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Raising Chickens for Meat

Updated on April 18, 2013

Baby Chickens

What are Meat Chickens?

Meat Chickens are chickens that are specifically bred to be bought, fed, and then butchered and eaten. This may seem cruel, but the chickens you get are going to be happier than the chickens from the grocery store. The chickens from the grocery store don't even get to go outside and are pretty much just kept in cages and fed until they are ready to be eaten.

Always remember whatever you do, you are doing it nicer and more humane than the companies that mass produce chicken. You will let your chickens see outside, feed them nice things (which I will talk more about later). And if you develop a special bond with a Meat chicken, you can always keep it.

Preperation and the First Day.

Ok, to raise Meat chickens, you will need to make a home for them. This is called a chicken coop. Try to leave them plenty of space ( they grow pretty big). You will also need to lay bedding, which is like small wood chips (talk to the store you got the chickens from about this, you will need to buy some), all over the floor, not too thick though. You will need chicken waters too,they are little containers that you can put the water in so they can easily drink the water (another thing you can talk to the store about). Food is also something you will need (not human food though) you will need to buy the food that is right for your chickens (ask the store). Also get a heat lamp for your coop if it is going to be below 80 degrees the first couple days.

Getting the Chickens

Now you have the Meat chickens and you are taking them into your coop. You will need to be very careful not to hurt them. Their bones are very fragile at the moment. Now that you have them and the box you got them in in the coop, slowly take them out one at a time. You will need to take their beaks and put them in the water so they learn to drink. They have never experienced this before so you need to show them how. After showing them how to drink put them by a different water supply ( near it, not in it), and get the next one. After you are all done you should check the temperature (keep a thermometer in the coop). Check on them every couple hours and before bed to make sure they are all ok.

The Chickens start to get bigger.

The Chickens start to grow!

So now you're a couple weeks in. When your chickens are about the size that are shown in the picture, you can let them outside. Keep them fenced in with a weak fence, because they cannot fly. The brown chickens in the picture are hens, they are not meat chickens, just try to ignore them. Some of your chickens have probably died as well, this is just something that can happen, or cannot. It depends on how many you get. I'd say about one-tenth of your chickens will die. This is not a problem that you can deal with, and it is not your fault. It just has to deal with that something went wrong. You have also noticed that the chickens are eating a lot of food now. Don't worry, they are just growing. This is what they are basically bred to do, eat.

You can tell the sex of the chickens by looking at their comb. If it is red it is a male, and if it isn't it is a female. These are also called roosters(male) and hens(female). You can also start giving the chickens treats once in a while too. Ask your local store if they sell cracked corn for chickens. Your chickens will love this, and you will love watching them too. They really go crazy for some of this stuff.

The chickens are big enough to butcher.

This part I cannot help you with. When the chickens are big enough to eat, you can either do it by yourself, or hire someone else to do it. If you leave them too long, they will suffer and will start breaking their legs, wings ( even though they can't fly), etc. Once you see that they are getting big enough, you need to find someone to butcher them, or you need to within 7 days.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this article and you can leave a comment below. It really helps me when you guys leave comments, likes,dislikes, or follows. This guide is just the basics, and you are still going to have to do some other research at your local store, but this is pretty much it.

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!


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