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Ordering Chicks and NH reds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mountainpridefarm, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. mountainpridefarm

    mountainpridefarm Out Of The Brooder

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    McMurray will ship me chicks in February (We are in Vermont). I would really like them now so the hens will start laying in late summer but I am not sure if it is the best idea...?

    Also,
    has anyone bought New Hampshire Reds from McMurray? What were your thoughts as far as being a nice DP breed?

    OH and I love the black on the tail. I bet that isn't consistent is it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  2. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I rec'd my day old chicks from McMurray at the end of April, and they started laying in October, and are continuing pretty well (8-12 eggs/day from 26 hens now) considering the cold and short days. Just because they WILL ship chicks in February doesn't mean you SHOULD get them shipped at that time. The shipping itself can be problematic in the best weather, so in really cold temps you are much more likely to get stressed babies that won't survive as well, not to mention that you can have some pretty inclement weather there well past the time when you really need to get them out of the house. Which happens a lot quicker than you think, those little dudes grow fast and create a great deal of dust. I guess it depends what your priorities are, but if you want to optimize your chances for a good outcome, spring is the time to get chicks. IMHO
     
  3. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    I've never bought a New Hampshire Red from McMurray (or anyone else), but from reading about other people's experience with dual purpose birds from hatcheries I would expect that the New Hampshires you would get would disappoint in the size department.

    I've been keeping my eye out for a relatively local (I'm in Maine and would consider Vermont relatively local) source of New Hampshires that would be good in the meat half of dual purpose. In all the fairs, swaps and shows I have been to, I have seen only one New Hampshire (at the Fryeburg Fair). I wrote to the owners after the fair (I got their address from the show registry), but did not hear back from them.

    The Northeastern Poultry Congress is being held in Springfield, MA the 3rd weekend of January. I've never been to the show, but I'd guess it would be a good way to find contacts in the northeast.

    Anyway, if you find a good source for New Hampshires, please let us know.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't have New Hampshire Reds so no experience with them. The black in the tail should be standard.

    If you do decide to order now, be aware you could run into some problems you might not face in a few months due to the cold weather. To improve your odds, I'd suggest getting them shipped early in the week so they don't get hung up somewhere on a weekend. Do not get them shipped close to a postal holiday. And talk to your post office the day they are to ship so you can learn their procedures and know how and where to pick them up. Some post offices will call before they are officially open and you may need to know a specific way to get inside.
     
  5. catfish/okie

    catfish/okie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I like New Hampshires. Ive never got them from McMurry. Ive got 2 hens I got from Orchlens farm store who gets theirs from Estes Hatchery. 1 is light red small and not very much black on tail tips ( egg laying type ) 1 is as big as my Buff Orpington hen. Darker than the little one with more black on tail tips with some black flecks on wings and body. She is more of a duel purpose type. I would like more of these. Estes does have some of the duel purpose types I think. If I could have only 1 kind of chickens these are what I would want. I think Sand Hill advertises the old time duel purpose Rhode Island Red but they say their NHs are the production type.
     
  6. quercus21

    quercus21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tivoli, NY
    We received our NHR from McMurray about 2 years ago. The black tip on the tail isn't consistent through the whole flock The rooster has blueish/black tones to his tail. He is a rather large bird, while the hens aren't as large. The feather color is from a light brown/rust to a darker shade. Not as dark as the Rhode Island Reds. They have done well for us with the weather and egg production. We don't heat their coop nor do we put a light in it to increase the egg production. When they are producing, for 7 hens we would get 2+ dozen a week.
    Kaj
     
  7. mountainpridefarm

    mountainpridefarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:How did they do as far as egg uniformity and consistency in the shape and size? Did most of them have the black on their tails or was it literally none?

    And lastly, What were your thoughts of them as meat birds? Do you think the males would dress out nicely at 18-20 weeks for broilers/fryers?
     
  8. quercus21

    quercus21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tivoli, NY
    How did they do as far as egg uniformity and consistency in the shape and size? - They produce larger eggs then "natural store bought Grade A Large" - Their yokes are close to twice the size as "natural store bought Grade A Large". This might be due to the feed? They are just starting to lay again for us.

    Did most of them have the black on their tails or was it literally none? Looking at them when I came in tonight (always try to), it seems like the hens might have a dark feather or 2, most don't have a dark tail. Not like the rooster that has a greenish/blue metallic color tail.

    And lastly, What were your thoughts of them as meat birds? We purchased them for egg layers, and if need be meat. We haven't had to consume any. The bird we use for meat at the Cornish x.

    Do you think the males would dress out nicely at 18-20 weeks for broilers/fryers? Compared to the Cornish x, nope. They really didn't "bulk" up for about 6 months. This was probably due to poor feed we were receiving from the mill. We have changed mills since then. Would I eat them, if push came to shove, yea I would. I am spoiled with the Cornish X.

    We decide on them for their disposition, cold tolerances, confinements tolerances, color, size, egg production and meat. Just about in that order.

    Kaj
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  9. chickpeople

    chickpeople New Egg

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    central nh
    check out dmgfarmthebrowns.com large assortment here in NH
     

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