Meat Birds versus Egg Layers

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cfallon5094, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Cfallon5094

    Cfallon5094 In the Brooder

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    I'm so confused! I went to my local feed store in February, and chose a bunch of chicks based only on how they looked...different colors, sizes, shapes... I thought a variety would be fun. Now I'm worried that some of my hens arent going to be good layers because of their breed! I cant afford to keep a bunch of chickens that arent laying any eggs, but now I'm attached to them all and the thought of any of them being killed makes my stomach turn. I just cant do it. Any suggestions? Advice? Help!
     
    sumi likes this.
  2. Ra_

    Ra_ Crowing

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    They'll still lay lots of eggs, just maybe not quite as many as a dedicated layer.
    My giant girls lay constantly and they're packed with meat.
     
    Newyorkrita and Cfallon5094 like this.
  3. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    What is your expectation of a good layer? How many eggs a week would you require in order to consider a hen worth keeping? And at what age do you expect this egg laying to begin?
     
  4. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Songster

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    Also, do you expect to actually make money out of the deal? Have you calculated the cost of feed and of providing a safe shelter for your birds, before calculating how much you may get out of selling eggs?

    I will tell you truly, I sell my wonderful, beautiful, healthy, delicious, farm-fresh, mostly free-range eggs for a dollar a dozen if and when I can find buyers. Sometimes I give eggs away. Everybody and their monkey's got chickens around here. I think I pay $13 a bag for their feed about once a week, which is soon to double. I come nowhere near breaking even. Chickens are a money pit for us. But they keep the ticks down, till and fertilize the lilies, provide endless enjoyment and all the eggs WE can eat, and we just flat love 'em. They are my therapy - I'm bipolar and have anxiety issues. They keep me sane. They are so worth it!

    Sorry edited to add: I can't afford NOT to have chickens.
     
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  5. Cfallon5094

    Cfallon5094 In the Brooder

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    Well, I was told when I bought my first chicks that a healthy, happy hen will lay an egg every other day, or every 24-48 hours. They havent started laying yet because they are still too young, but I'm hoping within the next month or so. Does that sound like a reasonable expectation? And the bantam little gray one ended up being a roo, but so far he is behaving himself and his little crow is hilarious, so I'm hoping to be able to keep him. Any thoughts?
     
  6. Cfallon5094

    Cfallon5094 In the Brooder

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    I didnt get into this to make money, that's for sure. Everyone has chickens around here at well, so they give eggs away by the dozen. They have already given me hours of entertainment, and I'm enjoying raising them. But I would like to have enough eggs to feed me and the dogs, and to give to my local food bank and friends who can enjoy them. I just always assumed that if I had chickens, the reward for all of my hard work and care would be an abundance of fresh, delicious eggs. Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way?
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Production varies greatly by breed.... what breeds have you chosen?
     
  8. Cfallon5094

    Cfallon5094 In the Brooder

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    I'm not at all sure. I know I have one RIR, one gray bantam roo, and four white Leghorns. But the others are still unidentified as of now. There are two all black ones that are bigger than the rest, and one cream/tan colored one with a furry tuft on her head, and one two-toned dark brown with a golden head (my favorite.)
     
  9. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

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    Just keep them ALL and enjoy them. If you did end up with some broilers,,,,,,,,, well, they will live a short life anyway. Usually at about 1 year old, (give or take) they will die from a variety of issues. Mostly heart failure. I know it is sad,,,,:hit but it is a reality.
    Post a pix of your chickens,,,,, and we may be able to recognize if you actually do have broilers.
    The most common ones are Cornish Rock Cross, and Red Ranger.
    If you got dual purpose chickens,,,,,,, those will live considerably longer.
    They are considered dual purpose, because they are good for both egg production and meat consumption at the end of their egg laying usefulness.
    Ask anything else you are not sure of.:frow
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :welcome
     
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  10. Ra_

    Ra_ Crowing

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    No worries. Even the worst layers will give you that many eggs.
    My meat birds lay at least five eggs per week.
     
    BigBlueHen53 likes this.

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