starting a barred rock flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by linkindna, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. linkindna

    linkindna In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    Everett, WA
    I would like to order chicks from McMurray to start a flock of barred rocks in the spring. My plan is to select the best rooster and put the others in a stew pot or sell them. I have two questions:

    1. Does anybody have experience with the quality of the barred rocks from McMurray? I'm looking for a true dual purpose - meat and eggs.
    2. How long can I keep several roosters around in the same flock before choosing the one to keep? I would like to keep them long enough to be sure I'm choosing the one with the best personality and a good body type but I don't want to deal with fighting.

    Any advice is welcome. [​IMG]
  2. As for question #1, I am not qualified to answer. But to help with question #2, If you raise to or more roos from at least adolescence, the fighting shouldn't be bad at all. If you need help picking the right cock you might read the topic linked just below my post, the Breed Stewards Thread. People have some good ideas about good selection![​IMG]
  3. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I ordered my BR's from Mcmurray and they all survived, grew to be curious, quiet gentle birds, and excellent layers from 17 wks. I lost my rooster to the brutal summer heat. My hens are in their 2nd yr now and I think I will be ordering more this coming spring. Word of caution though, I believe these to be production rocks as they did not obtain the large size I was looking for. I also had them vaccinated.
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Songster

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Also, you may want to consider Dominiques. A great dual purpose heritage breed. My Dom Roo is huge-normous! They are very docile and calm and the Roo is quite the gentleman and flock protector. Dad ordered his flock of white leghorns from McMurray and every one is still alive and well and laying egg machines! They are 2 yrs old. The dominiques look a lot like the barred rocks but they have a rose comb.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My hens from McMurray are nice laying machines and fairly hardy health wise. The barring isn't always the best and sometimes the leg color varies, but I bought them for eggs. The accidental roo I got I wouldn't have considered raising for meat, he was pretty scrawny. Hatchery dual purpose roosters aren't all that big, the hatchery stock is bred to crank out eggs on smaller amounts of food and the size of the roos reflect that. You can check out the meat bird thread and see pics of hatchery roos dressed out, see if that would make you happy or if you want to either change breeds or search out better quality stock.
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have not ordered from McMurray before but raised 9 BR roos last year, not by choice mind you, they were supposed to be pullets!
    All 9 got along fighting really at all, past the usual chest bumps...

    Now I have 3 BR hens, great birds! They are the first to follow me around the yard like puppies looking to be played with...adore them.

    my girls

    a close up of one of my roos...

    **they were all rehomed

    Good luck to you, sorry I can't really answer the question...just wanted to share my experiences with BR...great bird!
  7. linkindna

    linkindna In the Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Hmmm, I'm starting to get discouraged about hatchery birds. Perhaps a breeder is the best option...
    I'd rather start out with a flock that has most of the qualities I'm looking for instead of trying to breed a bunch of qualities back in! [​IMG]
    Thanks for the replies!

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