Broiler weight gain issues

twigsnberries

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jan 15, 2015
7
1
22
Virginia
So I raise a lot of chickens. My customers are Asian, and do not like the Cornish x. I have been raising freedom rangers for years, and processing at 12 weeks. This year I picked up 2 restaurants and add Cornish cross to the mix. I fully expected these things to be 5-6lbs live weight at 7-8 weeks, but they are not. On average the are only 3.5-4.5 lbs. I am at a loss.

I feed 20% starter for 4 weeks. Then I turn them loose on pasture and finish on a 20% finisher feed. They also get any extra eggs I may have. I wasn't free feeding at first once they hit pasture, but I am now. Either method made no difference. I just don't understand. I thought maybe it was the genetics, so I switched hatcheries ... no difference.

Any insight would be nice.

One other thing. I do not use tractors. I keep the birds in small paddocks with electric fence. I thought that might be it, so I raised 40 in a tractor and compared weights at 8 weeks. There was no difference.

HELP!!! LOL
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Sounds like to much work for the feed they get? I do not raise them but have several friends that do. The one friend that raises the most-----his are never put on the ground---they live somewhat close together and their weight stays with --mainly ahead of this chart on average. Feeding 12 on and 12 off method when they are a few weeks old. When a chicken has to free-range to get some food it uses a lot of energy which keeps it "in better shape" but that's not what broiler raisers want.
 

FenwayFieldFarm

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2016
38
13
44
Loudoun County, VA
I just processed my first mixed run of Cornish X (80 birds purchased from Meyer Hatchery) and had an average dressed weight of 4.9#'s (even had a 1/2 dozen birds over 6#'s) For the first three weeks, I gave them unlimited chick starter crumble (18%) from Southern States. Then, for the next 5 weeks, I moved them to their pasture pens (40 per 10x12 pen), switched to Southern States Meat Bird Mix (20%), and feed them 12 hours on / 12 hours off. Also, I followed the attached feed chart and consistently weighed their food every morning at 6am. I moved their pens around noon to fresh grass (grass is fescue with a lot of clover mixed in), and removed any remaining feed at 6pm (but with following the chart, there was very little grain to dispose each night).


Meyer - CX - Feed Chart.png
 

snow5164

Crowing
May 16, 2015
2,547
3,438
402
I just processed my first mixed run of Cornish X (80 birds purchased from Meyer Hatchery) and had an average dressed weight of 4.9#'s (even had a 1/2 dozen birds over 6#'s) For the first three weeks, I gave them unlimited chick starter crumble (18%) from Southern States. Then, for the next 5 weeks, I moved them to their pasture pens (40 per 10x12 pen), switched to Southern States Meat Bird Mix (20%), and feed them 12 hours on / 12 hours off. Also, I followed the attached feed chart and consistently weighed their food every morning at 6am. I moved their pens around noon to fresh grass (grass is fescue with a lot of clover mixed in), and removed any remaining feed at 6pm (but with following the chart, there was very little grain to dispose each night).


View attachment 1046202
I'm confused , you stared them on 18% protein then switched them to 20%??

I thought you started them on a high protein like 20% for 3-4weeks, then lowered it so the weight gain is steady??
 

FenwayFieldFarm

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2016
38
13
44
Loudoun County, VA
I'm confused , you stared them on 18% protein then switched them to 20%??

I thought you started them on a high protein like 20% for 3-4weeks, then lowered it so the weight gain is steady??

Yes. I buy all my feed from a local Southern States. Started the meat birds out with a starter crumble (see pic) and then, after 3 weeks, moved them to meat bird crumble (see pic). Worked out great. At 8 weeks, I had some nice size birds. Except for a hungry fox one night, no health related deaths or issues.

Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 11.40.40 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 11.41.23 AM.png
 

Countrymanfowl

Songster
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
146
67
151
Brockville, On
Sounds like to much work for the feed they get? I do not raise them but have several friends that do. The one friend that raises the most-----his are never put on the ground---they live somewhat close together and their weight stays with --mainly ahead of this chart on average. Feeding 12 on and 12 off method when they are a few weeks old. When a chicken has to free-range to get some food it uses a lot of energy which keeps it "in better shape" but that's not what broiler raisers want.

Could you tell me where you got this table?
 

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