New Member.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bullwinkle777, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Bullwinkle777

    Bullwinkle777 Hatching

    Sep 2, 2016
    Hello everyone!
    I'm very excited to be part of Backyard Chickens!
    I grew up on a farm and we had a few, maybe 5 or 6 chickens. We did not collect any eggs or eat them, they were mainly for bug control. My wife and I are wanting to start raising chickens for both the eggs and meat and we are wondering what would be the chicken for both? We are in the process of building a coop and run. The coop will be 10" wide, 12" long, and 8" high at the peak with a 10"x 17" run. How many chickens could have in that space without over crowding?

    Thank you in advance for helping us out!
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Bullwinkle777, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined us and that you are entering the chicken lifestyle. You won't regret it. In reference to your space question, here's a link that discusses that very topic.
    When it come to breeds that provide both meat and eggs, there are several. These are called dual purpose for that reason. Before the advent of a bird called the Cornish Cross (this is what you typically buy in the market at restaurant) chicken eat was from dual purpose breeds. Typically these were breeds which provided a good quantity of eggs with the added benefit of the males of the breed growing to an acceptable size in a reasonable amount of time. These breeds were numerous and are of course still around today - but mostly for the hen's laying ability than for the rooster's meat potential because, as I said the Cornish Cross, which reaches butchering weight in as little as six weeks, has become a much cheaper alternative than raising dual purpose birds which may take 16 weeks or more to reach the same weight.
    Now, something to keep in mind...if you are used to store and restaurant bought chickens, the meat of a dual purpose breed can be quite different. Very tasty - just a different tasty. Some people are turned off by the taste as it isn't what they are used to - some claim it tastes gamey or is tough. I'l grant that any bird that walks around for 10 or more weeks longer than one who was processed at 6 weeks will indeed be tougher - stands to reason. And the breast of a dual purpose will not be like the large breasts in a bucket of KFC. But for my money, I think they taste better - more flavorful as they are older and the flavor had a chance to develop...more "chickeny" if you will. Many folks avoid Cornish because they aren't exactly cuddly. They eat and they poop as that's what they were bred to do until processing age. Some don't like the crossing that was done to create them - too engineered. And it is a fact that they potentially grow so fast they develop leg problems as their legs can't support their bulk. Some of them also die of heart problems at ages over 10 or 12 weeks. I'm not bashing the Cornish - I like restaurant chicken as much as the next guy, but I what I eat at home is typically dual purpose (sometimes called Heritage Breeds) that I raise. Breeds typically are things like Rhode Island Red, Buckeye, Rocks, Delaware, and others. Type in a search in the BYC search bar for Heritage breeds or dual purpose chickens and you'll get a lot of hits.
    And since this book I'm writing isn't long enough...there may be a third option. Certain breeds are becoming more popular and come under names like Red Rangers or Freedom Rangers....I have never owned any of them but the hens are said to laying a fair to good number of eggs and the roosters gain at a rate that puts them at butchering at about 12 weeks - a whole month sooner than the heritage breeds.
    I'm sure others will chime in with more advice. Whatever you chose - best of luck to you!!
    3 people like this.
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! Redsoxs has left you fabulous advice so I will wish you the very best of luck for the future. Enjoy your time here on BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
  5. palaeosam

    palaeosam In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2016
    Hi @Bullwinkle777 ,
    welcome to the site. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with your space, especially after the great article @redsoxs linked to, which I wish I'd seen before I started planning mine.
  6. Bullwinkle777

    Bullwinkle777 Hatching

    Sep 2, 2016
    Wow, thank you @redsoxs, that is a wealth of info! Very helpful!!! My wife and I decided to bring it in by two feet, so it will 8"x12" instead of 10"x12" to save some cash. Going by that article, we will end up with more than enough space to raise a few happy heathy chickens!
    I guess you can say we "broke ground" on the coop today, it's going to be a slow process, but hopefully it won't take us long to get it finished.
    @redsoxs, thanks again and thank you to everyone for the warm welcome!
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    There are many breeds which make good dual purpose fowl. However, it's important to know that in most cases, you'll want to go to a breeder to acquire your stock. Most hatcheries cater to customers who want birds for egg/pets, and so they have taken breeds which were originally dual purpose and bred them down in size to create better layers. These breeds include Plymouth Rocks, Delawares, Buckeyes, and many others.

    Naked Necks are an exception to this. Even hatchery quality versions are still quite meaty in addition to being excellent layers.

    The Standard Cornish is also an excellent choice; they are a meaty fowl and decent layers.

    Also of note are Red Broilers, aka Red Rangers. They are quick growing, large birds, mainly meant for meat, but they are decent layers.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens - all this talk is making me very hungry. Think I will head for "Chick-fil-A," when they open.
  9. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Songster

    May 20, 2016
    Down Under
    Hi. Welcome to BYC! Glad to have you here
  10. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Songster

    Dec 14, 2015

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