We just recently started raising our third clutch of meat birds (15 Cornish Cross and 25 Red Rangers, both were straight run). After realizing that we could have purchased an incubator with the money we've spent buying the chicks so far, we started considering that maybe we should move on into hatching our own since we can see that we will continue raising our own meat. So, the question is how best to do that. In addition to our 40 new meaties, we have 5 EEs, 3 Dominques, 6 "TSC specials" aka Tetra Tints - all egg layers. So, right now we don't even have a mature Roo. In the past, we tried having a Roo but he was so hard on our hens that he'd literally plucked a couple of his favorites bare and sliced up the remaining skin. I wonder if this is what is meant by the difference between a rooster that "does the dance" or one that "rapes" the hens as I've often seen others on BYC make reference to. As we move ahead with our effort to hatch our own, what and how many birds would you use for growing chicks? Would you save a roo from CX or RR? Would you save 1 or 2 or more of the hens? Would you use any of the fertilized eggs from the other breeds? We will probably retire some of our older layers and need replacements but as for hatching meaties, would those genes from EEs, Dom, TTs be a waste for hatching? Would you acquire a roo or hens from some other breed instead of using what we already have? Thanks in advance. The advice from you BYC enthusiasts and veterans is always so helpful. We literally couldn't have even made it this far without the collective support!