New to this hear are my goals

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by malcom, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. malcom

    malcom Out Of The Brooder

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    Well here goes I am looking for advice to have my own sustainable flock of meat and egg birds. I live in northern maine I have 3.5 acres of land. No experience what so ever with chickens but I would like to have at least 2 a week for eating and at least 4 eggs a day if not more is this possible and how many chickens would I need to have and which ones should I be looking at. I know it's a lot to ask for but any help would be awesome.
     
  2. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Well, if you want 2 birds in the freezer a week, you will probably need to get new chicks every couple of weeks or so. Specifically Broilers.
    Get six chicks every three weeks. When the first batch of chicks is 18 weeks old, process them and put them in the freezer. When the meat runs out, then the second batch would be ready to process. When those run out then the third batch is ready to process. And the cycle continues. (That was just an idea. I don't know if that would work like it is supposed to or not)
    As for the layers, get 6-8 laying hens. You will have a steady flow of eggs being produced. Every two years, process the current layers and get new ones. That way you will never have a drop in egg production. Leghorns are the most popular layer in egg factories (at least I think they are)
    I hope this helps
     
  3. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another meat bird idea - get a lot of meat birds and slowly process them. Whenever you need some meat, just process a couple. When that flock starts to run out, get some new chicks and start over.
     
  4. malcom

    malcom Out Of The Brooder

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    So is there no reason to purchase dual purpose birds like road island red and keep a rooster around but seperated and may be get some hens that will take care of the little ones while your layers keep on laying so you can build up a kind of rotational stock that is less of a burden on your wallet and more sustainable ?
     
  5. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would work too. But RIRs don't get as heavy as breeds that are only meant for meat.
     
  6. malcom

    malcom Out Of The Brooder

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    What are some tasty meat birds I'm looking for quality meat not just quanity
     
  7. enel 1

    enel 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess they didn't catch that you said " sustainable " I have been fooling around with this, and you have to start some where, so what I've done is cross a hatchery production type Rhode island red over a commercial broiler( or Cornish cross, I hate that name because it just isn't what they are) what I ended up with was some real big meaty hens that I crossed with a slightly better than hatchery Dark Cornish rooster, and the birds I got with the second cross are fantastic, they grow the same rate as a normal DP just get much larger, I just processed a big cockeral today.[​IMG]
     
  8. enel 1

    enel 1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]here he is before I processed him
     
  9. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally do not eat my chickens so I cant answer what chickens taste the best. I do know that White Broilers are the popular meat bird of choice. You are what you eat so I guess as long as you feed them good food, they will taste good no matter what.
     
  10. GentFarmer

    GentFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll second what the previous poster said: I don't eat my chickens. That's not because I don't like chicken, but because there are easier ways for me to attain sustainability than chicken only. I have a mixed flock, and I average half a dozen eggs a day from my 7 hens, slowing in winter. Given the cost of raising them from day-old peeps, replacing them when the time comes isn't a large concern for the wallet.

    As I've continued building out the homestead, though, I've incorporated rabbits as the main meat source. They're leaner, higher in protein, and require only a couple square feet of space to live. Given the size of your plat of land, consider branching out to other things besides chickens. I think all of us (I know this is true for me) start with chickens, because they just seem logical. But at this point, I'm adding ducks to the homestead, too, as they're layers on par with chickens (and in some cases better), are better at brooding and raising their own ducklings (which goes a long way in my book), and provide that dual-purpose rotation you described wanting.
     

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