Active Freerange meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by freerange freaks, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. freerange freaks

    freerange freaks Songster

    Jul 21, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Why are my meat birds so active? They are six weeks old and they are still running around and foraging. I wanted them to have a more robust flavour and a little firmer texture so I limited their access to feed and forced them outside to eat grass and bugs. I figured because of the feeding schedule they would be somewhat smaller. But they have really slowed down on their growth.

    I don't think they are going to be big enough to process in two weeks. I guess the real question is when should I process them? Should I just accept the fact that by allowing them to freerange that their weight is going to be smaller? Can I let them go longer maybe pushing 12 or 14 weeks to get that weight up? Even though they are pretty active, are they still going to start dropping like flies once the 10 week mark hits. I don't want to loose them this far into things. What are your own experiences and thoughts?
  2. moodusnewchick

    moodusnewchick Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    ditto above question. My four meaties actually forage more than eat their grower. They detest being cooped and actually run/waddle as soon as the door is opened for them! I thought I was just being nice giving some free ranging options. I totally expected them to sit, eat and poop...but they're so active!
  3. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    my meaties free range too-- they didn't read the manual:lol:
  4. Peruvian

    Peruvian Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
  5. SimplyAbundantFarm

    SimplyAbundantFarm In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2008
    How much are you limiting their feed? That sounds like it might be part of the issue.

    Personally, I would worry less about processing them at a certain age than I would about getting them up to the right weight.

    The health issues that tend to come with birds that have been kept too long tend to come with the fact that they are getting very big, very fast. If they aren't ready in two weeks, then keep watching them until they are the right size. That's what I'd do.
  6. smom1976

    smom1976 too many projects too little time!

    May 2, 2008
    Pensacola, FL
    isnt the health issues related to poor excercise and lots of weight gain really fast.. if they are excercising properly and gaining at a slower rate shouldnt they not drop like flies..

    and for the record I wish my flies would drop!
  7. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I processed mine at 10 weeks. the only one I had that died late was the one we missed at 10 weeks, and we let go to 12 weeks-- then we had a 100 degree day when we weren't home. She didn't die of normal "let the cc go too long" problems, it was deffinately the heat. They were smaller than some I've heard about. They were between 4 and 4.5 lbs dressed at 10 weeks. They didn't go through a whole lot of feed.

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