard time (at first) with butchering our chickens that were egg layers or roos and had names....but, I go through a process of narrowing down who needs to go like all the roos born throughout the broody season (of course this takes a couple weeks of psyching myself up for it) , the hens that lay wherever they want instead of the nest boxes, the ones who can't do this or can't do that, who is really getting on in age, etc.. Then I think about how much food cost will be saved once I've comprised my list of who possibly will be getting processed, and I also tell myself how happy they have been here with me. I then think of the nice (quick) meals from the chicken that I'll be able to make in the winter. It sure is a process, both physically and psychologically, but when it's done, you can have this over the winter...........This is 9 roos from my flock ..........


    Since you've raised and butchered your own ducks, I know you can definitely get into the mindset of processing your own chickens. I have a pen where I put the ones to be processed for about a week before I process them so that I can feed them the way that I want and can change my mind if I want to. It's easier to see the flock without these birds in it before hand if you're concerned about missing them. After a couple of days of NOT seeing them with the flock you may change your mind and decide that you want to keep 1 or more....but it gives you time to decide. Hope that helps alittle [​IMG]
  3. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    I run a meat bird market here and what I do is I actually treat the meaties the exact same as any other bird I even name them. Chicken fried chicken, Chicken dumpling, chicken ala king, ect. anyhow my meaties follow me around the yard every step I take there there with me. I believe that a happy bird is a happy meal. Just remember before you ever buy them that these are for food reguardless and I would go with a CxR less time for you to be attached as they can dress 4 lbs in just 6-8 weeks

    Edited typo
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  4. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Easy- raise Cornish X's. They are only cute for about a week, and they're butchered in 8 weeks so it's tough to get attached to them.
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Yes, raise CX and know that you gave them a good life while they were here and that you are saving them from an imminent painful natural death.
  6. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do you have to buy new ones from the hatchery the next year then? What they grow so fast they self destruct? How does one make more?
  7. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    CX are ready is 6-8 weeks. I've raised them for 2 years now and I raised so many this year (for our family) and had so many extra chickens to process around the yard that I'll probably be able to skip the CX next year. Yes, sometimes they can grow too fast and their legs give out on them. If you've heard the word Frankechicken here on the forum, that's what people are referencing [​IMG] Granted, they do provide you with a much meatier chicken without comparison, but they cannot reproduce themselves and you cannot breed them to breed true. They would need to be bought as chicks every year.

    I let my flock girls go broody if they want and this is where some of my "extras" come from. Like I said though, I raised CX's for 2 years now and our stock is pretty well built up in the chicken department. I hope that helps [​IMG]
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you are going for the meaties, I'd buy them from the hatcheries. It is so much easier. I once thought they are hybrids, but somebody posted a link to a Canadian video about breeding meaties that really opened my eyes. Due to a computer crash, I lost that link. The way the commercial operations do it is to severely limit the feed intake of the breeding birds. It's a little more complicated than that. To get the impressive birds they get, they have 4 separate flocks, each one producing the parents of either the father or mother of the parents of the breeding birds, them 2 more flocks made up of that offspring which then produce still another flock, which is the actual parents of the meaties.

    You would not need to get that sophisticated. You could keep just one separate flock to produce the meaties and you would still get impressive birds, but without the careful breeding they do, your birds may not be quite as impressive as the commercial ones. The difficulty comes in of feeding them enough to keep them alive and healthy without allowing them to get so big they cannot mate or that they die of heart attack or physically just break down.

    I don't have a good way to tell you how to not get attached. I know when I hatch chicks that the majority are going to be meat birds and will not be part of my laying/breeding flock. I grew up butchering chickens for my mom so that is not hard for me to do. If you are not used to it, yeah, it can be tough. I raise dual purpose birds for meat and eggs, hatching my own. I go through a process of eating the ones that I don't want added to my permanent flock a lot like Chicks4kids. I want meat birds so I eat the smaller ones first, leaving the big ones to breed. If any exhibit traits I don't like, whether physical or behavioral, they help make my selection easy. For example, I have one that lays a lot of eggs, but the eggs don't hatch. Although her eggs are ferilized when I check them, they don't make it all the way to hatch, so she is history when she starts the molt this year and quits laying. I had one that was an egg eater. She went quickly. I never really enjoy doing the deed, even with the egg eater, but it is part of why I keep chickens so I do it.

    I don't know that this helps. Good luck!
  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
  10. Mishiveous

    Mishiveous Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2010
    You just have to treat them like livestock. No names, no hand taming, no cuddling. I am kind to my chickens and they don't run screaming in fright when I come out, but I am just the food bringer.

    If there is a particular chicken I like they get a reprieve. Only one has ever been elevated to naming status (Floppy Comb because she has a ..well...floppy comb). She is the lone survivor of two separate dog attacks so I figured she deserves to live to a ripe old age.

    Its easier if they are mean roos [​IMG]

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