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Rhode Island Red figures, anyone?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Puck-Puck, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Puck-Puck

    Puck-Puck Songster

    This question follows on the recent "Is it worth it, financially?" discussion. I am not looking to make money, but I would like to make an educated guess about how much I will be in the hole by [​IMG] . I have searched the forums, but haven't quite found the answer to my questions--and I hope this is the right forum for this, because for me, it relates back to management--sorry if this is misplaced!

    For those of you who keep Rhode Island Reds, can you tell me:

    (a) how many pounds/kilos of feed X number of mature layers go through in Y period (NOT the dollar amount)--basically, the feed-to-egg ration for this breed;
    (b) what is the dressed weight of a 16- to 20- week old roo vs. hen?
    (c) silly question...does a mixed-sex batch usually work out 50/50 male-to-female?

    (What these questions are in aid of: I am trying to figure out whether to get the minimum order of 25 chicks all to myself, first building a much bigger coop than planned; whether to try harder to find someone local to split an order with me; whether to get all pullets or mixed, slaughtering all roosters in the fall, before they get too brash and noisy. Your answers to the three questions above will help me to make these decisions.)

    Thank you in advance, from an about-to-be first-time chicken keeper!

  2. okieroy

    okieroy Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Bethany, Ok
    Another thing you have to consider. My reds free range and eat alot and I mean alot of veggie scraps. My feed consumption will not be any where near as large as someone who raises in an enclosed area and no scraps. Would love to give more info, but I wouldn't know where to begin.
  3. imaleomom

    imaleomom Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    I'm not able to be very much help since I pretty much meet zero of your criteria ( I have 8 heavy-breed layers though). It takes more than a month for me to go through 50# of layer pellets.

    My girls stay out most days (on about 1/2 acre).

    My very, very, very limited experience would say that straight run batches are seldom 50/50.
  4. Puck-Puck

    Puck-Puck Songster

    Thank you for your replies so far...they're giving me an inkling...but I'd be happy for more replies still, for a broader sampling of experiences! [​IMG]

    Yes, they'll be getting scraps, but I'm working on a worst-case scenario for bought feed (plan for the worst, and if the worst doesn't happen, I'm pleasantly surprised!). The fewer birds I have the more they'll be able to pasture; more birds, and they'll have to rotate shifts.
  5. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Songster

    Feb 20, 2009
    I think I remember reading somewhere that each chicken will eat 1/4 to 1/3 lb grain/day although this was a generalized figure non-specific to RIR. My BOs fell roughly into this range during the winter when they were mainly grain-fed.

    Sorry, but I have no idea about questions b & c.
  6. rigagirl

    rigagirl Songster

    Dec 28, 2008
    churchville ny
    My chickens pay for the food that i buy for them which can be 150 lbs -250 lbs, not sure how much they really go through because i am also feeding the neighborhood rats. [​IMG] every bit of money that i put out before they turned 7 months and i started to sell eggs i will never get back or make enough to cover that, also i just bought a new shed for them so i was thinking of making them get part time jobs to pay for it. [​IMG] plus i just got 10 more chicks and all my husband wants to know is when are we going to be able to eat one. chickens are fun and addictive so watch it!
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] For the amount of birds you are talking about I would guess that a 50# bag should last about a month. I Have RIR's I go through more feed and they free range but I also have quite a few birds. There are pictures on my BYC Page.

  8. Jennie5193

    Jennie5193 Songster

    Mar 2, 2009
    South East TN
    I read online (don't remember the site) that you can plan on 4lbs of feed per dozen eggs for the "egg layers".

    You can find the answer to "b" in the "meat bird" section. There have been many threads about that. [​IMG]

    "straight run" = ROOSTERS

    All I have is my experience, but so far I've bought 2 batches of "straight run" chicks from backyard flocks (not even hatcheries, which I've heard are worse) and of the 26 chicks I bought only FIVE were pullets. Additionally, I bought 4 "pullets" and one of those turned out to be a rooster.
    Math: I bought 30 chickens have 5 pullets.

    We went into the "straight run" with the same idea you have. I bought 26 chicks and thought at least 10 of them would be hens and we would put the rest in the freezer. By the time they were only 11 weeks old there was a lot of testosterone in the pen and I didn't have anywhere to keep them so they could fatten up... so I ended up *giving* them away. Waste of money, time, and feed.

    I highly suggest getting pullets and even then, you still may get a few roos. If you want to raise roos for meat, though, you could put an ad on craigslist offering to take unwanted roos and there you go! [​IMG]

    Good luck!

    BTW, with my RIR's I'm selling the eggs for 2.00/dozen and it is covering the cost of my feed (for them and the rest of the flock) when the others start laying, I'll be covering my feed cost and working on paying for that chicken castle they live in! LOL
  9. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    1. Mature large chickens eat about 5 oz. of feed per day. That as others have stated can be supplemented with scraps.
    2. A good red will lay about 180-220 eggs per year, then molt at about 18 months, wont lay for a while then lay usually fewer the second year. After that egg production normally goes down.
    3. A 12 week old rooster will dress out at about 3 lbs or so dressed weight. If you dont do the butchering yourself you can figure on about 3 bucks a bird to get em done.

    4. I keep very few records as I really have no interest in knowing how much this habit costs me. There is no financial justification for this that is for sure. I am sure my eggs cost me 3-3.50 per dozen to produce when all things excluding the cost of the coop go into the equation.
    5. The one thing you can be certain of is that you can be certain of nothing. I have a bunch of RIR and they did quite well all winter and have decided now that it is nice out to lay about every other day or less. Drives up the cost of egg production.
    6. In straight run you "should" get about 50 50 hatch but in small numbers like that you never know. I hatched 6 Marans and got 1 pullet and 5 roosters. But then I think I am the hard luck chicken guy.

    If you can afford them you will love every minute of it. Not a huge budget whacker but it is not a money maker but you already knew that.
  10. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    6 RIR hens, keeping track on Steve's (raizin is his forum name) Excel spreadsheet...

    0.36 pounds of food per egg and I'm getting 5.13 eggs per day...

    Don't know about the roos as I prefer to only keep hens.

    A 50# bag of layer pellets lasts them about 4-6 weeks depending on other things like scraps, free ranging, weather...

    We sell our excess eggs for $2.00 per dozen and it more than covers the feed. I accept the cost of coops and equipment as "capital expenditures" !!!

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