Anyone raise broilers in winter?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BBUTTER, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. BBUTTER

    BBUTTER Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
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    Does anyone raise Cornish X broilers on pasture (or at least backyard) in winter? I thought I was done for the season, but I just had someone request a bunch through the winter. I live in Louisiana, so I'm wondering if it's possible. Our winters are relatively mild, but we do have the occasional freak ice storm. Please tell me how you do it, problems you've encountered, etc. We don't have electricity in the pasture, but if I did it closer to the house I could stretch an extension cord out there for a lamp. We have a heated brooder, of course.
     
  2. lprofancik

    lprofancik Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2011
    Well, I'm still finishing up my broilers and here in Indiana we've had snow, ice, 28 degree temps and freezing cold flooding. [​IMG] My CornishX have faired really well. We processed the first few later then we wanted because of Thanksgiving (8.5 weeks) and they were around 5.5 lbs dressed. I used a chicken tractor and covered them with a tarp at night with a heat lamp when they were tiny and not completely feathered. Average temps during their first month would have been around 55. Second month about 40-45 average. I haven't covered them for at least a month (no heat lamp anymore either) and they do fine at night. I don't think I would push them any later in our weather, but we drop down to negative temps in January. I'm not sure what your averages are, but I think you could pull it off especially if you keep an eye on them in the beginning.
    Do you have a barn you could put them in temporally if you get hit by an ice storm?
     
  3. Darin115

    Darin115 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got stuck with 11 Cornish X chicks 4 weeks ago. They were a week old.
    Once they feathered out they went in the chicken house with a light. We have had some 28 degree nights but most have been 40+ degrees.

    I have lost 2 for some unknown reason. They looked healthy and was wadling around the night before I found them dead. Maybe their heart gave out. Who knows. They will be 6 weeks old this Thursday. On Sunday their weight ranged from 3.5 to 4.5 lbs.

    I doubt it had anything to do with the weather.

    Darin
     
  4. BBUTTER

    BBUTTER Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Louisiana
    Thanks for the input! I do have a place for them if it gets bad, so I think I'll probably put them near the house and go for it! The customer is a food delivery to shut-ins ministry that wants to provide organic food as much as possible. I'm going to try to give it to them as close to cost as I can. I wish we could do this as cheaply as the commercial feeders do!

    Anyone else want to offer suggestions?
     
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    It should not be a problem in Louisiana. I don't raise them during winter because I'd have to provide heat and there is absolutely nothing for them to eat except what I put into their feeders. No bugs, no greenery, no water that isn't frozen.
     
  6. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is very intriguing to me.... What are the volume of birds you are talking about here? And why would a Ministry pay more for organic just to feed people.... I know the obvious of organic, healthy etc, but are you losing money yourself to feed people better quality food than Donald Trump eats???? [​IMG] Give me some info... I am very interested in a really good way! Thanks
     
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    We raise ours in the winter but have to take a break for the summer heat. Of course, we have super mild winters, some days with frost but never any snow.
     
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Might want to get some winter oats, annual rye or other type of quick green pasture planted if it isn't too late. Other than that, I think you should do fine if they can be moved near the house in the event of an ice storm.
     
  9. BBUTTER

    BBUTTER Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Louisiana
    Quote:This is very intriguing to me.... What are the volume of birds you are talking about here? And why would a Ministry pay more for organic just to feed people.... I know the obvious of organic, healthy etc, but are you losing money yourself to feed people better quality food than Donald Trump eats???? [​IMG] Give me some info... I am very interested in a really good way! Thanks

    They are asking for 3-4 per week, so I'll do a batch of 25 per month and save the extra for me to eat.
    As to why they chose organic, the simple answer is that they feel God leading them in that direction. That might not make much sense to some readers, so here's the more complicated answer. 1) They want to take care of the health of the specific people they are taking care of in the best way possible. 2) The ministry is made up of volunteers who eat organic as often as possible, so they want to give those in their care the same quality food that the volunteers would feed themselves and their children. The often quoted scripture is "love your neighbor as you love yourself". They are trying to live that out. 3)Finally, they want to give others the best that they can offer. Sure, they could hand out peanut butter sandwiches with an apple, and the shut-ins would get all the nutrition they need. But the volunteers want to do more than that. These shut-ins are people that they genuinely care about, and the volunteers view their service as a gift. When you love someone, you don't give them just anything. You give them the best that you can get. [​IMG]
    I won't be losing money by doing this service. They'll pay cost plus some. I will lose some time, and I know time is money, but I'm willing to take that loss to know that I'm helping out.
    Don't worry, no insult taken. Curiosity is understandable. [​IMG]

    Tracydr: we have rye planted right now. Thanks!
     
  10. BirchHatchery

    BirchHatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what do yall think of raising 15 a time starting them in a inclosed box in the barn with 2 heat lamps untile they get to big for it the box is probly 4x5 then when they get to big for that move them on the floor with straw for bedding i can hang a lamp in their also for them if they need it i figured they can stay in the box for a good 2-3 weeks i live in indiana my barn is inclosed unless i got the door open Draft free ive raised barred rocks in the dead of winter got them in january on a day that was 17 degreese i reared them in the box for a month untile they were big nuff to be without added heat but i no the cornish x will get bigger faster and will need to be moved outta the box on the floor sooner
     

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