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Broiler Question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TrussedWord901, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. TrussedWord901

    TrussedWord901 New Egg

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    Jul 31, 2016
    I am looking to enter broilers in the fair.I need to know how to make them as big as possible but also reduce feed costs.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    North Central Kansas
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Hope you do well at the fair.
     
  4. Kimansuki2

    Kimansuki2 New Egg

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    Can someone please help me with this question. I am new to processing meat birds. Please don't judge I wasn't supposed to be the one doing this in the first place! Anyway I was not able to slaughter them myself as I love the fat guys...so I hired someone to do that dead. I did not realize how long it takes to de feather and then process. 22 birds and 9 hours later I still have 4 left! I've noticed when gutting that it is starting to have a strong odor. Did I take to long and ruin the meat?!
     
  5. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you kill them all at the beginning? You should only kill as you go. Depending on what & how you fed them, their "guts" do smell strongly. In my experience fermented feed leaves almost no smell while you are gutting. There is a big thread on fermented feed that is near the top of the Meat Birds page.
    While you are processing the chickens, you can have a resting container full of ice and water, where only birds who are mid processed go. We put birds there after they are fully feathered (otherwise the ice makes the skin cling harder to the feathers) but before they are gutted IF NEEDED. Usually we don't really need it, but we also have 7-9 people processing. Sometimes we drop birds in there while we need to clean tables off or dump guts out, etc. So that they don't have a chance to spoil.
    With our team of 7+ people we only kill 4 birds at a time. It is a constant process, but the person who catches and kills can never get ahead of the people who dunk and drop the birds in the de-featherer. You never want a backlog of chickens. If your birds have been sitting out dead for 9 hours, yes they are all spoiled. One hour would be tops in my personal opinion, preferable for like 10 minutes, but I know that is a skill that you have to build up to, especially if it is just one or two people. Like I said, if you do have some sitting out that you aren't working on, they need to be in the dedicated ice tank (NOT the same as the coolers you put finished birds in. It needs to be only for birds mid process.)
     
  6. Kimansuki2

    Kimansuki2 New Egg

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    The guy that came to kill them said they could bleed in buckets as I went. So he slaughtered them all and I was left to process 20+ by myself! Once they were gutted and feathered they went in an ice bath but it took me almost 9 hours to finish. This is just devastating!!
     
  7. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm this is a slippery slope with many opinions.
    In my opinion, you need about 9-10 weeks, of feeding Roosters by the Welp hatchery guidelines, with up to 20% feed, I wouldn't go higher than that. But you also need to free range them and move their feed and water about so that they build up strong leg muscles and a good strong heart. Otherwise, you will have big dead chickens from leg problems and heart failure. Once they are past the free eating stage, I divide the daily guideline into three meals, so they don't have food sitting out all day. And I also ferment each meal for 24 hours (So I had one bucket for each of the 3 meals, and immediately after they received breakfast, I would refill with mash and water to get the ferment started for the next day.) Having water in their food helps Cornish X ALOT because they are very thirsty/dehydrated normally, and this gets more water into them, and makes their poos a lot better than the watery droppings they usually have. There is a big thread on fermented feed in the top of the Meat Birds page, but basically I just keep the food just covered in water, and you want it to smell sweet and yeasty like bread, not sour or spoiled. It needs a little access to air to help the process, but you can keep it partially covered to keep flies off, but keeping it covered in water helps keep flies away too, you may have to top off all the buckets while you are making each meal.

    Reducing feed costs: search super hard to see if you can find a local mill where they grow, harvest, and process all of their own grains. We have one where each bag of feed is $10-$15 and it is non gmo. I wouldn't make your own feed because Cornish X especially are "race cars" as Joel Salatin would say, and they are growing so fast that everything needs to be perfect. Free ranging does offer them some ability to find additional food to eat, although around 6 weeks they will slow down on how much walking they do considerably. If you add more time to your grow out, you could get by feed them a little less each day and they will be better free ranging chickens. But over time you will end up putting about the same amount of food into them, just over a longer period. We spent $8 per chicken this year in just the chick price, shipping, electrolytes and feed.
     

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