Meat vs. Egg Chickens. Help?


9 Years
Jun 6, 2010
Hi folks. After WEEKS of pouring over the content on this site (and others) I am now expecting my first shipment of chicks. I'm very excited about it!

The challenge for me is this: I wanted only about six hens for eggs but with a minimum of 15 ordered from Purely Poultry, they were going to toss in extra males. So I changed my order to 10 female, five male.

I was thinking well, I could always eat the males but then I found out about feed being different for meat vs. egg chickens and now I'm all confused. It's not that I really look forward to having any of them slaughtered (the hens will have a very happy, fulfilled, long and content life in a fabulous place!) but the males, well, it seems to me it'd be more sensible to just raise 'em and eat 'em.

So my questions are:

Has anyone done this?
Are there any reasons to not do it?
I am getting RIR's - are they considered okay for eating?
I have one coop (a nice one, too, I must say!) so if I am raising both egg and meat birds, how do I feed them with just one coop? Is it possible? Does it matter?
Are there places to take them when ready, since I would absolutely not want to do any slaughtering?

Any advice, tips, links, etc. would be appreciated!




12 Years
Jan 9, 2010
Northridge, California
Lots of people eat the Roos that have been out with their hens. I don't think the feed has to be different. The posts I've read about feeding "meat" birds have mostly been about Cornish X being raised solely for meat production. They seem to have feed requirements because they grow so fast and will practically eat themselves to death.

I started mine on chick starter (nonmedicated), then when to a pullet grower. When your hens get near egg laying they will need extra calcium which is already added to their lay mash or pellets. Plus you can offer your hens oyster shell to add to their calcium intake - they will eat it if they need it. I would base the feed choices on what the pullets will need. The Roos will only be around up to 13 weeks or so for fryers and 3 to 5 months for roasters.

Long story short - I think you will be fine raise the RIR's together.


Free Ranging
13 Years
Mar 19, 2009
Since your males are not Cornish X, their feed requirements will be the same as the females. Back in the dark ages when I was a kid, people oredered straight run chicks in the spring. We ate the males and kept the females for eggs. The cockerels were raised with the pullets at least for a while.

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