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Broody-raised broilers?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Has anyone done this?
It was not my intention to get broilers in October (I'm in northern New England). But my dark Cornish hen insisted on setting in September, during a heat wave, and none of her eggs hatched. So I needed some chicks for her so she wouldn't sit for so long she totally lost condition before winter. All that were available at late notice were broilers. Why not? Ordered ten, got eleven. Cold days for shipping. Stuck them under her that night and stole her stinking eggs.

She took them in and is being a great mother. However we did lose several to the rough trip and cold weather. She now has four. So these chicks are having a rather non-traditional (actually, incredibly traditional) broiler brooding experience. They sleep all night tucked under their mothers wings, eat what their mama tells them to, and scratch around in the leaves looking for goodies. In fact today their mom taught them to drink from the nipple waterer. They are two and a half weeks old, and still don't really look like broilers, I'm sure due to their rough start.

My question is, has anyone had broilers have a slow start but still end up a good size in a decent time? Or am I just on a good track to produce broiler breeding stock lol. I doubt these guys will outgrow their cardiopulmonary systems any time soon. Part of me wants them to get big and fat and butcher them before winter sets in; the other half wants to keep some to try breeding them and crossing with my dual purpose stock. Not that I need anything else to overwinter!

Sorry this is long. I ramble.
post #2 of 5
I had my broody raise some broilers for the first 4ish weeks until they were out competing my other chicks for food so I had to take them from her. They are about 6 weeks now and growinguch faster now that they are on a 21% broiler feed
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Good to great! I was hoping that I hadn't stunted them or something. They are eating 25% multi-flock starter crumbles in their creep feeder (so my layers don't eat all my expensive starter feed), when their mom lets them anyway.
I've been butchering ducks lately. Almost looking forward to doing chickens again, so sick of plucking duck feathers!
post #4 of 5

I just had a silkey raise 25 Cornish X.  She seemed to try to get them to forrage, and act more like Chickens.   

post #5 of 5

The Silkey raised birds got to size just like past batches, not faster. or slower. 

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