Small Flock Series: Brooding and Growing Chicks
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To raise a flock of chickens that will suit your needs, whether for eggs, meat or show, start with quality chicks. Obtain chicks from a hatchery that participates in the National Poultry Improvement Program. There are some advantages in buying chicks or fertile eggs from local sources if they can provide quality chicks or eggs as well as information and service to their customers. In general, if you are interested only in egg production, order sexed pullets of Leghorn or other eggtype strains. If you are interested in meat, order one of the popular Cornish broiler crosses or White Plymouth Rocks. Dual-purpose strains are well suited for growers interested in both eggs and meat production. Birds for show and fair competition will require special strain evaluation and appraisal.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.