Another Broiler Laying Eggs Question.....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by beerguzzler, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. beerguzzler

    beerguzzler Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2008
    Houston TX
    Someone is giving me a dozen or so white broiler hens and 1 roo next week. I am building a decent run and coop. He has been feeding them a Purina broiler feed and they are now about 7-8 weeks old. They are a group of birds from his son's flock for showing in 4H and FFA.

    Now to my question. I want to get them setup in their new home to start laying when they get to age (assuming 20ish weeks). I know I need to stop feeding them broiler feed or they will get too big and won't be able to walk and will end up in my fryer. Do I put them on a Start and Grow feed since they are still young or just immediately move them to a Layer feed? I know I won't get the egg production of a Layer Hen but I love fresh eggs. I will also be throwing in weeds, lawn clippings, and oyster shells for them. Once I get comfortable with this flock, I plan to add some Leghorn hens, RIR hens, and whatever else this new addiction leads me to.

    Incase you are curious, the area I have for the run/coop is 16' x 8' The coop is 8' x 4' inside of the total 16x8 area and closed in on 3 sides with one of the 8' sides open to the run. The coop will also have a roof. Basically, it is a run with a wind/rain protected area where the nesting boxes, roosts, and feeders will be. Since it does not get cold in Houston, I figure don't need 4 sides closed in. Once again, I am open to your ideas on this as I am still in the building process. I have all of my posts set but still need to lay the wire and build the 3 sided coop with roof.

    This is my first post so I hope I performed adequately and I am always open to feedback. I have read and searched on this site for the last few weeks and found it beyond informational. It's an extremely active forum with lots of folks willing to help and share ideas. It sure is nice to find folks like y'all. Thanks a million.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for all of the help.
     
  2. LauraSBale

    LauraSBale Chillin' With My Peeps

    were are on our second set of meat birds, and my understating is that, there life should only be up to 12 to 15 weeks at the most, there body's are not built to live a life as your regular egg girls.

    normally they will get processed at about 6 to 10 weeks

    when they get over so many weeks, they will start to die of heart attacks and or their organs will shut down.

    But i could be wrong, Depending on what type of birds you have
     
  3. Jenlyn9483

    Jenlyn9483 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, FL
    I second that, plus they will eat 24/7 if you let them. They eat ALOT. Way more than a regular chicken. you feed bill would be horrendous. They are ALWAYS hungry.
     
  4. LauraSBale

    LauraSBale Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yes i for got to say that, All they do is Eat, Drink and Poop [​IMG]
     
  5. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Oklahoma
    If you're hoping to get eggs, I'm afraid it is a lost cause.

    Weight gain and egg production are negatively related. You give up one for the other. Example: Leghorns are good egg production birds, but have little meat. Barred Rocks are somewhat good production birds, but also have good meat. (Not NEARLY as good as production Leghorns.)

    BUT, if you'd like to try, you will need to cut back on their feed IMMENSELY.

    That being said...it will probably be kinder to them to butcher when they are supposed to be butchered. They have already had cross-line breeding done to get the hybrid vigor (exponential growth) that both parent lines possessed but never exhibited.
     
  6. beerguzzler

    beerguzzler Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2008
    Houston TX
    Thanks for the input folks. I going to tell them I'll pass on the broilers and go in search of some Layer Hens. Anybody have a recommendation for buying layer hens in the Pearland Texas (South Suburb of Houston for the non-Houston folks).
     
  7. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Well, if it's anything like OK in the winter...you'll need something with a shorter comb.) I'd pass on Leghorns because of the issue of frostbite.

    Red Sex-Links (Gold-sex links), Black Sex-Links are good for both winter and summer.

    If you want something a little more "fun" you could go with Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Gold Laced Wyandottes, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes...

    ALL sorts of things to spend money on! lol
     
  8. minifarmer

    minifarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2008
    warren county, ohio
    In the words of a very cerebral friend of mine, "I fear I must quibble with you on this." My meaties (cornish crosses from Mt. Healthy hatchery) are laying up to five eggs a day ( they were laying up to 6, but a coyote got one...I hope he got heartburn!). My remaining 5 never give me less than 2 eggs and consistently outpreform my eggers. They are...6 monthes old? I've lost track, but they eat almost exactly the same amount of food as my egg layers. Probably because they don't forage around very much, but it could also be that they have reached their 'genetic limit' on size. They are puppy dog friendly, too! Admittedly, they still poop like meat birds, but I say give it a try. Karla p.s. I have to do farm chores, but will take a picture of them to show y'all! Thanks!
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    The only person I know who's raised more than a few to lay eggs does not feed them once they leave the brooder. They're on their own. They still grow large, but nowhere near as agressively as they would otherwise.
     
  10. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2008
    Missouri
    I tried to keep a few Cornish-Rock cross hens alive and succeeded in getting one to breeding age.

    Here is what I learned:

    Free ranging is a big plus. Free ranging both saved the lives of or Cornish-Rock hens and killed them. It saved them because they had to go running around to find food, meaning they got plenty of exercise and were on a leaner diet. It killed all but one because Cornish-Rocks will NOT always go back to their pen at night if you make the mistake of feeding them in the yard.

    On more than one occasion I'd come up short a Cornish-Rock and have to walk the yard trying to figure out what happened. I would find her sitting on the ground in front of any food I had scattered earlier (old cereal we had tossed on the ground, scratch grain so they loosen the soil somewhere, etc). I know I lost most of those hens because we didn't catch them missing quickly enough.

    The one hen I have that made it still eats a lot, but she no longer sits down next to the feeder to gorge herself on egg pellets. I can't imagine that she's very cost-effective, but I'm doing this to play, not to keep the most cost-efficient sexlinks I can. Once we know for sure that she is laying we're wanting to cross her with a few of our roosters to see what funky things we get. Having a "breed" with the double breast, even if it doesn't grow anywhere near as quickly as the hybrids, would be nifty.

    I have three more Cornish-Rock hens set aside that we're going to try and winter over. They're only around six weeks old right now and I'm hoping the cold weather helps them burn away the extra pounds so we have sleek(er) egg layers this spring.
     

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