Meat Bird Laying Eggs?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lisathenorth, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. lisathenorth

    lisathenorth Songster

    May 17, 2009
    When I ordered some eggs in the spring, I somehow ended up with a few meatbird eggs. These chicks were larger, and more docile then the other chicks. Some of the giant chicks ended up dead by being picked on, and one chick ended up living in my garage by herself until recently. Her name is 'chubs' and she is one big chicken with a whole alot of breast meat. I added a few other birds to the garage. The other garage pullets have started laying eggs in a community nest near a pile of horse hay, and today I seen chubs laying an egg in the pile of hay. I was shocked. I didn't think meat birds could lay eggs. There are two roosters in with the pullets, and I am wondering if the eggs could be fertile? She is so big and round, I would not think normal mating could happen. The one rooster's is a Rhode island Red, and I have seen him try to mate with her, but he didn't look successful. Her body seemed to be too long. So, had anyone ever had fertile eggs from a meatbird? What would the chicks look like?
  2. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Last year, I saved the smalled meat bird from my order of 25 and she laid an egg every day, just like the other chickens. No rooster here, so can't answer that question.
  3. Never had them myself, but I know someone here was raising 2nd generation freedom rangers. They said they had been told that there would be more white in the 2nd gen, but they would be true to size.
    And as far as I know, meat birds just lay less often than others, but all healthy hens should lay.
    What color is your Chubs? Do you have a guess at her breed?
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Yes, you can get fertile eggs from a meatbird. Any hen that gets old enough to lay eggs, will lay eggs. They're hybrids, but they're not like seedless watermelons. Not mules, either, they're not sterile. The parent lines are not all that different from the offspring.

    The way you can tell whether she's laying fertile eggs is to break one open, and look at the germinal disc, on the yolk. These pics are from another part of the forum:
    This egg is NOT fertile.
    This egg IS fertile, see the difference in the disc? Larger, see the ring?
    Here, another fertile egg, it's more obvious. This is called a "bull's eye".

    If your hen is laying fertile eggs, you can hatch them.

    Hhere's a link to the page the pics came from, if you want to read more on the subject.
  5. lisathenorth

    lisathenorth Songster

    May 17, 2009
    Those egg pictures are very fasinating.[​IMG]
  6. wolfpak

    wolfpak In the Brooder

    May 9, 2010
    Last year we raised a number of the huge, fast-growing cornish x meat birds. Most were butchered, but I had 7 that we kept, 5 hens 7 2 roos. The hens started laying eggs, so we kept them longer. My husband called them the "peace loving fatties," as they had such nice docile temperments. We had free ranged them outside, and fed them on a 12+ on 12- off, or so, schedule. None of them had serious leg problems.

    We are down to 2 hens & 2 roos. 2 of the hens died... 1 was butchered. The remaining birds are about 15 mo old. The 2 roos are gigantic, and very nice, walk & behave normally. One hen is fine and normal, the other's legs are splayed out a bit but then she stands up and walks around and, most importantly, she seems very content and happy. They waddle around in the fresh straw in the barn, & have a nice straw & pine shavings pen with a bunch of Aracauna/banty/red-sex link crosses we hatched in with them. I'm concerned about the one hen in the heat, but read that most meat-birds don't EVER live more than one year. The hens are huge, and have gigantic muscling.

    Recently, when one of the hens was butchered, my husband said he'd never do that again. The lungs were bad -- partly solid -- and it was a huge task to butcher the bird. We cooked it, skinned, in a pot full of water, mostly for the dogs to eat on their kibble. She had started to rattle a bit when breathing, so I thought this best. The taste was excellent, but a bit tough... however, NOTHING like waiting too long to butcher a roo!

    I would NOT advise doing this... we are fond of our flock, and just thought we'd let them stay around once they started laying eggs. Since they'd been free ranged & excercised since small, I think that enhanced their health.

    I ALSO did hatch some of their eggs this spring. The cornish x birds were separate from all others, so they are "pure bred" cornish x.... LOL! What Igot were birds that are growing the same as the red sex link layer crosses we hatched. They have off white to greyish almost slightly lavenderish coloration. Their temperments are VERY calm. These chicks are about 2.5 mo old... no fast growth noted at all. I specifically chose to hatch them as an experiment. Time will tell how this works out.

    I have one other 14 -16 wk old cornish x hen. She sits and pants, so she's headed for the stock pot. Likely she grew too fast for her internal organs to support her size.

    I would NOT advocate doing what we have done with these birds, but for birds who "NEVER" live longer than a year, I think mine are happy, healthy & content. Certainly a better life than almost any other cornish x could possibly have hoped for!
    Hope this info is helpful to you.
    This is why they say it can be pretty ugly when city folk move to the country![​IMG]
  7. Bearsfan

    Bearsfan Songster

    Oct 21, 2009
    Hannibal, MO
    Quote:Could you post some pics of these? I would be interested in seeing them.
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    My cornish x girls are 3 yrs old and they lay double yoke eggs that are huge. I feed my girls lay pellets in addition to allowng them to free range all day long. They also get fresh fruits and vegetagles that I get for free from local farmers. Most meat birds do not live long enough to lay eggs but if u know how to care for them so that they live longer, they turn out to be VERY friendly and docile birds. My girls are living proof. I have never hatched their eggs but im sure if they breed with a rooster the eggs would be fertile. my egg customers request the double yoke eggs so i never will be able to hatch the eggs.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    There are a few of us on this forum that have a dedicated breeding program soley for this purpose, we are all hatching various combinations of Cornish/Cornish X/ and other large breed crosses. We are all comparing our results and suggesting different approaches to achieve a self sustaining meat bird home flock.

  10. wolfpak

    wolfpak In the Brooder

    May 9, 2010
    The CornishX birds we hatched were from CornishX hens bred to CornishX roos. These birds were purchased from the local farm supply store, from a large commercial hatchery.

    They are the same size as the other Red Sex-link hen x Orange (likely Buff Orpington) roos, but a little smaller than the Red Sex-link x Barred Rock roos. The CornishX x CornishX birds are VERY calm & docile. I have about 5 of these birds, and all have approx. the same growth rate as their hatch-mates, just extra calm. None have the big muscling of the meat-bird parents.

    As my CornishX hens have been good layers, I'm hoping these offspring will be too. It would have been nice to have the parent's big muscle fast-growth expressed in these birds, but we're content to just let them join the flock and enjoy them as such. We do occasionally butcher a bird, but that's not their main purpose for us.


    (finally figured out how to post my first images! [​IMG])

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