Broiler weight gain issues

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by twigsnberries, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. twigsnberries

    twigsnberries Just Hatched

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    Jan 15, 2015
    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
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 14, 2012
    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.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. FenwayFieldFarm

    FenwayFieldFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2016
    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
     
  4. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
    Canada
    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??
     
  5. FenwayFieldFarm

    FenwayFieldFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2016
    Loudoun County, VA
    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.

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