3 wks till processing - their not eating much??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by blueskylen, May 28, 2008.

  1. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    My red broilers are doing great, but at almost 8 weeks they are eating less. Possibly due to the heat, altho, it is around 70-75 degrees daytime.
    We processed 1 over the weekend, and it really tasted great!, but was not over 3-4 lbs and very lean.

    What can we do to stimulate their appetites and get them to gain some fat in the next 2 weeks??

    thanks for all replys
  2. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    when birds aren't eating for me, i give them some cracked corn mixed in with the feed.
  3. jorgey

    jorgey In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2008
    I don't know if this would help you or not, but I switched my feed over to the Nutrena Meatbird feed and they loved it. They chowed down on that like crazy and were going through about a pound of feed each per day at the end of 8 weeks. I don't think that the temperature that you mentioned is hot enough to put them off of their feed. Of course make sure that have lots of fresh clean water to go along with the feed.

    Maybe they saw or heard what happened to their coop mate and lost their appetites that way. [​IMG]
  4. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    it could be - i heard that there was quite an uproar in the coop while trying to catch the biggest one!!

    I'm a bit attached to them, and went way out of earshot and didn't come back until it was on the grill. - not to attached to try a piece tho and it was great! We had some other chicken from the grocery and compared the taste - it was unanimous that the home grown was better.

    I'll mix some cracked corn in and see what that does for now.
  5. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Do you have your feed in a feeder? I did and they were too stupid to find it, and when they did, they didn't eat much. I finally put two and two together when I gave them a tin of scratch as a treat - they CHOWED. So from then on I mixed some scratch in with their feed in the tin twice a day and they licked it clean and really filled out.
  6. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I am mixing corn or scratch grains in with the feed and they chow down. They would rather eat it off the ground like a regular chicken. I do offer a trough feeder and they will pick at it if the lid (with holes) is on. If I take the lid off they go nuts. I think they just would rather have it easy instead of having to work for it at all. What I can't believe is how much water they drink now. At five weeks they are drinking 5-6 gallons a day. I have 20 of them by the way.
  7. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    I had been using a 20 percent protien feed, and upped it to 24 % - I don't think that they like the taste, so am taking everyones advice, and adding cracked corn to the feed. I also saw that someone suggested calf manna somewhere, and i know that tsc sells it, and might get a bag too - as it is supposed to stimulate their appetite.

    I have been throwing some tall grass in the run for them to eat, and they seem to enjoy that. They do drink a lot of water - about 3 gallons a day and i keep it fresh for them.

    I hate to think that they might lose weight at this point - when they should be fattening up!

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