I bit the bullet and bought chicks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Double Kindness, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey all. I have my laying flock already. And have been wanting meat chickens for me & my family to have in the freezer this winter.

    I ordered a 1/2 of an organic grass fed angus cow locally, and it's hanging until it's cooled enough to butcher. Which I could also use advice on.

    [​IMG] are the chicks I just brought home.

    I already lost one to my greyhound Sagan and another is severely injured. 2 look very pecked on. They were all together at the feed store. I got all of them for $20.

    I have them separated out (the pecked on &; injured. 3 chicks total.

    I was told they are 4 weeks old about..

    I think they are barred rock, silver laced Wyandotte & white star? IDK

    I have them on manna pro gamebird feed at 26 % protein and chick grit. I dipped their beaks in the waterer even though they are probably old enough not to need that.

    I could use advice. I'm in a high altitude. I'm not looking to add these to my laying flock, which I have 9 layers with a rooster over them.

    Am I doing this right? What do I do about the severely injured barred rock chick?

    I'm going to start to ferment their feed tonight. How long on this feed until they will be ready to process with these chicks? The ones separated out I don’t expect will make it to the scalder.

    I have cones and plucker rental on stand by. And 2 guys to kill the chickens and eviscerate set up that are in the neighborhood.

    I started with 27, lost 1, very likely to lose at least one more. Going to pick up their coop soon as my friend with the pick up truck can go get it.

    I'm looking for a few newish deep freezers to put all this beef and soon to be chickens in. I have one I'm emptying out and defrosting next week in my kitchen.

    Lots of coolers on standby. We camp a lot and so do our friends and everyone is grateful for this meat these chicks will give us.

    I look forward to learning how to do this using these breeds of chickens.
     
  2. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm also in Colorado and understand your concerns with raising meat birds at high altitude. I've experimented with Freedom Rangers, Red Rangers, CX and Dual Purpose Roosters (Barred Plyouth Rock, White Plymouth Rock, Buff Orphintons and some I think were Buckeye). My favorites by far were the Freedom Rangers, which are around 4 - 5 lb in 11 weeks. My DP roosters I started butchering at 17 weeks and finished the last ones at around 20 weeks and they all below or just at 4lb. They cost me almost $12.00/bird in purchase price and feed. Not a great deal by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  3. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hummingbird Hollow-

    I've been trying to find cornish x, rangers etc. The local chicken guy that does the 4h/ffa stuff hasn't gotten back to me still about the 7 cornish x that were close to butchering time for $10 each and was supposed to call me and tell me when his cornish x were going to be out of the incubators.

    I looked at other hatcheries, places, etc. no meaties to be found. I wanted to do the cornish x b/c I have so much going on, I don't want to spend more than 6-9 weeks raising meat chickens right now. I want them in freezer camp by the time winter hits, so their poops and their pecking and scratching can get my backyard raised garden bed that has been unused for 6 years ready for spring planting, and the run will keep my dogs out of the garden if they can keep them away from the chickens. In the spring I want meaties elsewhere on my property developing that land for growing food etc. But I'm looking to white bresse and bcm atm to add, the bresse obviously for a dp bird/meat, as I'm a foodie as are many of my friends. This is about quality etc, as real food nurtures, unlike what's passed off as food these days.


    Where did you get your meaties at?
     
  4. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have got my Cornish and others from my locally owned feed store. He orders them from whatever hatchery, but it is cheaper for him as a commercial account. Seems to me hatcherys have Cornish X year around. Look around the internet and you will find them. Currently I am real happy with some Barred Rocks as fast growing dual purpose, and also Langshons that are tasty, but slow grow. I am getting close to having a self-sustaining meat flock that will cost more per pound that the CornishX, but cost is only one consideration.
     
  5. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few barred rock 4 week.old chicks, how long until they are big enough to process? For males?
     
  6. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chicks tonight.[​IMG]

    Some friends asked me the baby chicks names, I said some are called lunch, some are called dinner.[​IMG]

    Alas, as I have some fancy schmancy chickens coming to my brooder boxes, I only have as long as it takes before the fancy chickers will be moved into the now fancy new coop in a different location than the meaties were planned to go on.

    The fancy chickers are meat chickers, but like I said fancy.

    So these chicks have until the new chicks that will be coming this weekend and also very soon another breed of rare fancy meat chicker (dp too) are old enough to move outside to their ft knox coop/run that's going to try to be as pimptastic as I can make it on my tight budget and time frame.

    I'm now looking for bresse chicks, as I have no confidence in hatching eggs, which is why I am looking for chicks.
     
  7. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Phalenbeck- how long do you grow out your barred rocks? I think I have 2 male br chicks, 1 girl, 16 slw, 7 white leghorn? This is just my thoughts on the br, b/c honestly I have no clue.

    Seems like ft knox run/coop build out is moving to start this friday. These baby chicks are growing so fast. I have them on 26% protein gamebird feed and chick grit, probiotics in their water.

    Big r said they had been on medicated chick starter and were 4 weeks old. Many are pretty feathered out, but tonight it seemed like after they ate, they kinda played leapfrog, a few in the smaller brooder box kept flying out, as the bigger one has chicken wire over it as I'm doing deep litter method for the moment, as I plan on hardening off these chicks to living outside and roosting in the coop at night so I can use the brooder boxes I have them in for the cemani, svart honas, and hopefully bresse and french bcm.

    Funny how I can add 2 extremely rare breeds of chickens, but not french bcm, meaties or bresse chicks. What the cluck?

    13 weeks longer to process these 26 chickens? Nooo...idts. idk if I can keep the ac & sh inside for 12-13 weeks, not with everything else going on.

    If someone can help me figure out the boys from the girl chicks that would help, as a few friends decided they want fresh eggs too, so I don't mind parting with the pullets in this group, but since they are on 26% protein gamebird feed, this needs to happen extremely soon, as I have them on this feed to make them grow faster to be big enough to process, but don't want to do that to the possible females continuing life as egg layers.
     
  8. roseyred

    roseyred Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The best advice I can give you on the ones being pecked...don't seperate the weak. Seperate the aggressors. Put them in chicken jail. For like a week an then when you put them back they'll have to re establish there pecking order. If you seperate the weak and when you put them back the others will keep attacking them or worse...
     
  9. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm just rotating several out, as there are escape artists already lol. I am trying to keep 10 in 1 box, 16 in the other. And who is in which box switches, as to who escapes and those with full tummies falling asleep get picked up and moved into the smaller box, while others scamper around.

    So pecking orders are all messed up atm. It's just way too small to put them in 1 place. I have to do a head count every time I check on them, as up to 6 at a time are getting out.

    Coffee is my fuel. My bf says these have to be "gone" by the time the chicks I get this weekend from my friends flock and another breed from another byc'er & bresse from another are ready to go outside to the new coop/run being started Friday.

    I guess I'm not going to do the traditional meatie route any longer than these little chicks I have in the barn. Which I guess makes them dp? Idk if they will be "done" by the time the cemani, svart honas and bresse are ready to go outside to the new coop.

    How long does it take to go from day old chick to ready to go outside in regular chickens (bresse, etc?) In the fall/winter time if I get them now? 9 weeks? 8 weeks?

    These itty bitties were kinda piling on each other to sleep. And they should be outside I think. Fast little critters.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  10. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most of my chickens I've purchased through the mail. My egg layers have come from My Pet Chicken, with the exception of two Silver Cuckoo Marans and an Easter Egger that I got this spring at my local feed store. I've purchased three batches of Freedom Rangers from Freedom Ranger Hatchery and been very happy with each shipment. I've tried CX or Jumbo Cornish twice, 10 I found at a Tractor Supply Company location about 90 minutes from my home (3 died witin the first few weeks, but the rest were nice plump roasters by 8 or 9 weeks) and an order of 20 from...either Myer Hatchery or Murray McMurray. Half arrived dead or dying and I was down to 7 by butchering date. I also tried Red Rangers...also from either Myer or McMurray...don't remember...they were healthy and all made it to butchering date, but they took about two weeks more than the Freedom Rangers to reach the same average size. It is my belief that CX orJumbo Cornish just don't do well at 8,000ft of altitude.
     

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