How many should I start with? and what breed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hemibob67, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. hemibob67

    hemibob67 In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2010
    Spencerville, IN
    Hello, I am going to raise some meat birds this spring for the first time and would like some input on how many birds to start with. I was thinking 50. I would also like suggestions on what beed. Thanks in advance.

  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I would recommend Cornish x's for the breed, and I would start with 25 of them.
  3. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Songster

    Apr 26, 2009
    Quote:I agree! [​IMG]
  4. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Taking care of 50 won't be too much more than 25. The big work will be killing day.

    We had 40 last spring. Five people were there to help me and my wife on the big day. I was also able to borrow a Whizbang Chicken Plucker. It took us two hours to get all the birds into coolers. It would have taken all day (from what the others told me) if we hadn't had the plucker. It was our second year, so we were a little experienced.

    I've got a few pix on my website HERE. Scroll down to the 2009.06.26 entry.

    If you get 50, you might be overwhelmed. If you get 25, then it should be pretty manageable, and you can get another batch later in the year if you want more.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  5. hemibob67

    hemibob67 In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2010
    Spencerville, IN
    Quote:Thanks. I didnt think of raising a second batch. How often can you get chicks at local feed stores and such, is it pretty much any time you want them? I am building a whizbang plucker and a scalding tank to help with this and I was a Butcher for 23 years so cleaning and processing them dont worry me.

  6. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Local Feed Stores tend to sell in the spring, but they might be able to order later in the year. Or, you can do like we did and order off the internet. We usually get our Corks from McMurray. If you run two batches, you only need half the supplies (space, feeders, waterers, etc).
  7. tnchicken

    tnchicken In the Brooder

    May 2, 2009
    Cornish X can't be beat but are a little more "maintenance intense" than the colored meat birds but grow out quicker with a better feed conversion. I would recommend 25 like everyone else. It sounds like you would be fine butchering but if you are like me, a "trail run" of your plucker and scalder would be helpful and 25 would not bury you if something is amiss.
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    The butchering part will be the easy part for you... it will be the plucking that slows you down... So if your doing that by hand keep that in mind.

    EGGTASKTIC Chirping

    Sep 16, 2009
    Cornish x are the way to go for max meat production.

    I would go with 25 unless you are on your own. If you will not be getting any help you may want to go with a dozen or so.

    If you have done this before with extra roos and familiar with the deed you will be in better shape to do 25. You may want to consider butchering them in batches to keep it manageable.

    When I started I got 6 meaties from the feed store---mistake 1- They were ok, but I had not done my homework-- Mistake 2.
    I also put them in with the hens I had at the time-- mistake 3. Bought feed a bag at a time--- mistake 4.

    Avoided mistake 5 and built a wizbang style plucker off the bat. yes i did try to hang pluck one- only one.

    Lessons learned
    1. Batches of 25 are best for me- on 2 week intervals - staggers butchering.
    2. Watch the weather- cold impacts development- heat is hard on longevity.
    3. Buy food in bulk- eating machines.
    4. Tractors are the best housing option- have enough space to move around every day or so.
    5. Rig a feeding and watering system that keep your input to a minimum.
    6. Scalding temp is important- lots of hot water stays at temp better.

    I have posted these before, but if you have not scene take a look at the slick processing. "graphic" detail

    Good luck

  10. Eagle2026

    Eagle2026 HIGH FLYER

    Mar 10, 2009
    Snohomish, WA.
    If you have a HUGE freezer, I would order 25 early in the spring and 25 late in the fall. That way you don't get overwhelmed for the first time.
    Then when you do freezer camp the second time you'll be an old pro.
    Just a thought?

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