Starting our flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by sprink89nc, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. sprink89nc

    sprink89nc Just Hatched

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    Hello!!!
    My wife and I just bought our first home, we just got married in July 2016. We have horses already and my in laws have 5 chickens that we have raised with them. Our farm we bought has a 24x24 barn with 3 stalls set up for chickens already. We are thinking about getting a flock of black ausrolorps for layers, about 24, and I'm going to take our many extra eggs to work and sell them. I also want to do some meat chickens but my wife does not. I have read alot about using a Cornish x for the meat chickens but I have also read alot about the ausrolorps being a good meat chicken as well, they just take longer to reach butcher age. Our coop all open up into our 13 acres or pasture and we plan on letting them run free through the day. Does this all seem like a good idea? It is for hobby as well as utility. I plan on keeping a few roosters so I can manage my flock. That is also why I was thinking about just having all ausrolorps. What say you all???
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC - great that you have joined us. It may be a good idea to check out the current topic of the week thread "Free ranging" as that will give you some insights into what and how members do things - https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1148095/topic-of-the-week-free-ranging

    I'll let other members comment on your breed choice as I'm not familiar with their characteristics.

    If you decide that you don't want meat birds, then setting up a breeding system whereby you have an almost constant supply of birds can work, assuming you are not wishing to make a profit out of it. Many members breed layers on a yearly basis, and thus avoid the drop in egg production during the winter months (and it frees up the existing layers for meat).

    There are many additional variables to consider, and I'm sure that others will give their input. Personally, I'd go for it, and be prepared to modify your plans / management / breed choice should the need arise.

    Good luck
    CT
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  3. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on the marriage and new home!

    That seems like a pretty good plan! Black australorps are one of those breeds that you can use for both egg laying or meat, but they take about 5 months, I think, while cornish cross are more like 6 weeks or so. Some prefer the taste of birds that take longer to grow, but I've never personally raised meat birds. You could always get a bunch of straight run birds, then you have your choice of roosters to keep, and then just eat the rest.

    The family I babysit for absolutely has loved their black australorps, they say they acted like dogs and would come right up the window of the house for attention :)

    You'll probably just have to try free ranging for yourself. I've lost too many chickens trying, while the family 1 mile down the street hasn't lost any. Some people just seem to have more of a hawk problem than others. I suppose it also depends on if it's just a flock for eggs vs. pet chickens.
     
  4. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    It's always helpful to have a plan in mind when you start a new project, plans can always be modified as needed. If you'd like some input from members that raise meat birds, you can post questions about them here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/21/meat-birds-etc

    Congratulations on your recent marriage and new home.

    Best wishes and thanks for joining us!
     
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, sprink89nc, and :welcome! Great to have you with us. I'll chime in on the australorps as a meat bird. I believe this breed may fall into the category of dual purpose, that is it is suitable for egg laying as well as meat production. However, some folks are not impressed with the taste of the meat from dual purpose breeds. This is because the chicken that everyone is used to - from restaurants to the grocery store - is from the Cornish Cross breed. This breed grows at a rapid rate. In 6-8 weeks it will yield a larger carcass than most dual purpose breeds will develop in 16 weeks. Personally, I love the taste of the dual purpose breeds. I can't describe the taste except to say it more "chickeny." More and more folks are going the dual purpose breed route as Cornish Cross, due to genetics, often develop health problems and aren't like other chickens....they just live to eat it seems. Lots to think about. There are other options as well. Various breeds sometimes called Rangers provide an adequate carcass and in less time than other dual purpose types. Good luck in your poultry pursuits!
     
  6. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under sprink89nc [​IMG] Welcome and Congratulations!

    As you have already received some great advice, I will just add that I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
  7. LadyVictorian

    LadyVictorian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the site,

    I have heard great things about Australorps as layers. Ordered one myself with my little pullets coming in April. They are very beautiful birds as well.
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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