Raising Meaties with Standard Hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lisamayc, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. lisamayc

    lisamayc Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 7, 2010
    I posted this in the meat bird section, but thought I might get more input over here.

    I'm going to get a small group of meaties (15) the first part of March and would like to add a few (3-4) hens to my aging layer flock.

    Can I start the meaties and standards together for a few weeks?
  2. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    No. Well, maybe for a few days. But, that many meaties will make a brooder yucky within a week or two. They poop a lot. Your layers won't appreciate that. Unless you're brooding them in a very large area, then you could probably do it. I brood in a large plastic tote and my meaties were outside in the tractor at a very young age, under 2 weeks, I think. And, they eat all the time, fight over the food. I wonder if it would teach your girls to do the same thing, that's something I've never thought about...
  3. lisamayc

    lisamayc Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 7, 2010
    I've raised both before, and trust me I know about the meat bird poop. The last group I raised was 30 --NEVER AGAIN with my set up.

    My brooder is 4ft x 4ft with 2 heat lamps. I was thinking of starting them together for maybe 2 weeks and then moving the standard hens to brooder of their own. I think it is 2ft x 2ft

    I'm just trying to figure out how to start both. Also trying to figure our how to add a few egg laying hens to my already established flock.
  4. whitemustang

    whitemustang Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 15, 2011
    What is a meat bird?
  5. KFaye

    KFaye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    I have my cornish rock in with my standards. Would love to send her out with the other hens. She is massive and yes, poops alot! It is 47 out today, may just take her out see if she even moves ha [​IMG]
  6. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2009
    you could maybe get away with it for a few days. After that, meaties (which are designed to eat an incredible amount of food NONSTOP and grow fast) need to have a feeding schedule. I would never subject those tiny (ounces) standard layers to wrestling matches with the meaties for food. I typically feed meaties 12 hours with feed/12 hours w/o feed. When I set the feeder down in the morning, watchout! Anyone in the way would get trampled. They are big, piggies, poopers, and perfectly designed for their purpose. I would have to say, NO. 3-4 standard layers wouldn't need that large of a brooder to stay in until the meaties are in the freezer.
    Have you ever raised meaties side by side next to layers? The differences are incredible! I found it very interesting. When the meaties are ready to butcher, the layers are still so tiny.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I've done it. It's hard. I raised 18 broiler house culls with my flock of several breeds of laying hens. Broilers are messy and they want to eat themselves to death. It takes alot more work to keep the brooder clean and you have to be careful that the broilers don't starve the layer type chicks out.

    All in all I'd say it's much easier to raise them seperately.
  8. growinupinfl

    growinupinfl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Mine all live in peace well and happiness with having meat birds and standard together. I raise way too many meat birds last spring like 50.. A silly standard buff orph chick kept going into the pen and thought she was a meat bird. She still lives with the meaties we kept for our own little meatie flock and she still doesn't know she isn't one of them. I would tell you long as there is plenty of room and you keep the litter clean as you would for any chicks I do not see a problem.

    Plan on raising my first meat bird hatch with that of my standards that are hatching at the same time this go around.

  9. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    Quote:Pretty self-explanatory. Meat birds are birds designed to grow quickly and be processed around 12 weeks of age. They're the kind you find in the grocery store.
  10. SC-ChickMom

    SC-ChickMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 21, 2011
    I raised all mine together until 7 weeks. I only had 5 CX and 18 egg chickens. They were in the house in a brooder until week 3 then everyone outside. For the most part, it went smoothly with them being raised together. The meat chickens don't move much and the last week they were picked on by the egg layers until they bled. The egg layers took advantage of the lack of movement to peck at the CX vents and any bald spots. The day of slaughter I found one CX dead and the egg chickens eating it. I fed all the chickens Purina Flock Raiser. My CX dressed out at 4.3, 4.5, 5.5 and 6 lbs.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by