Silly question, Where do they come from?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by taraann81, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. taraann81

    taraann81 Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    I have read on BYC many times about not letting your meat chickens get to laying age as"that is not what they were made for". So my question is, where do meat chicken chicks come from if it is so detrimental to allow them to get to laying age?
  2. chickpeaz

    chickpeaz Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Central PA
    A very logical question! [​IMG] Now I'm intrigued...
  3. annek

    annek Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Someone much more knowledgeable than myself will answer this but my understanding is that they eat so much that their heart won't take getting older. This came off of another web site.

    Meat chickens have been selected to grow fast
    so as to produce the maximum amount of meat
    in the shortest possible time. The time from
    when they first hatch to appearing on
    supermarket shelves can be around just five
    weeks. They can put on weight so rapidly they
    can suffer from severe health problems such as
    lameness (leg problems) and heart defects.
  4. mamaKate

    mamaKate Songster

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    The are bred for fast growth and heavy bodies without consideration for long term health because most people butcher them after just a couple of months. Most large hatcheries sell them. If you want both meat and eggs, get some dual purpose or heritage birds. Meat birds aren't good layers (if they survive to laying age) and the excellent layers are lightweight so they will use less feed. Hope this helps. [​IMG]
  5. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I would imagine that you have to let a certain amount of meat birds get to laying age or there would be none very soon. You could probably let them lay for a couple of months and then stew them.
  6. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Meat chickens (cornish crosses and variations) are specially designed crosses of 2 large breeds, that do nothing but pig out untill they die, you butcher them or they go lame. I'd say 90% will NEVER get to laying age as they'd have thier bodies give out before them. Bulk size can lead to infertility if one did make it that long not sure if they could reproduce.

    If you want a chicken for meat and eggs, or to stay around longer a dual purpose breed like barred rocks may work.

    if you want the chicken you have at the market, raise cornish crosses, and butcher them at less than 2 months (even then it's not the same, but as close as you'll get).
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  7. GAchick

    GAchick Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    Pembroke GA
    Quote:Good question! If they all keel over dead of heart attacks or whatever at (for example) 20 weeks, but don't start laying until 30 weeks, where do they all come from?? Are there little chicken infirmaries where hens on life support are laying eggs for the next generation?
  8. taraann81

    taraann81 Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    It doesn't really answer my question, but thanks for the attempt mamakate. I am not asking why you can't let them get to laying age only where do those chicks come form if that is the case? They must come from parents who are also meat chickens who should not be allowed to get to laying age.
  9. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Most commercial places don't allow their laying hens but a 12x12 wire cage, so them getting up and about is not a problem. They sit there in that cage their whole life with a conveyer belt in front of them that brings their food, and an automated belt behind them that takes the eggs they lay to the washing room.
  10. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Trying again:

    Cronish crosses (different names same beast)

    Made by crossing a Cornish onto a large bird like a white rock, 2 different breeds. The parent breeds reproduce fine, the offspring chicks grow into the meat chickens that you can't let grow to breeding size, thier bodies can't take the rapid growth.

    Some people are experamenting with keeping a backyard flock of cornish, rocks and they breeding thier own crosses.

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