Best time of year to raise meat birds where it's hot? (South Carolina)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ella&clara, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Hi
    I raised one batch of meat birds starting them in October and finishing in December. They had to stay in my garage under lights to stay warm for longer than I would have liked...having 17 half-grown cornish cross chickens living in the garage did not make for happiness in my house!! So I won't do that again. I was thinking about starting them in March or April and finishing in May. That may not work for us though due to being out of town. How about starting in August or September and finishing in Oct/Nov? My concern is that it may be too hot for them in either my garage or in the chicken house while they are chicks. What's your experience? I know they are susceptible to heatstroke.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Fall, winter and spring. Just avoid June, July and August.
    September and March would be perfect.
    They don't really need heat that long. I've turned out freedom rangers at 4 weeks in October. They did fine.
    Every year isn't the same though. This past year it was in the 60s in August as well as in January.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  3. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2010
    The heat bothers the adults the most right? Chicks would probably be okay in August?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You will be processing your birds by 8 weeks, correct?
    Why do you have Cornish Rock crosses into adulthood?
    Yes, the older the bird, the bigger of an issue heat is. All chickens have a problem with heat.
     
  5. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By adulthood, I meant 6-8 weeks old. Sorry for confusion :) I ordered all males last time and processed them by 6 weeks--would have held a bit longer but slaughterhouse quit doing chickens and switched to hogs then. They turned out very well. I guess if it's hot enough I could go without a heat lamp almost couldn't I. It's often 85 degrees during the night here in August.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes. Heat lamps are rarely necessary in summer.
    Rule of thumb is 90-95 first week and 5F lower each week. However, the whole space doesn't need to be that temperature. They just need a warm spot and lots of cool space.
    A mother hen doesn't heat the ambient air, just the place under her.
     
  7. LakotaWolf

    LakotaWolf Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm concerned about the heat here in Southern Texas. Summers can get to between 95 and 105 during the day. I also will be raising Cornish X to about the 8th week for meat birds. Once out of the brooder, I'll keep them inside of a 12' X12' shed to run free. Controlling cold temps will be easy in winter. What can I do about the heat in summer? Will a small A/C unit help?
     
  8. slingshotandLAR

    slingshotandLAR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2013

    We are by no means that hot on a regular basis....

    However we do get several weeks a year that are that hot. This year we had 3 straight weeks of 95° days and my birds did great. They have shade in the tractors, I did not loose any in that entire stretch, they did go through a LOT of water but kept gaining.
     
  9. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just saw this post again and wanted to reply. I ended up ordering a batch of chicks in late feb or early march, and harvested in late April. All went well. I ordered some egg layers in June or July, details have escaped me, but in the summer. It was very hot, and heat was not a problem for them in the incubator, or ever. I knew they could deal with the heat. What was an enormous problem was the snakes. Three snakes ate or killed 11 of 16 chicks (on three occasions) while the chicks were inside my garage, which is a garage that's attached to the house, which is modern and well built. My husband works in the pest control industry and cannot figure out how they got in. We figure one must have gotten in there when we left the door open, but I have no clue how the others did. I had my kids walk back and forth to patrol the openings when I had to open the door, and I even quit parking the car in the garage to try to prevent it. Eventually, we moved them inside the house, which was not a good thing (they ended up in the garden tub in my lovely master bathroom) but I knew leaving them in the garage was chicken murder.

    So... the biggest threat to my chicks was snakes. I don't know if we have a particular problem with snakes or what (black snakes) but I'll never get chicks in the summer months again.
     

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