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Meat bird newbie :/

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
so I've read that with meat birds you give light for almost all 24 hrs out of the day to promote eating and growth. But they get processed at 7-9 weeks of age.
I don't think I'm comfortable going to such 'extremes'. Can you raise them like normal chickens (dawn to dusk and then coop)? If so, at what age do you process them? We haven't picked a breed yet, so if there are any more suited to a 'regular' schedule, which should I buy?
ThAnks in advance for any info!!
post #2 of 5
I have not heard that before. I raised Cornish cross during the winter months, 12 weeks, should have processed them much sooner they were huge, 9 weeks would have been right. I would actually recommend the opposite.
No extra lighting, and restrict their food, freerange during the day if you can. These birds are programmed to eat. If you allow them the will sit in front of the feeder and eat all day. Most here agree if you want healthy birds do not allow them to over eat. They will become so large their legs will break from their weight.
post #3 of 5
For a more active meat bird you might look at the Rainbow Dixies or Red Ranger birds, these are hybrids, meant as a between bird from the meat king, cornish cross, and heritage breed like jersey giant.
post #4 of 5

I haven't done a ton of meaties, but I've done a few small batches. I basically raise them like my layer chicks. I have a red heat lamp for the brooder that's on all night. They get daylight when the sun is up, and dark when the sun goes down (except the heat lamp).  I don't know what your coop set up is, but ramps and Cornish cross aren't a good mix. They're pretty much too young to want to roost, either, although some folks do give them a low roost, about a foot or so off the ground. 

 

Process around 8 weeks. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post

I haven't done a ton of meaties, but I've done a few small batches. I basically raise them like my layer chicks. I have a red heat lamp for the brooder that's on all night. They get daylight when the sun is up, and dark when the sun goes down (except the heat lamp).  I don't know what your coop set up is, but ramps and Cornish cross aren't a good mix. They're pretty much too young to want to roost, either, although some folks do give them a low roost, about a foot or so off the ground. 

Process around 8 weeks. 

I don't have their coop set up yet, and wanted to get all my ducks in a row before we get them.

Thank tou all for the input and advice. I will be raising them just like the layer chickens then! smile.png

And wish me luck at the beginning of May.
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