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Keeping Chickens for Meat

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1 Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:14 pm

TripleFFarms

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You can do two things with chickens, besides watch their antics.
Eat them or their eggs.

Here we concentrate on producing meat, only.

If you are going to raise chickens to eat, unlike for egg production, you must have a cockerel or rooster, and obviously some hens.
"Some" hens, since a single hen or a couple, would certainly find that they would be pestered by an over amorous cockerel.

About six hens would be sensible. Producing chickens to eat is perfectly compatible with producing eggs to eat.

The two distinct processes can be operated in parallel.

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2 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:14 pm

TripleFFarms

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Periodically, a hen will go broody. Some breeds and some hens are more inclined to this than others.
The symptoms will vary:

Some will go missing, and will eventually be located well away from the henhouse, sitting on a pile of eggs in the undergrowth. Left to their own devices, they will, if they escape the fox, return in time with about half a dozen chicks at their heels.

They may take up residence in the henhouse, monopolising the nesting boxes. Their temper will be foul and they will protest if ejected, returning again as soon as your back is turned.

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3 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:15 pm

TripleFFarms

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With a broody hen, you have two choices:
Allow her to raise a brood in the safety of secure accommodation.

Allow her to lose her interest in motherhood away from the henhouse.

Fortunately, in either case, the equipment needed is much the same.

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4 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:15 pm

TripleFFarms

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A broody pen is easily made and one or two should be kept available and in a good state of repair.
In the examples opposite, each has a detachable box, which if allowed, is ideal for transporting everything from chickens to orphan lambs. Make sure that the wire netting has small holes.

If you intend to get the hen off the brood, don't make it over comfortable, and simply remove all eggs for eating as soon as they are laid. After maybe seven days, she will lose interest.

If you want chicks, allow plenty of straw or wood shavings (from untreated wood) and add any fresh eggs from other hens.

In either case, make sure water is always available and feed normally.

It is as easy as that. It takes about twenty-one days from start to finish.

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5 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:15 pm

TripleFFarms

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When all the eggs are hatched, the hen will do all that is necessary.
Just make sure that you are feeding "chickfeed", that water is constantly available and that the water container is suitable.

When the chicks are big enough, move mother and offspring to bigger accommodation.

Eventually, when it is obvious that mother has lost interest, and the youngsters are feeding well on their own, let the hen out to join the rest of the flock.

You will normally keep poultry intended for the table confined.

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6 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:15 pm

TripleFFarms

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The next job is to separate the boys from the girls, if you want to increase your laying hens.
You may get experienced help, but since their identification techniques usually seems to have more confidence than competence, just wait until you can get it wrong all by yourself.

Cocks have more prominent combs, and hens lay eggs, eventually. If you don't want to increase your laying hens, you can leave them together.

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7 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:16 pm

TripleFFarms

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Eventually, the time will come when they are big enough to eat.
That size will be fairly obvious by reference to mother and father.

Now the writer is going to duck out.

As soft as they come, he is fully prepared to allow the superior smile to creep across rural faces.

Just so long as he is not required to get involved in anything other than eating them.

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8 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:16 pm

TripleFFarms

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Killing poultry is, apparently, not difficult.
People that can do it for you are two a penny in any rural area, and they will happily show you a safe and humane procedure.

Their superior smile is usually payment enough.

You will, however, be required to draw and dress the chickens yourself, superior smiles have their limitations as a currency.

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9 Re: Keeping Chickens for Meat on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:16 pm

TripleFFarms

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You are now in for a culinary delight.

Most supermarket chicken is rubbish.

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