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types of meat birds

 
monty ali
Posts: 52
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can you guy's suggest some different types of birds that i can raise for meat? i don't have a huge amount of space just my back garden which is about 1/4 acre half of which is used to grow veg and fruit, the other half is for my kids to play. i want to keep them in some sort of aviary type set up so i know where they are and are easy to catch. I do already keep chickens but because of the space there is a limit to the number i can keep.
can i keep the birds in the same pen as my chickens?
 
monty ali
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Also are there any laws restricting the birds i can keep?
 
Kirk Hockin
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Location: Merville, BC
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With such limited space, rabbits may be a better choice. Laws will vary based on local government; where are you?

 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Without stating where you are, nobody can guess what laws may be applicable to you.
Here, in the U.S., if you live outside of city limits, (and not within the limits of a "Home Owner's Association" [HOA]), most places have no limits on the number/sex of your chickens. As you move into city limits, (or worse yet, HOA's), the laws get tougher. Most cities have limits as to how many you have, how many feet they must be from your (& your neighbor's) house, and the sexist bastards wont allow roosters - neighbors don't like to be awaken by the familiar cock-a-doodle-do at pre dawn hours.

If your laws allow the raising of roosters (the males of any species get larger than the females = more meat), then go ahead and do it. They should be fine with the egg layers IF they are healthy, and disease free. It is commonly advised to NOT introduce new birds to a flock, because if the new birds have any disease, they will/might spread this to your previously healthy flock. If your hens are mature, it is also not advisable to introduce young chix to the flock, as the pecking order will put the chix at the bottom of that order. Throw all of these common wisdoms aside if you have a healthy batch of chix, and let them sort out their own pecking order...the hens are probably horny enough by now to want a few roosters flaunting their stuff around the pen.

However, if you have any doubts about the health of the chix, keep them apart. I don't want to sound 'alarmist', but one sick chick can wipe out your entire flock in a matter of days. Each batch of chicks has been exposed to certain 'ailments', and might be exempt from it, but it could be fatal to the existing flock which has not yet built an amunity.
 
monty ali
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Sorry i missied it out my bad, Leeds, UK
 
monty ali
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Rabbits are definitely a no no i don't like them.

I wasn't referring to more chickens i'm quite happy with the ones i have for now. I was asking about a different bird species? eg quail etc. does any keep any or have any suggestions
 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Guinea hens are delicious eaten young , similar to pheasant . They have a much bulkier body and better feed to meat ratio than pheasant . Eat them at 4-6 weeks . Trying to raise them as adults in your setting may be impossible though . You can buy them as day old keets .
 
Martin King
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Location: Limousin
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I see you have added that you are after 2types" of chickens for meat but why not try Muscovey ducks?
we have one drake and 2 breeding females. They are great layers of eggs and will sit on upto 18 eggs. we start taking the ducks after about 3 months ( larger males first) and one duck yields several meals as we can share one breast and confit the duck legs ( the dog gets the rest of the bird).
 
Renate Howard
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How about pigeons? If nobody's poisoning them you can even let them free range a bit to get some of their own food, once they've learned where home is. There are some varieties that are raised for meat that get quite large. There is also a kind of turkey called "Midget White" - very personable, almost chicken-sized but with turkey flavor.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Quail are another possibility. They are small and can be raised in small cage situations, definitely not requiring much space. Tiny, but a delicacy. Debatable as to whether it's worth the effort to slaughter for personal consumption in light of their size (figure one bird per person for a meal, I think).
 
Andre Lasle
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Location: Mille Lacs, MN
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I've raised turkeys, Cornish-cross broilers, Red Broilers, Black Broilers, Guinea Fowl and Rabbits for butcher.
Of all of these, the efficiency-award goes to the Cornish Cross.

It has some advantages and disadvantages.

The main disadvantage is there are not a strong bird, especially when in the chick-phase.
You have to rear them with a clean area, clean water and lots of food.
If you can get them to a decent size where you can put them outside (for me about 2-4 weeks), then, with ample food, they can grow to butcher size in probably 8-12 weeks. Factory farms do them in 5 weeks, but I never get that ambitious or greedy.

The red and black broilers are much more resilient and less susceptible to disease at a yound age, but won't get as big and will take longer to do so.

Turkeys are a blast. Buy a poult in April, have a beautiful Thanksgiving feast in November.

Guinea fowl were far too vocal for me and very skiddish, so I wasn't a fan of them.
 
monty ali
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Do guinea fowls make a lot of noise? are they as bad as a rooster?

I want the birds i get to be self replacing rather than having to buy in new chicks?

I've had a look at the idea of maybe raising pigeons? has anyone got any experience of raising these for meat?
 
monty ali
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maybe wood pigeon...
 
Andrew Parker
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Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
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One more vote for quail. The eggs are delicious and very nutritious. I have not eaten quail meat, but I understand it is also tasty and nutritious. What they lack in mass they make up for in quantity.
 
Bev Huth
Posts: 36
Location: AR, USA
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In that small a space, I'd got with quail or chuckar (partridge). Both are smaller and relatively quiet, you would have to incubate the eggs with either but, you could hatch them and brood the chicks. Quail are faster growing and, more prolific egg layers but, chuckar are larger and live longer.

I have both, in cages suspended above my meat chickens. Any feed the smaller birds scatter out is eaten by the chickens so, no wasted feed. I would not keep the in the same pen w/o some kind of separation for fear of the larger chickens injuring the smaller birds.
 
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