stupid question from newbie...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Garden Gal, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    Bear with me guys... I am getting ready to order our chicks; coop is about done and we are working on the run. Do most folks (for meat/eating chickens) order chicks, raise, slaughter and reorder chicks or do they incubate and raise their own? I had planned on raising my own, but the more I read about incubating and all the issues I'm wondering if I'm nuts! [​IMG]

  2. heritagebirds

    heritagebirds Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Eastern Shore MD
    This is only my second season of hatching...I raise dual-purpose chickens (meat & eggs). The incubating and hatching is exciting, but I've lost some expensive eggs, too. It is a personal choice. I do love hatching them out, but I'm hoping for a broody hen soon.
  3. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    We ordered 30 chicks. Built them a coop. Gee, that was fun, lets get 30 more. Built another coop. Hey, we got hens laying fertile eggs, let's get an incubator and hatch some chicks!

    I find the biggest advantage of incubating our own chicks, is that we don't have to order 25 at a time. We don't have to wait for the hatchery to have them in stock either. We know what the parents are like. Friendly roosters and fat hens. If we hatch out extras we don't want, we sell them, or give them away. I figured out the electricity costs in our area to hatch 40 chicks and it comes to 6 cents each. How can you beat that price? Home hatched chicks seem to get off to a better start than shipped chicks. If you are satisfied with the daul purpose breeds you choose as eating birds and aren't interested in hybrid crosses, then why not incubate. The biggest disadvantage is that you are stuck with the breeds you have on hand. . . . Well, maybe I could order some hatching eggs and hatch some nice . . . .??

    Finding a place for the brooder and a seperate place for the chicks, until they can go in with the adult birds, is our biggest hassle.
    We did make improvements on the design of the 2nd coop, so we could split it into three areas for chicks, breeding pens, or birds we are planning to eat. No matter how you plan your operation, you'll always wish you had more room.

    Not saying this is for everybody, but it works for us.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  4. chicklips

    chicklips Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    St. Johns, MI
    If you are doing meat birds remember that most of the faster growing meat birds are hybids (cornish x, white mountain broiler). Meaning you will have to have the right "parents" it order to come up with the same bird.

    Try doing a dual bird. You will get eggs and meat.

  5. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Depends on what you are raising. You can't sustain a flock of Cornish X's, and have them turn out light the ones you buy as chicks, no matter what the parents are.
  6. alabiologist

    alabiologist In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2009
    Okay, I am a newbie, so this is probably a stupid question, but I thought if you had a broody hen, you have the best incubator possible. What am I missing here? My plan was to let a couple broody hens sit and hatch in the spring instead of ordering new chicks each year.
  7. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Quote:They just don't seem to want to be broody, when you want them to. Sometimes never.

  8. ben&momschicks

    ben&momschicks In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2008
    I love my broody hens. I doubt I will ever use an incubator. Now, you can't buy special breed eggs if you're not sure there will be a broody hen to put them under, but if it's eggs from your own flock and constantly available, a broody can't be beat. It's like automatic pilot for incubation. My broodies are game hens. I didn't care for them until I realized how often they go broody and how easy it was to hatch the other hens eggs with them. Some breeds go broody more often. Karen
  9. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    You can not raise and hatch out broilers of any kind. But you could start a dual purpose bird and go that route, but they take longer and don't have as much meat on them and the meat is usally tougher as the bird is alot older.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by