Are my cx growing as expected? Not sure what they should weigh at 8 weeks on FF and pasture?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by deedles, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey everyone, after searching through posts the answer to this still eludes me. What should my cx weigh at 7 1/2 weeks? I grabbed a bigger one and he weighed in at about 4# 15oz and a couple smaller ones weighed about a pound less, so from almost 4 to almost 5 pounds seems to be the range.

    We had them on fermented chick starter for 2 weeks then moved them to a fermented organic 16% layer feed and pasture at 3 weeks up til now. We also supplement their feed with all the overgrown zucchini and cukes they can eat, some pumpkin from our patch and fermented BOSS and whole oats. They are on a pasture surrounded by a 200 ft fence which we move every 4 or 5 days. (We're leery of letting them run due to the predator issue. We do have a LDG which I credit with the fact that we've had no loss even though the fence isn't electric)

    I've recently started adding fermented field peas to up the protein to about 18-19%.

    My hubby is concerned that they should be weighing more at this point. Should they?

    Thank you I really appreciate any information on this.
     
  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    They do not need layer feed.
    They need to be on meat bird feed.

    At nearly 8 weeks, our CX's @ live weights were on average 7-9 lbs.
    We fed 12 hours on, 12 hours off. They were pasture-raised and also enjoyed fruits and veggies from our garden.
    They were given Nutrena NatureWise Meatbird non-medicated feed.

    Product specs from Runnings where we get all of our feed:

    A complete, nutritious vegetarian meatbird diet—no need for supplementation22% protein and fortified with vitamins and minerals to support strong, healthy birds.
    Contains a proprietary blend of nutrients to naturally support the immune system and overall health of the bird.
    NO added antibiotics or hormones.
    Added marigold extract to improve skin coloration.
    Added prebiotics, probiotics and yeast culture that support digestion.
    Formulated for multiple species of meatbirds, including broilers, turkeys, ducks, geese and pheasants.
    Crumble form encourages consumption.
     
  3. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your information. It should have been noted that we have soy free layer feed. I cannot find soy free broiler feed in my area hence my efforts to increase the protein with the field peas.

    I have some brewers yeast left over from our ducks and that is 45% protein. Maybe I can add this to up the protein, too?
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    They simply aren't getting what they need. Layer feed is not only too low in protein, it has way too much calcium in it for young birds. At 7.5 weeks old, they should be processing size. Yours are significantly stunted. Get them on an appropriate diet, ASAP. Scratch and Peck has soy free grower, and they do ship.
     
  5. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great advice from junebuggena.
    Once you have them on the appropriate feed, grow them out for 2-3 weeks longer before processing.
    In this case of stunted growth, I would not recommend the 12 on/12 off schedule.
    The meat may be a bit less tender than if you butchered at the 8 week mark, but at least you'll get more yield for your efforts.
    Best wishes to you.
     
  6. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I feel stupid now but I'm off by a week. They are 6 1/2 weeks old not, 7 1/2 wks. I hear what you are saying about the calcium in the layer feed so that's reason enough. I thought Beekissed fed her layer feed though.

    But yeah, are they as stunted now knowing they are 6.5 weeks old instead? Sorry for the confusion.
     
  7. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Please don't feel stupid. It's a learning process.
    This chart may help you:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh thank you for that graph, that's so helpful. Now I don't feel as quite as worried about the weight since I never intended to raise them in 8 weeks to butcher anyway. I figured it would be more like 10 weeks on pasture. So ours are behind that a bit and I'll up the feed as of today. Am checking in to local sources of soy free grower. Scratch and peck doesn't ship to my area and Amazon doesn't have the broiler version. Plus that's too expensive for us anyway.

    Thank everyone and keep weighing in on this please! It is a learning experience.
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Is there a feed store around that carries Nutrena or Purina? That might be an option, although soy free might be a bit of a challenge
     
  10. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Never mind. While I was in the house trying to figure out the feed problem 2 weimeraners were killing all the chickens. They are all dead but one rooster.
    What a waste. Poor chickens.
     

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