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Seems to be that time of year, lots of discussion on chickens. Forgive me if this has been covered!<br><br>
We have been raising hens for eggs since the fall and are loving it! We're getting tons of eggs and really enjoying the process. Now we're awaiting our 50 birds for the freezer and I'm not totally sure I know how best to proceed.<br><br>
We usually free range and they get organic scratch grains as well as a few kitchen scraps. That keeps our hens happy and us with TONS of eggs. I'm wondering if/how we would need to alter this for meat birds? I'm more concerned with quality meat than getting them fat quickly. (just a note: they are all heavy breeds, no cornish)<br><br>
This is also our first experience with cockerels and lots of them. Will we need to confine them to runs? I'm expecting it will take 3-4 months to slaughter, but really don't have a clue!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> What am I in for?! Advice?
 

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Depending on the breed, but you would be looking closer to 5 months before you would even consider butchering, from my understanding. As for multi-cockerals, well, I would keep them seperated from the hens, and maybe they'll not fight as much. I'd also feed them the same as the hens. If you have to do a ranging rotation, so be it. This is what we do, we rotate ranging for different birds that fight each other. Our turkeys like to fight with the chickens, and the big roo likes to fight with the bantie roo...sooooo everyone gets rotation time out.
 
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