Meat Birds with Egg Layers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hazard, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Hazard

    Hazard Out Of The Brooder

    50
    1
    31
    Dec 16, 2010
    MASS
    Hi everyone....new here.

    I have been getting educated these past months in anticipation for my very first order of chicks in the spring. I am in a residential neighborhood on 1 1/2 acres, but don't want to cause problems with the neighbors so will only be ordering females. Ideally I just want a coop of about 7-8mix of breed hens for the enjoyment....and the eggs. because of minimum orders with hatcheries I have to order 25. So I plan to get the rest as all meat birds Cornish X-Rock and butcher them out when the time comes.

    My question is raising meat birds and egg layers together. I see that they basically have different diets from day one. Does that mean I have to keep them seperate the entire time? From brooder to butcher? That kind of seems like a hastle. Am I missing something here? Let me know the best way to go about this if you could. Thanks!!!
     
  2. WhySayWhat

    WhySayWhat Chillin' With My Peeps

    523
    0
    119
    Nov 5, 2010
    Spokane
    I don't know about keeping them seperate or together, but I do know there are hatcheries that ship as few as 3 chicks (usually for a slightly higher fee). I would look at other hatcheries to see if you can get away with only ordering what you need and save some of the hassle/expense of the extra 16-17 birds!
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    119
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    [​IMG]

    In the springtime, not all hatcheries require the customary 25 min. order. I know Ideal Hatchery has a min. dollar amount, not a min. chick amount. The last time I ordered from them, this past June, I ordered 14, requested that no males "packing peanuts" be added for warmth, requested extra straw be added, and I got 14 chicks.

    Other hatcheries are doing the same thing now. You'd have to check with the one you are interested in ordering from. Keep in mind that sexing at the hatcheries is only 90% accurate, at best. That's how I became the proud owner of a naughty little cockerel named Impy (used to be Rosie). I hadn't intended on having a second roo.

    Can you raise meat birds with layer birds? Yes, I've done it. I would advise against it. It's not easy. The meaties can't eat all the time, they'll eat themselves into an early grave. Yet it's necessary and prudent to keep food in front of layer chicks all the time. I think I was filling feeders non-stop for the first few months. [​IMG] I spent the same amount of time getting the meaties outside, out from in front of the feeders, as much as possible to give them something to do with their time other than stuff their beaks. Also, what goes in must come out and omg! can meaties put out the poop.

    If you are interested primarily in layers, I would get layers period. I've enjoyed my meaties immensely, but wish I hadn't had to raise them with the layer chicks.
     
  4. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

    462
    1
    121
    Mar 29, 2010
    Lakeview, OR
    [​IMG] haha! I know that my pet chicken lets you order only three. But you have to live in a "bigger" city and it costs extra.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  5. henhound

    henhound Out Of The Brooder

    38
    0
    22
    Nov 23, 2010
    Orangevale, CA
    I just got 11 sent from Ideal with the $25 minimum. All arrived safely as well without "packing peanuts".
     
  6. chickensrfood

    chickensrfood Out Of The Brooder

    94
    0
    39
    Jul 24, 2010
    You can raise them together. The higher proteins of feed will not harm the layers. it will just help them grow.

    Just remove the feed at night if you are even concerned with the broilers growing to quickly. You will have no ill effects from this other than slightly slower grow rates.
     
  7. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    28,316
    10
    331
    Dec 2, 2009
    Canada
    They can be raised together but the meat birds will soon out grow the layer chicks because they grow so much faster.
     
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,129
    13,022
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Listen to Gritsar. She's been there done that. Her's are words of wisdom.
     
  9. Hazard

    Hazard Out Of The Brooder

    50
    1
    31
    Dec 16, 2010
    MASS
    Thanks all for the help. The more I think about it, I probably will look for a utility breed instead of a hybrid meat bird. That way there is no issue. Im not concerned about rasing a great feed conversion bird. I just want chickens!!! I don't know why, but I am partial to want to order from Murray McMurray (25 min chick order). I have no experiance with any of the hatcheries...they just look very organized and professional with a nice selection of breeds. I will look to get my 8 hens, 7-8 birds for the freezer and give the rest away to someone local. Surely someone would want a handfull of free chicks I would think...
     
  10. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    1
    103
    Aug 1, 2010
    California
    I raise mine together. I've also gotten as few as 3 chicks mail order from a hatchery. You can order from most any where w/ 10 chicks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by