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Best time of year to raise meat birds where it's hot? (South Carolina)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi

I raised one batch of meat birds starting them in October and finishing in December.  They had to stay in my garage under lights to stay warm for longer than I would have liked...having 17 half-grown cornish cross chickens living in the garage did not make for happiness in my house!! So I won't do that again.  I was thinking about starting them in March or April and finishing in May.  That may not work for us though due to being out of town.  How about starting in August or September and finishing in Oct/Nov?  My concern is that it may be too hot for them in either my garage or in the chicken house while they are chicks.  What's your experience?  I know they are susceptible to heatstroke.  

Please visit my blog about gardening and chicken keeping at http://maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com
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Please visit my blog about gardening and chicken keeping at http://maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com
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post #2 of 8

Fall, winter and spring. Just avoid June, July and August.

September and March would be perfect.

They don't really need heat that long. I've turned out freedom rangers at 4 weeks in October. They did fine.

Every year isn't the same though. This past year it was in the 60s in August as well as in January.


Edited by ChickenCanoe - 1/18/16 at 2:54pm

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

The heat bothers the adults the most right?  Chicks would probably be okay in August? 

Please visit my blog about gardening and chicken keeping at http://maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com
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Please visit my blog about gardening and chicken keeping at http://maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com
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post #4 of 8

You will be processing your birds by 8 weeks, correct?

Why do you have Cornish Rock crosses into adulthood?

Yes, the older the bird, the bigger of an issue heat is. All chickens have a problem with heat.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

By adulthood, I meant 6-8 weeks old.  Sorry for confusion :) I ordered all males last time and processed them by 6 weeks--would have held a bit longer but slaughterhouse quit doing chickens and switched to hogs then.  They turned out very well.  I guess if it's hot enough I could go without a heat lamp almost couldn't I.  It's often 85 degrees during the night here in August.  

Please visit my blog about gardening and chicken keeping at http://maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com
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Please visit my blog about gardening and chicken keeping at http://maryannscountrygarden.blogspot.com
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post #6 of 8

Yes. Heat lamps are rarely necessary in summer.

Rule of thumb is 90-95 first week and 5F lower each week. However, the whole space doesn't need to be that temperature. They just need a warm spot and lots of cool space.

A mother hen doesn't heat the ambient air, just the place under her.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #7 of 8

I'm concerned about the heat here in Southern Texas.  Summers can get to between 95 and 105 during the day.  I also will be raising Cornish X to about the 8th week for meat birds.  Once out of the brooder, I'll keep them inside of a 12' X12' shed to run free.  Controlling cold temps will be easy in winter.  What can I do about the heat in summer?  Will a small A/C unit help?

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by LakotaWolf View Post

I'm concerned about the heat here in Southern Texas.  Summers can get to between 95 and 105 during the day.  I also will be raising Cornish X to about the 8th week for meat birds.  Once out of the brooder, I'll keep them inside of a 12' X12' shed to run free.  Controlling cold temps will be easy in winter.  What can I do about the heat in summer?  Will a small A/C unit help?

We are by no means that hot on a regular basis....

However we do get several weeks a year that are that hot. This year we had 3 straight weeks of 95° days and my birds did great. They have shade in the tractors, I did not loose any in that entire stretch, they did go through a LOT of water but kept gaining.
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