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DH and I were thinking of raising some white rock chickens for meat. They are half of the cross (rock-cornish) that we buy when we order meat birds. These birds don't get big as fast, butcher is about 11 weeks, but they don't have the leg problems the other birds have. We were thinking of ordering some roosters and hens to keep and let them hatch out their own chicks and then we can just butcher when they are big enough. Has anyone done this? :dis:
 

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We tried saving some of our meat hens and wanted eggs from them in hopes of hatching some of our own. None of the first 12 made it last year. When you see a bird turning blue, you better butcher it off asap, as it will be dead shortly on it's own from it's weight and the heart problems.
This year we got another 12 meat chicks, because we got a deal at the TSC store for $ 1 each this spring. Lost one due to it's fast growth and butchered the other 11 before they were 7 weeks old. Dressed weight was over 4 pounds each.

I did a lot of research for different breeds and we wanted a dual purpose chicken. Good for eggs and meat, and hardy enough for our cold winters. Our main flock is buff orpingtons hens, with one rooster. We get a high percentage of eggs in the winter. We also have a few red hens and our white rooster and our guess is that these are red sex links. A total of 15 hens just over a year old .

We did hatch this spring and now have 16 young pullets that are 4 months old that are just starting to lay. We also have another group that has 8 or 9 pullets about a month younger. A mix of reds, orpingtons, and some are a pretty white.

So not in our plans to ever try rasing meat birds or crosses to adult size. We'll let the hatcheries do that. Meat birds are not bred for egg production either. And boy can they eat. The one rooster we kept the longest had a bad attitude and he was always sleeping in the doorway for the outside run. So that made it hard for the hens to get back into the coop to lay their eggs. Meat chicks probably will be in our future again, but their stay here will be of short duration.
 

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I grew up on a chicken farm and we always had a good number of the "rock" chickens (white and barred usually). The hens are good layers of large brown eggs, and also very good natured birds.
 

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We tried saving some of our meat hens and wanted eggs from them in hopes of hatching some of our own. None of the first 12 made it last year. When you see a bird turning blue, you better butcher it off asap, as it will be dead shortly on it's own from it's weight and the heart problems.
This year we got another 12 meat chicks, because we got a deal at the TSC store for $ 1 each this spring. Lost one due to it's fast growth and butchered the other 11 before they were 7 weeks old. Dressed weight was over 4 pounds each.

I did a lot of research for different breeds and we wanted a dual purpose chicken. Good for eggs and meat, and hardy enough for our cold winters. Our main flock is buff orpingtons hens, with one rooster. We get a high percentage of eggs in the winter. We also have a few red hens and our white rooster and our guess is that these are red sex links. A total of 15 hens just over a year old .

We did hatch this spring and now have 16 young pullets that are 4 months old that are just starting to lay. We also have another group that has 8 or 9 pullets about a month younger. A mix of reds, orpingtons, and some are a pretty white.

So not in our plans to ever try rasing meat birds or crosses to adult size. We'll let the hatcheries do that. Meat birds are not bred for egg production either. And boy can they eat. The one rooster we kept the longest had a bad attitude and he was always sleeping in the doorway for the outside run. So that made it hard for the hens to get back into the coop to lay their eggs. Meat chicks probably will be in our future again, but their stay here will be of short duration.


I have to ask..you said that your 4 month old chickens are laying? Mine are the same age and they haven't even looked into their nesting boxes yet? A friend told us he believes our chickens are Red Sex
link? I wonder if I'm doing something wrong as to why my girls haven't given us any eggs? So many questions..TIA..
 

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We have one 16 week old pullet that we got one brown egg from so far. I know it is a pullet egg because it is so small compared to our large and extra large eggs from the older hens. I don't know which pullet yet, as it could be one of the reds or a orpington. We also have some white ones so am guessing they will lay white eggs.
Like anything else, you always get one or two that are above average or have to be the firsts at something. I know the pullets are real close as the rooster is paying special attention to a couple of them. I am guessing 5 months for some of them when we see their first eggs.

We keep layer crumbles in a metal hanging feeder that any of the birds can get to. Then they also have cracked corn. Plenty of water, and also the flock block. Then they get treats like bread and veggies.

I will update my bertthebadchicken thread with some pics of our new pullets. We have some pretty girls in this group.
 
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