4-h meat bird diet

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by riftnreef, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    Looking for some recomendations for a good 4-h meat bird diet mix, and any helpful tips for optimal growth. Both my kids have decided to do a meat bird project this year, and that's a realm I don't have a good deal of experience with. I have an area set aside in my garage and plan to get 12 birds for the two of them to allow for losses and to give some choice between. Each kid has to show 3 birds...my son will be taking the best 3, and my daughter whos focus is on layers will be taking the next three...the rest I will process for personal use.

    So, however crazy or pecular the brew of dinner fare, lets hear it....thanks in advance.
     
  2. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:If you want to be competitive, twelve birds won't be enough to choose from.

    We start all of our broilers on 1#/head of Homestead Turkey Starter. For the 4H birds we extend that to 3# per bird then finish on Homestead Fastgrow.

    Jim
     
  3. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    We've had really good luck feeding turkey and game bird starter free choice from dusk to dawn. We start and finish them on it. I wouldn't keep broilers in the garage unless you want to constantly clean it. They are stinky birds.
     
  4. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    What about mixing wet mash with malasas and such that I've read about...bunch of malarky?
     
  5. tagra123

    tagra123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Lima, Ohio
    Last year my son raised a meat pen of 2 birds we started with 6 -- his birds combined weight of 15.8 pounds was 1 tenth of an ounce more than the 1st place winner. If we hadn't already raised a large group of birds before we would have chosen a few more.

    Recommended by our local 4h advisors -- light on 23 hours a day with feed always in front of them to get the heaviest birds.

    We fed 20% crumbles from the start. At the end of each week we checked weight. At week 4 we made a mash using 20% crumbles and yogurt for the morning and regular crumbles for the evening. We had a goat in milk so the yogurt was basically free. It looks like ice cream packed with bran if done correctly. We also added 1/8 tsp of cod liver oil per bird to the mix.

    Boy do they put on the weight.

    Keep the cool and clean bedding frequently to keep the breast feather intact.

    I would recommended at least 6 birds per child -- also ask for roosters.

    Good Luck.
     
  6. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
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    Quote:I think that would depend on the fair/judge. The we've been showing broilers for 3yrs now and all the judges we have had have told us that a hen will beat a rooster 90% of the time. It's not the size of the bird, its the build/muscle.
     
  7. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Quote:I've never heard it but everyone has their own "special" tricks. We just feed the turkey starter and move their pen daily. Not much to eat here in the desert but they picked through the rocks and kept the goatheads down.
     
  8. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    If I'm not mistaken our fair board orders the chicks to ensure every one starts on a level playing field. You can order as many as you want, but they all come from the same source at the same time to keep it all as even as possible from the start. At least that's my take on it...I would imagine that if they order that many chicks, they are getting them straight run, but the meat birds will be a first for us, so this will be our learning year.
     
  9. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Quote:Our fair diesn't do that. Everyone is responsible for getting their own animals. The rabbit meat class isn't limited by age/breed or weight so you can have a baby rabbit competing against a 3yr old rabbit or in the meat bird class you can enter a leghorn against broilers. No age limits there either.
     
  10. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here are the rules for our county's 4H Broiler project:

    BROILERS - Requirements: (1) Purchase 25 one-day old chicks that will be 5-8 weeks of age at the County Fair Poultry
    Check-in. Broilers will be divided by weight in 2 divisions: Light Weight pair – 12 pounds and under; Heavy Weight pair – over
    12 pounds but not over 20 pounds. Over 20 pounds per pair will be ineligible to show and will receive participation. Champion
    and Reserve Champion awards will be given for each division with both divisions eligible for overall grand champion. (2) Learn
    feeding techniques. (3) Learn marketing techniques. Exhibit: Two broilers of the same sex. A receipt showing date of purchase
    must accompany June 30 records. Any broilers sold at the auction must be dressed and delivered to the buyer wishes.
     

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