Pet chickens vs. food source

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rocky Top Chick, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all,

    I am getting some chicks in a couple of weeks for eggs and figured I would keep them around until they grew old and grey. But now I am thinking more logically and really am thinking about some meat chickens and just replenishing my layers every year or so in order to continue getting eggs. How hard is it to cull chickens that have been in your family for a year. I need to get in the mindframe that this is the process of farming and not just having pets. I am becoming obsessed by all the available chickens and types, but am realistic enough to know that I cannot keep getting them. Has anyone else started out just for fun layers, but then decided to do what needs to be done in order to continue with more. I certianly cannot be the only one who got the idea of pets and then decided this was a great source of meat.

    Thanks for all the help, I need it.
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    How hard depends on the person. Some have no trouble butchering something they've had for years. Some can't even butcher chickens they bought specifically for food.

    I would actually suggest selling them. Layers don't make good meat anyway and if your replacing frequently they still have another 2 years of decent laying left so someone will buy them. Otherwise if you do decide to butcher them make sure you are going with a good dual purpose breed rather than just a good laying breed. If your replacing yearly are you buying started pullets then? It will take 6months for your chicks to reach laying age and about the time they work out their egg laying system you'll be butchering or selling them off. Egg production only drops a little for the 2nd and 3rd year but you get the best eggs their 2nd year. Pullet eggs are smaller and can have all sorts of odd things wrong with them.
     
  3. marymary

    marymary Out Of The Brooder

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    We have chickens that are our layers, and then we also raise birds for meat as well. It really gives me satisfaction to know that I have given an animal a good free-range life, and that when it comes time to slaughter, we will be as gentle and considerate of the bird's departure. We have a new appreciation of the chicken we eat at dinner now. We also have a 15-year-old daughter, and she has been very accepting of our new farm lifestyle. We have learned not to let ourselves get attached to the dinner birds. As for my layers, I am quite attached to many of them, and have granted them a life-long reprieve.
     
  4. 4biddies

    4biddies Out Of The Brooder

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    It is pretty dependent on the person...if your a pet type/animal lover, and you have a relatively small amount of birds, then your likely to get to know each one and have some connection, particularly when you raise them from day one little fuzzballs. I think sometimes the more you have, the more of a commodity they become. But it really does depend on you. I personally am a hunter, I don't think there is anything wrong with humanely killing an animal for food, but theres no way I could personally cull my hens. I'm planning on keeping them indefinitely, and adding 2 at a time as needed when productivity drops. But I'm not in this as a sound financial decision. It's a hobby that gives delicious natural eggs as a bi product.
     
  5. Lee

    Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you think you might want to eat them at some time, I would suggest getting them all alike so it is harder to pick out any single bird. Although I have to admit out of my 11 Barred Rocks I know one chicken from another one.
     
  6. Roosteroops

    Roosteroops Out Of The Brooder

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    Or you might have my problem: I never get to see my birds get old - we have a well fed fox that surprises us every summer (2 summers now) I think this year we've made the coop like Fort Knox - nothing' is getting this time!! I'm in the MIDDLE of Cary too! Sshsh - don't tell anyone! [​IMG] .......
     
  7. Lee

    Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Mums the word! [​IMG]
     
  8. arabookworm

    arabookworm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we just decided that we would get a couple just for pet purposes (probably going to be silkies) and not get attached to the others. we have yet to see if it will work though.
     
  9. Rocky Top Chick

    Rocky Top Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone,

    I have decided just to wait and see what happens. Why stress over this now. Why not just enjoy the ride for a while.

    D.
     
  10. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Yes, dw and I have been pondering the same thoughts and still haven't come to any conclusions. We have had 8 buff orpington hens, 4 jersey giant hens, and a jersey giant rooster for about 10 months now that we got for eggs but have become so attached to a few of them that there is no way I could cull them. I guess what got me thinking about eating the ones we are not really attached to is a very LOUD rooster that isn't at all friendly and the the fact that I am getting so many more additions to this years flock. Also with the economy being what it is and the fact that food is getting harder for us to come by, the chickens have started looking more tasty. By the way, someone said that layer don't make good meat. Why is this? Buffs and Jerseys are both classified as meat birds and layers. I'm confused now.
     

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