Anyone raising organic and or soy free Cornish X?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jamband, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Several questions I have about them. I plan on having them on pasture in a hoop house with outside access.

    Weather permitting what age can they go outside?


    If soy free whats the growth rate like? I have access to organic with and without soy but wonder about the non soy and slower growth.

    Also wondering if anyone feeding organic has tracked the numbers to see costs? If my estimates are close its far cheaper than store bought organic even with high feed prices.


    thanks all
     
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Between 2 and 3 weeks old. I just moved a batch of 2 weeks old out last week and they did fine.


    If soy free whats the growth rate like? I have access to organic with and without soy but wonder about the non soy and slower growth.

    Much slower. I did a batch and at 8 weeks they averaged less than 3 pounds and others have discussed similiar results

    Also wondering if anyone feeding organic has tracked the numbers to see costs? If my estimates are close its far cheaper than store bought organic even with high feed prices.

    Not sure on this one.​
     
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Weather permitting what age can they go outside?
    Ours are outside from day one but there are lights in the brooder. Ours go into a tractor at 3wks.


    If soy free whats the growth rate like? I have access to organic with and without soy but wonder about the non soy and slower growth.
    Soy free growth rate was very, very slow. We actually ended up finishing our soy free birds on our normal organic feed for the last two months just so we could break even on costs. At 9wks our birds averaged around 4.5lbs. We usually hit that by 6 or 7wks. If you look at topics I have started, you will find at least one on the poor growth we had with our soy-free birds.

    Also wondering if anyone feeding organic has tracked the numbers to see costs? If my estimates are close its far cheaper than store bought organic even with high feed prices.
    I do think it's cheaper than store bought but I don't have the figures right in front of me right now.



    We are in the middle of trying to produce duckweed to use as an alternative to soy. The biggest obstacle we have run into is the amount of space needed to grow enough duckweed and keep the pond from being a major mosquito breeding ground.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  4. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can use Bt dunks to prevent mosquito larva, and, I'd also add mosquito minnows, which you could feed the excess of to the chickens.
    What is the nutrient analysis of duckweed? Methionine and lysine?
    I think the biggest problem with non-soy feeds is they probably aren't properly balanced for methionine and lysine, especially if they use other vegetable sources for protein.
     
  5. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They soy free I can get (countryside organics, or a small organic feed company in NC) uses fish meal as the protein sub but I still here people saying that they grow sloooow.... I mean you would think if it was simple the feed companies would just meet the demand with a non soy substitute but it seems like people have the same issues of slow growth with soy free irregardless of the protein used in its place......

    The vegetable substitute makes sense because the proeins are probably incomplete but that would not be the case with fish. So could it be something with chickens? They come from jungle fowl originally and their diets consist of seeds, fruit, and bugs. Of course non of them grow to be 9 lbs in 8 weeks so the point may be mute but perhaps the chickens can just assimilate the soy at a really high rate and are converting much more of it then they do other proteins?

    I am personally an on the fence person about soy itself as long as not gmo. There are probably much higher health concerns for 99% of people than consuming an egg produced by a chicken fed soy but if I can avoid it that would be great too.
     
  6. price403

    price403 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been reading a lot about hulless oats such as Pennuda as a substitute for corn and soy in animal feed. Unfortunately I don't have enough level land to grow acres of corn and soybeans but can grow about 1/2 an acre of feed corn and 1/2 an acre of hulless oats once I get my place logged and have the flats on the mountainside logged and leveled. My county extension agent thinks hulless oats, corn and fish or alfalfa meal will be as good as corn & soy based feeds. I'll put up a post next year once I try it.
     
  7. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

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    I've only done one batch of Cornish X, but the feed came out to about $2.04 / lb. of dressed weight chicken. That was organic feed from Modesto Milling (not soy free).

    The price in the local fancy grocery store for organic, air-chilled is 3.69 / lb., so the home raised Cornish X definitely turned out cheaper, even with high feed costs.

    [​IMG] I'm pleased, and will raise a few more this fall.

    I had them in a tractor on the lawn, but they never strayed far from the feed bucket. I don't think having them "on pasture" made that much of a difference in how much feed they consumed.
     
  8. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The one other thing to remember for some people is that grocery store organic is still factory farm, no grass etc. around here farmers can get 3.50/lb whole bird pasture raised and as you can imagine the ones pasturing and feeding organic are getting more than that. So that 3.69 a pound may be selling your product short
     
  9. pepper48_98

    pepper48_98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what about alfalfa or clover to pasture them on? I hope to be set up next spring to try that. I have a lot of clover in the pasture now and am going to sow some alfalfa this fall.
     
  10. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think thats great. I try to grow as much as i can in mypasture and rotate them through paddocks so its fresh. Theres a long list of plants to grow to help feed them.
     

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