Questions on rasing non cx meat chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Newchickenguy, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so I am new to chickens, so new infact I am still working on my coop lol. I have decided to raise new hampshire reds as a dual meat and egg laying chicken. I only plan on keeping one rooster and 4 hens for egg production, as I dont want a lot of overhead cost for feed and where I live I can't free range to save on feed cost. However, every year in the spring I plan on incubating and hatching 10-12 eggs for the sole purpose of rasing the birds to process for meat. So lets say I hatch 10eggs and 5 are male and 5 female. Here are my questions.

    1. At what age do I kill the birds for processing?
    2. Can I put the chicks with my cooped rooster and 4 layers, or do I have to build the chicks there own coop?
    3. Will the rooster and 4 hens kill there own chicks since I hatched them inside my house, and then put them toghter?
    4. Since in the sincero I have 5 male and 5 female chicks, all of which I intend on killing for meat as soon as there rdy,will I have to build a coop for the male chicks and a coop for the female chicks to seperate them as I have herd that the males will kill one another over the females and will breed the females to death.
    5. Can I feed the same food the the 10meat birds that I feed to the 4hens and rooster?
    6. Are using maggot butckets a safe way of providing extra protein to my meat chickens or can I get a disease from eating chickens that are fed maggots from maggot buckets?
    7. Are new hampshire reds the best variety for my above stated plan for having 1roo and 4hens with intentions of processing approx 10 of there offspring a year for meat, or is there a better dual purpose breed for this.


    Thanks in advance for your answers, any thing will be appreciated. Also I am not interested at this time in buying cx type birds for meat as I want something sustainable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    My only input here would be this. True New Hampshire birds (no red in the official name) is extremely rare. The German New Hampshires are re-introducing the old traits back into the US again. The few breeders of true, heritage New Hampshire are few and far between at this point.

    The birds the hatcheries sell as New Hampshire are said to "represent" the breed. They will prove smaller overall, or at least, versions I have seen are much smaller in frame.
    There are a couple of heritage threads here, Heritage Large Fowl and Heritage New Hampshire threads which would give you great insight to what I'm saying to you.

    Best regards in your plans and search. Yes, true heritage New Hampshire would be ideal. Hatchery New Hampshire (reds)... ah.... not so much.
     
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  3. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the input.



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  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Fred makes a good point. The true old New Hampshire was a RIR bred for better meat purpose and these can't be found at any hatchery. The pricing for the German New Hampshire's is more than most would want to invest; especially as an intro to chickens. Plymouth Rocks, Wyandotte and Orpington or Australorps would be worth looking into for a dual purpose bird. Even jumping straight to heritage lines of these would be a fraction of cost to German New Hampshire. Though a ringlet Barred Rock would be a close second in price. And those are slow to grow out so not very practical, truely there are birds for utility and then those for the fancier. I'm going for a middle ground of form, function and trying to work on a heritage breed. You'll have to decide what works for you.

    I am trying to work on a variety of Plymouth Rock. You do need a grow out coop for your hatchlings unless one of your hens brooded a batch on their own and introduced to the flock naturally. From their you can cull your cockerels and unwanted pullets at around 18 to 20 weeks. I let some cockerels grow to 26 weeks this past summer and in reality was just a waste of an extra bag of feed. Their was negligible growth that extra month and half so not worth the waste of time and feed attempting to get more meat.

    When culling unwanted pullets your better off selling them. They can easily pay for your investment into them as point of layers. $20 for a 20 week old layer is common pricing. $10 for 8 week old pullets is even a better way to lessen numbers in a crowding grow out pen as they age and get bigger. Cockerels are your best meat to feed gain for your freezer. I simply see no reason to actually butcher a layer until they are 3 years old then make stock and soup. This way you can introduce your best pullets each year to the flock and cockerel every other to continue the lineage and improve your stock.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Unlike many of the heritage birds, the New Hampshire grows fast, feathers quickly, lays eggs at a younger age, and is a great choice. But, there's probably a pound or two difference between a heritage vs a much smaller hatchery type red fowl. When talking dual purpose, that's a huge differential. Here's a photo Fowlman01 (Walt) recently posted. This is a very young pullet, mind you. KathyinMO bred this bird. This bird just won at a major show, blowing away the competition. You'll never, ever get birds like this from a hatchery, that's all I'm saying. THIS is what a true New Hampshire is. Quick to grow, quick to lay and HUGE. That's a combination that's hard to beat.

    I breed the ringlet line of Barred Rocks. They dwarf the hatchery lines by 2 lbs and stand half again as tall. This, for me, is what a true, old fashioned, heritage bird can do. The problem with our rocks is that they take forever to grow, forever to mature. That is why these New Hamps are so exciting.




    [​IMG]
     
  6. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Like I said I am new to this stuff so thanks for the input. You both seem have experience at this so I will ask you what dual purpose breed would you recomend for me with the orginal scenero I listed in my orginal post. I am going to have to buy from a hatchery as I just dont know anyone in the poultry breeding industry. Unless you could tell me where in WV around the huntington/ charleston area I could buy the superioir NHR chickens. And again back to my orginal questios.

    1 How old do you buthcer dual breed chickens.
    2.Can I put the baby chicks back in with the adults after they hatch in my house. Someone
    mentioned a breeder coop. So how old should I let the baby chicks get before I put them back in with the adults?
    3.If I decide to buthcer all 10 chickens for meat, both the male and females, should I make separte coops for the male and females or just let them come up toghether in the one coop with my orginal 1rooster and 4 hens that I plan on having?


    Thanks again
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If I were pressed to get started, I'd probably order a box of 50 White Rocks, straight run, from Mt Healthy. They're over in Cincy, not too far from you. You could potentially cull through that box and get a good cockerel to finish as your main cock bird and keep a second for back up. Process the others at 18 weeks. Keep the pullets. They'll lay very well and I'd probably keep them for 2.5 years. When it is time for their second moult, at 2.5 year mark? The older hens too would be in the freezer. By then, you'd have replaced them anyhow with lots of chicks which you hatched.

    With careful breeding, you'd improve your flock over the years. Mt Healthy White Rocks are known to be a bit larger framed than other hatcheries. You'd have a year or two to transition to getting some quality, heritage New Hamps. Connection and introductions are made here at BYC. Hang around the Heritage Large Fowl thread and you'll meet the folks who are in this.

    Hope that helps.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    As far as the whole process of raising chicks and integrating young chicks with older birds, I'd suggest some background reading.

    Here is our Learning Center at BYC. There are topics which will give you great background information. You gotta start somewhere. These readings will give you at least the basics. There are alot of questions in raising birds and it is difficult to ask them all. Even knowing what all the questions are is difficult.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
     
  9. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    White rocks hey? Will have to look into that. So I am assuming I keep the biggest 2 roosters out of the 50 and the biggest hens thus increasing there live weight size when buthcering. Thanks for the info bro.
     

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