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Raising only a few CX?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by pipemum, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in southern AZ, and the temps are starting to cool off to where I'll be able to raise some CX. Well, it's still blazing hot, but by the time I get a pen built and have chicks in hand...we should have fall temps.

    Anyway, I only have yard and freezer space for 4-6 meat birds. Is that do-able? Are there drawbacks to raising so few CX? I'm thinking about doing a rotating batch of 4-6 meat birds, getting new chicks when the other birds are 4-5 weeks old. Winter temps are mild here, and I can raise the meat birds all the way till about end of May, where I think it'll get too hot for the CX.
     
  2. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see one disadvantage so far--ordering so few chicks is expensive or not possible. I've not seen a place in town that sells CX chicks, but I've not checked out all the feed stores either.
     
  3. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    If you have space for 4-6 birds in your freezer, I would order 10 to offset any losses. My first batch of 8 did well, and all went to the freezer. The second batch didn't fare as well, with only 7 of 10 making it to butchering day.

    Maybe you need a second freezer for the surplus. [​IMG]
     
  4. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That would be nice!
     
  5. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the biggest thing is most people suggest you not raise two different ages of chickens at the same time. Just raise a few more the first time and do it all-in, all-out. Buy straight run so the roosters will mature 2-3 weeks faster than the hens so you don't have to butcher/freeze all at the same time.

    Some hatcheries have a minimum order for meaties. Meyer hatchery where I got my CX's from does not for the CX's (they have a 3 chick minimum in general) and mine have been turning out great (more due to management than hatchery I think).

    4-6 birds will do fine, though, just like 4-6 hens is no worse than a flock of 20. Add 1-2 birds for losses, though. You can always expect to loose at least one. (Which is why most hatcheries include an extra chick in their orders. I ordered 13 and got 14.)
     
  6. daleeper

    daleeper Out Of The Brooder

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    Is it do-able? yes. What is your reason for raising your own chickens? If you want control of the process, then go right after it, that is why we raise chickens. If it is to try to raise your own meat cheap, then ordering small batches of chicks sets you back right at the start, and be difficult to save any money compared to buying them at the store ready to eat.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've raised 5 at a time and not done anything different from larger batches. Less birds = less poop, always a good thing.

    I'm not sure how the older birds would do with the younger ones, I've never tried that. Cornish are pretty laid back, so it might be okay if you have two feeders so the bigger birds can't hog the feeder space.
     
  8. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wasn't planning on putting younger birds with older ones...I'd get chicks around the 6-week mark, they'd be in the brooder until the older batch was processed, and then move outdoors. That kind of continuous cycle.

    Yes, daleeper, I understand raising a few birds will be expensive. I have 6 laying hens, and the cost of my building materials for their coop alone would have kept me in store bought eggs for over 5 years!
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Okay, gotcha. That should work nicely then.
     
  10. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One more question--I was browsing the Ideal site for broilers and saw they have black and red broilers in addition to the white ones. Did a search here at BYC and someone complained that his/her red broilers were too loud and "never again." Are broilers in general loud? More noisy than 'regular' chickens?
     

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