thanking about meat and egg chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by orangecougar, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. orangecougar

    orangecougar New Egg

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    hey, I don't have much experience with chickens but I am think about building a coop for both meet and eggs. One of my goals in life is to support my own meat. I already do my own beef and now time to start chickens. Just have a couple of questions.
    A) would it be better to have my meat and egg chickens separate or could I just keep them all together and then just pick a couple out when I run low of meat?
    B) how easy is it to let the mother chicken hatch her eggs instead of paying for more chicks or having to incubate the eggs?
    C) how many eggs dose one chicken hatch at a time?
    D) is there better food for each type of chicken?

    Thanks for your time
    Brian
     
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC, This is what I'm thinking for you:


    Buy dual-purpose breeds like, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Black Australorps. Those breeds are good layers and when they stop laying a few years, then make them into stew hens. If you want them to hatch out chicks, you'll need a couple roosters to get fertile hatching eggs so the mama hens will hatch the eggs.

    You can eat the extra rooster the mama hens hatch out, and keep the hens so you get more eggs.


    Otherwise, you'll be buying these big white, ugly birds called, "Cornish crosses" that are genetically engineered to grow too fast. In about 8-12 weeks the birds will start dying off if you don't slaughter them and you'll have a freezer full of them.



    Its cheaper to just buy chicken carcasses at the store than raise your own meat chickens. The old layer hens are fine though, because you got eggs from them.


    - - - -

    A) Would it be better to have my meat and egg chickens separate or could I just keep them all together and then just pick a couple out when I run low on meat?
    -Separate, they need different feeds.



    B) How easy is it to let the mother chicken hatch her eggs instead of paying for more chicks or having to incubate the eggs?
    -It depends if you want to start out with chicks yourself. I think it would be cheaper to buy the meat chicks and layers to start out and when they start laying put eggs under hens who want to "set" (hatch out chicks). The thing is, chickens won't lay for about 7 months and you'll put a lot of feed into raising them. Maybe you can get some laying hens to start you off but raise
    some chicks too.


    C) How many eggs does one chicken hatch at a time?
    -A hen (a female chicken) can hatch as many chicks as she can fit under her body and keep warm. Somewhere around 10 or 12 eggs is the average for a full sized chicken that hatches eggs.


    D) Is there better food for each type of chicken?
    -Yes. Feed "Layers Mash" feed to laying hens and "Broiler" feed with high protein content to your meat breeds.


    Have a good one,
    Whittni
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  3. orangecougar

    orangecougar New Egg

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    Thanks for the advice. So you believe that it is cheaper to just buy the meat, than to raise them my self. I could see that but at least I would know what goes into them and how they were raised. I will give it a try at least. Hoping to start in spring. But thanks a lot for the advice!!

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  4. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

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    I really do mean its cheaper to just buy chicken meat at the store. Often it costs 3 times as much to raise them and a lot of emotional stress on the owners because the broiler chickens will have health problems and may become friendly and people won't want to slaughter them so the chickens die from heart attacks.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I raise my own chickens for both meat and eggs, not because it's cheaper___it ain't!!!___ but because I've got a healthier end product, raised more humanely, and I fed as I see fit...I have raised CornishX meat birds, but they are pathetic unhealthy little guys; I'm much happier with the dual purpose birds or the Freedom Rangers from Penn. for meat. NOT cheaper, but healthy active birds that also taste much better. Besides, chickens are fun! Mary
     
  6. Shellz

    Shellz Chillin' With My Peeps

    I suggest if you're going to get birds for meat, get from a breeder that's raising for utility in mind. I agree with you orangecougar. I consider the cost of raising our birds, an investment. To our health & enjoyment of raising natural poultry. :D
     
  7. IttyBiddyRedHen

    IttyBiddyRedHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raising them yourself is in no way cheaper...but if you want to be in control of what you eat, then look at it as quality versus quantity (cheap). There are lots of great threads on here about raising chickens for meat and eggs. Not all breeds go broody and want to hatch. Not all breeds make good eating either. We are finding that out for ourselves, Something comes up..I come to BYC to do more research..get more information.
    It is like anything else....you need to educate yourself on what you are striving to accomplish. You are familiar with raising beef, but I am sure you had to learn that somehow.
    I have not messed with the"meaties" cornish x segmant. Mine are all large fowl dual purpose. I have one Old English Game Hen for broody duty. My Plymouths do not go broody, but I keep them for eggs and meat. As a matter of fact, I just this past month processed my first birds. I am new to the chicken raising life, being born and raised in the big city. We, my husband and I, have only had chickens now for 2.5 years. It is a learning experience for the both of us, even though he was raised country in OH/WV.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. orangecougar

    orangecougar New Egg

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    Thanks for all the advice. I have looked at the Freedom Rangers before I am thinking about them. I trust yall are right bout it costing more, even thou it don't seem right to me. I guess I am use to getting a half a cow instead of couple pounds of meet lol. But some of the things I have actually seen dealing with chickens will make it worth the extra cost. plus I don't have MY land turned into a pastor yet so I will start off with the small live stock for now. But I do give a big thanks for all the advice and yall will see me on here looking for more advice and sharing pics of how my coop looks as I make it. Thank yall may be impressed with my design or I hope so at least.

    THANKS
    Brian
     

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