Im confused

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Singlemaple, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Singlemaple

    Singlemaple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2010
    Merrimack NH
    So my dad wants to get meat birds.... not a problem
    my dad wants every 18 months to kill the birds we have as they start slowing down there laying.... not a problem
    what i need to figure out and am getting confused about is i have to hatch out 30 more hens between march and june next year cause all the hens we have now are going to be gone in october.


    What we are doing is keeping them for laying then we will eat them.... and we will have meat birds ( we have room for 60 chickens....)
    we are thinking that we will get a 50/50 hatch of hens to roosters and we will probably have a 75% hatch rate... we are hatching our own hens eggs, Im just having a hard time trying to do chicken math... can anyone help?


    I feel like half the stuff my dad is saying is going in one ear out the other cause i feel like it doesn't make sense......


    we currently have 33 chickens ( 30 hens and 3 roosters ) we will keep the roosters for 2-3 years cause there meat is already stringy by what we have read........ Help?
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm unclear on your actual question...

    So are you going to keep meat birds AND process layers at around 1.5 years???? Meat birds are generally processed around 10 weeks of age. If you process your layers at a year and a half, they will be tough, which is why most people stew them. Dual purpose birds (including layers) are generally processed around 20 weeks for tenderness. If you're going to process layers, then personally I would want two laying seasons out of them first and would process in the fall (as you said).
    If you want two good spring/summers of laying out of your birds, I'd shoot for hatching really early...way before March. Roos you could go ahead and process at 5 months and pullets would lay by summer time...
     
  3. Singlemaple

    Singlemaple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2010
    Merrimack NH
    Quote:1. yes we will have meat birds And process layers around 1.5 years.... we have 2 coops and runs...
    2. we will do the meat birds two times next year and they will be 10 weeks old when we process them...
    3. yes the layers will be tough we know.. we eat stew most of the winter with homemade bread..... thats why we would process our layers in fall every year and a half-ish.....

    My dad says we have to hatch them in march cause my mom would kill the both of us if we tried to have chickens in the house longer then a month..... although we have a full basement i would just have to move some stuff...
    i want to hatch in the middle of late january or mid February but mom says no....

    and all the roos we hatch we are thinking if i put 2 doz eggs in the incubator that about 18 would hatch and we would get 9 hens and 9 roo's we would process the roo's at 5 months like you said and the pullets we would keep for another year and a half and what not..

    im confusing my self.....
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Perhaps we can clear the fog a bit.

    Your dad appears to want to turn over the flock as laying decreases. OK, that's pretty common. If I read right, he wants the birds to be meaty enough to be worthwhile butchering for a decent carcass. Again, a reasonable desire.

    What doesn't quite make sense is the time line. Here, I put down some things WE do, and you can be better informed to discuss your own family's plan.

    If you buy early, early spring chicks, they'll start laying by late August. Any roosters you had in the initial flock would also be at prime age and growth for butchering, young and reasonably tender. You can, if you wish, keep a rooster from late winter breeding purposes. Keep the hens and allow them to lay through that first winter, spring and summer.
    The next summer, raise another batch of chicks, (incubating) That fall, the roosters are again available for slaughter, but if you wish, the previous year's hens as well. The reason "some" people butcher last year's hens is that hens go into moult their second year and stop laying for 4-8 weeks.

    You can butcher "last year's" hens, because now, the past spring's chicks are now in full lay and take their place as the laying flock. Thus, the flock is providing both hens and table birds perpetually. This is a very basic plan, followed by many, many folks for centuries.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. Singlemaple

    Singlemaple Chillin' With My Peeps

    194
    4
    113
    Jan 27, 2010
    Merrimack NH
    Fred's Hens :

    Perhaps we can clear the fog a bit.

    Your dad appears to want to turn over the flock as laying decreases. OK, that's pretty common. If I read right, he wants the birds to be meaty enough to be worthwhile butchering for a decent carcass. Again, a reasonable desire.

    What doesn't quite make sense is the time line. Here, I put down some things WE do, and you can be better informed to discuss your own family's plan.

    If you buy early, early spring chicks, they'll start laying by late August. Any roosters you had in the initial flock would also be at prime age and growth for butchering, young and reasonably tender. You can, if you wish, keep a rooster from late winter breeding purposes. Keep the hens and allow them to lay through that first winter, spring and summer.
    The next summer, raise another batch of chicks, (incubating) That fall, the roosters are again available for slaughter, but if you wish, the previous year's hens as well. The reason "some" people butcher last year's hens is that hens go into moult their second year and stop laying for 4-8 weeks.

    You can butcher "last year's" hens, because now, the past spring's chicks are now in full lay and take their place as the laying flock. Thus, the flock is providing both hens and table birds perpetually. This is a very basic plan, followed by many, many folks for centuries.

    Hope that helps.

    My dad says your spot on..... i couldn't figure out what he was trying to say..... thanks!


    ( the last molt we had from our hens was for 3 months it stunk .... all those hens are gone we had 3 fox attacks....)​
     

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