How many birds do we need .....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mamichi, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. mamichi

    mamichi Out Of The Brooder

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    .....if we want to eat one chicken a week? We have decided to get some Buff Orpingtons for eggs and meat, but we are clueless as to how many chicks we should start with. We don't have a coop yet, and will make its size according to how many birds we need to get started.

    Any advice?

    thanks [​IMG]

    Margaret
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  2. Tn Gamebirds

    Tn Gamebirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:well you will need 52 the first year since there is 52 weeks in the year:lol: [​IMG]

    And welcome to BYC
     
  3. big greg barker

    big greg barker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, you will have to start with only 25, since that is the number that most hatcheries ship as a minimum. If you get a dozen buffs and a dozen rock cornish X's, that will be a good place to start. The RCs will be ready for the freezer in 8 to 10 weeks, then you get twenty five more. so plan on 100... That seems to be the way things work, at least according to the average post here.....
     
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Most would buy some birds for a laying flock (how many depends upon how many eggs you are looking for) and buy other birds just for meat. They would raise the meat birds to slaughter weight, process them all at once and freeze them for use throughout the year.

    I guess it sounded like you planned a large flock and wanted to go outside and dispatch a bird whenever you wanted one for dinner. Is that what you were thinking?
     
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Not necessarily... I just go down to the feed store, pick the chicks I want and carry them home in the bottom of a cardboard box.
     
  6. big greg barker

    big greg barker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Not necessarily... I just go down to the feed store, pick the chicks I want and carry them home in the bottom of a cardboard box.

    That's even better if the feed store has the breeds that you want. The local feed store here only carries a couple breeds that they think people want, and they sell them because people settle for what they have, but if you want a bigger selection here, hatcheries are the way to go. Once I get the layer flock to where I want it, the feed store will be the way to go for meaties...
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Our feed store carries a variety. They usually have three or four dual purpose breeds at any one time and rotate breeds throughout the spring. Also meat birds, ducks, geese, turkey, rabbit, quail, throughout the spring. It's really not a big operation, just a stack of brooders and cages in the corner of the loading dock, but they keep them stocked.
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd really encourage you to raise broilers for meat, then have a standing flock of BO's for eggs.
     
  9. mamichi

    mamichi Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I have read about people slaughtering a bunch of birds at once and then freezing. I guess we were thinking about butchering maybe 6 birds at a time. Not sure since we haven't done it yet. I mean, my husband has butchered one bird at a time when he was younger, but it's been a few years.

    My thoughts were that we would buy enough chicks (male and female) to kind of keep propagating the flock. Maybe that's not the way it works?

    At any rate, a few of you have suggested two different breeds; one for eggs, one for meat. I thought the BOs were a dual-purpose breed. What would be a reason not to eat them?

    thanks for the help!

    p.s. I didn't realize about the 25 chick minimum order, but yes, we were planning on buying from McMurray's Hatchery.
     
  10. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    1. I have read about people slaughtering a bunch of birds at once and then freezing. I guess
    we were thinking about butchering maybe 6 birds at a time. Not sure since we haven't done it yet.
    I mean, my husband has butchered one bird at a time when he was younger, but it's been a few years.

    A. it depends on how you will be cooking the birds, For frying usually butchering is recommend at about 12 to 15 weeks
    for the best tenderness. If you plan on slow cooking the birds, the you can butcher then over several years, The
    old the birds the less choices you have in preparing a bird.

    Older birds = more fat which is best for slow cooking like, broiling, baking, smoking.
    Younger Birds = less fat, which is best for quick cooking, like frying.

    2. My thoughts were that we would buy enough chicks (male and female) to kind of keep propagating the flock.
    Maybe that's not the way it works?

    A. It all depends on what you want to do. Yes you can by enough to start propagating your own flock. Many
    prefer not to do that. Mostly because you never know if your going to get a broody hen or have to incubate.
    Most small flock owner seem to prefer not to incubate.

    3. At any rate, a few of you have suggested two different breeds; one for eggs, one for meat.
    I thought the BOs were a dual-purpose breed. What would be a reason not to eat them?

    a. BO'S are, The main reason is that a lot people prefer to quickly raise there meat birds and butcher them quickly.
    The Cornish Cross can be ready to butcher much quicker then the a standard breed.

    This year we got the Mixed broilers from MM, some of them were ready at 15 weeks, most by 18 weeks.
    But they sent some Red sex links which were never really ready.


    p.s. I didn't realize about the 25 chick minimum order, but yes, we were planning on buying from McMurray's Hatchery.

    A. The 25 min is total, but you can mix them between breeds.
    Like 6 to 8 eggs layer, and the rest meat birds.
     

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