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Author Topic: Questions about Chickens, Sheep, Goats, Turkeys, and pigs.  (Read 1776 times)
hankdog1
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« on: November 21, 2009, 05:34:27 PM »

Give a little back story about what i'm trying to do here so maybe make the questions easier to ansewer.  Okay i live on a farm which all i've ever raised is beef cattle and bees.  Okay i am working on a plan to become as self sufficient as one can.  As i know more about cattle then anything else i plan to purchase 2 Jersey milk cows and several Herefords with a Hereford bull.  That should take care of cow milk and beef production for the year.  My questions are as follows.

1.  What would my best breed of goat be for milk production? 
2.  Are dairy goats good to eat?
3.  Best all around chicken for laying and meat production or do i need to go with 2 breeds?
4.  Best turkey for meat production and best tasting meat?
5.  What's the best breed of sheep for eatting?  (i love some lamb)
6.  What's the best pig as far as meat and flavor?

Figured you guys could provide some insight as you guys seem to know your stuff.  Thanks in advance.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 06:52:15 PM »

Give a little back story about what i'm trying to do here so maybe make the questions easier to ansewer.  Okay i live on a farm which all i've ever raised is beef cattle and bees.  Okay i am working on a plan to become as self sufficient as one can.  As i know more about cattle then anything else i plan to purchase 2 Jersey milk cows and several Herefords with a Hereford bull.  That should take care of cow milk and beef production for the year.  My questions are as follows.

1.  What would my best breed of goat be for milk production?

There are several I like, Toggenberg and Lamacha (sp?  little or not ears)are smaller sized but not quite as small as pigmy or dwarf, Saanen and Alpine are good medium sized, and Nubian for the large breed.  The Lamacha (sic) have the highest butterfat if ice cream or cheeses are in your game plan.
  
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2.  Are dairy goats good to eat?

Yes, I just recently butchered a toggenberg/nubian cross wether, tastes like a cross between venison and lamb.

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3.  Best all around chicken for laying and meat production or do i need to go with 2 breeds?

The best all around dual purpose breed is probably the Buff Orpinton, you can never go wrong with that breed of chicken.  If you want white eggs layers and also meat birds I would suggest getting some White Leghorns alsong with some Cornish game hens, the Leghorn/Cornish cross is what most commercial fryers growers use.

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4.  Best turkey for meat production and best tasting meat?

For size the Bronze Hertisage, for least bird loss during growth the Red Bourbon, and for taste probably the Rio Grande or Eastern Wild turkeys.  The bronze will give you a bigger breast, the Red Bourbands a nicely porportioned big with a slimmer breast and the other 2 have breasts more reminisant of a large chicken.

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5.  What's the best breed of sheep for eatting?  (i love some lamb)

Southdowns are a nice well porportioned in a smaller sheep, 2nd in smaller sheep would be the chevytte.  Larger sheep, probably a Columbia/Lincoln cross.  Personally I would cross the Southdown with the Columbian.


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6.  What's the best pig as far as meat and flavor?

Figured you guys could provide some insight as you guys seem to know your stuff.  Thanks in advance.

I would probably go with a Durrock or or Lanchester, a cross is also a good choise.  Those are my choises others will have other recommendations.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 07:04:18 PM »

Thanks for the info Brain and giving me a place to start.  I was wondering is there a goat and cow milking machine on the market to make my job easier?  Ooooh yeah i looked at the eastern turkey here in VA gotta have papers for them suckers as they are considered a wild animal.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 07:15:47 PM »

Try this website for info on equipment and medications for most farm animals, including pausturizing and milking machine.  I get their catalog and buy stuff there frequently.

www.valleyvet.com

I tested the link so I know it works.  You can get circulating air incubators there for half the price of most other places. 
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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2009, 08:22:30 PM »

For meatbirds the typical and most widely used chicken commerically is the cornish x otherwise known as a cornish game hen/plymouth rock cross.
They are the roaster birds you see at the market and you can cut them up in parts for various cooking methods.
You can order them through the hatcheries and delivered to your door or post office.
They will be grown out and ready for process at a minimum of 6 weeks but you can go longer for a bigger bird but usually no longer than 10 weeks or they have heart attacks from growing too big too quickly, although I know a few who have let them go til 12 weeks, but by then they are like a small turkey.

Orpingtons are a great breed, very hearty but so are any of the rocks, I prefer the barred rocks myself because they are prettier than the plymouth rocks.
I have both breeds and recommened both, another big sturdy breed is the cuckoo maran, have them too.
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hankdog1
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2009, 10:17:41 PM »

Now i want birds that taste good not what the commercial guys are doing.  I do most of the time those are 2 different things.
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Natalie
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 11:48:54 AM »

If you do your own birds they will be different. If you raised leghorns which alot of people do, just as alot of commerical places do, do you think they are going to taste the same?
They keep their birds in confinement and feed them garbage.
If you are raising your own meat birds they will be taste different because you will be raising them differently, they will get exercise, get to eat grass and bugs and not be pumped full of antibiotics or other medications/chemicals.
You probably also won't be soaking your processed chickens in barrels of chlorine either etc.
Does your beef taste the same as store bought? I would hope not or what is the point in raising your own?
You get my drift, no matter what you raise it is going to taste different or it should taste different, meaning much better than store bought unless you are using the same methods, such as feedlots versus grass fed.
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tshnc01
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 12:48:20 PM »

For meat birds raised on pasture, I would encourage you to look at the "Label Rouge" birds.  They seem to be a great compromise between the cornish cross (which gain weight quickly but don't forage well) and traditional heritage breeds.  I just helped a friend process about 50 of them and they were fantastic.  Typically you can get to roaster weight in about 12 weeks.  Here is a hatchery in Penn. that carries them.

...Tim

http://www.jmhatchery.com/free-range-broiler/colored-range-chicks/prod_5.html?review=read
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