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#1 Posted : Sunday, February 01, 2009 11:06:06 PM
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I am not sure where you are located, so not sure how cold the weather is?  There is a variety developed in Canada (Chantecler) to withstand cold temps.  Dominque is supposed to be a good dual purpose chicken, too.  My experience in ND is that most chickens do well here, but larger comb types (such as Leghorns and single comb roosters) tend to get frostbite on the combs in the winter (my low so far this winter was -34F).  I stick with hens with shorter combs or rose comb types and avoid that problem.  If you want meat birds for short duration, broilers (a cross between White Rock and Cornish, referred to as Cornish Rocks) reach butcher age fastest -advertised as something like 8 weeks, mine take a bit longer because I feed for slower growth (partial foraging, let them sleep at night instead of keeping lights on to keep them awake and eating).  This helps them to aviod the common leg problems, and letting them get a bit older lets the flavor develop more (like the difference between veal and beef).  As far as how many?  You need to figure out how often you plan to eat chicken and take it from there.  There really is no set answer.  My mother cooks chicken a lot more often than I do...

Good luck!

Shirley in ND


#2 Posted : Saturday, March 28, 2009 9:35:28 PM
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Posts: 134,494


Hi,I've been raising chickens for some time now in Pa.I agree that CornishRock Cross is the best meat chicken. I let mine go about 3 months and they weigh in at about 10-12 lbs. I get all roosters as they get the biggest. I do not use a light except for the first few weeks to keep them warm until they start to get feathers. I feed 6 people and I raise 35 chickens. I leave 10 whole and cut up the rest & seperate the breasts from the legs and of course soup meat.

As for layers, I have good luck with Gold Comets(also known as Golden Buffs,Red Star& Gold Sex Link). They are cold hardy and lay a large brown egg.The pea or rose comb chickens do better in below zero weather. My hens haven't lost their combs but the rooster did.

good luck,   sherryv4@peoplepc.com

#3 Posted : Saturday, March 28, 2009 9:35:28 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Haven't raised chickens in years, but would like to start. What is best breed for egg laying and can do well in cold weather? Also the best meat birds as far as weight and time to butcher? This is a three part question, how many meat birds for family of six for a year?


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