Can I brood meat bird chicks with laying chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by joanc, May 7, 2007.

  1. joanc

    joanc Songster

    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    Hi everyone. This is my first post. I've learned alot about chickens by reading what other people are doing, so Thanks for this Forum!
    Anyhow, I'll be getting my first batch of birds in a week. I have ordered both laying hens and meat birds. Can I brood them together, if so for how long? Or should I brood them separately from the start? I have a total of 73 chicks coming: 30 are meat birds, the rest are layers. The layers are all standard size.
    My dh and I have been busy building our (8 x 16') coop, where we hope to brood our babies too. We plan on building a partition wall so we can put the layers' nest boxes in one side and the meat birds in the other side. Do meat birds need perches too?
    I know the meat birds will eat more and grow faster than the layers, so I know we'll need to separate them at some point.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    They will need to have different food. The laying hens will need Chick Starter and the meat birds need broiler food.
    Probably easier to brood seperatly so they don't eat each others food.
  3. Keisha

    Keisha Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    I currently have 25 (no I guess its 24 now) cchicks that are a week old. 9 of them are Cornish Rock (meat birds) and 15 of them are laying birds. Right nwo they are all in the same brooder. When the chicks were all one day old they were all the same size. But now that they are all a week old, the cornish rock are 3 times the size of them, and the laying chicks havn't grown very much. Despite the size differences they really haven't had any problems at all. Noone is pecking anyone else. But when they are older, jus tfor the fact, that they are getting bigger, we are goign to separate them , because all of them are going to need more room then they have now.
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas

    Welcome to BYC!

    The meat birds and layers should be separated as soon as possible. The meat birds will not only be larger, they grow faster than the layers, and they also eat more. They will eat their feed plus the feed for the layer chicks. They will always act like they are starving and will gorge themselves on any feed within their reach.

    Also, because they are bigger, the meat birds will most likely keep the smaller birds away from the water and feed, causing lack of proper growth in the layer chicks.

    Also, your layer chicks and grown layers should have 24/7 free-choice access to feed and water. Meat birds should not be raised the same way.

    Do not provide perches/roosts for the meat birds, they are not bred for any real physical activity except eating.

    Most male meat birds will be about 4 pounds at 6-8 weeks and female meat birds at 7-10 weeks. They usually go to freezer camp at about that time.

    Good luck!

    if edited, probably for typos...
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  5. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    I get most of mine started together for the first 7-10 days. After which I always seperate. The meat birds grow so fast and will start to push off the lighter laying breed chicks. They are also way more messier and drink a ton. Its just a whole lot simpler to seperate them. Then at about 6 weeks I put my meat birds out for about 2 weeks to enjoy sunshine and fresh air. Then its lock down for a final fatten em up period.
  6. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    meat birds don't perch, in fact they don't do anything but eat and eat and die of heart failure if you don't pay attention. Separate the layers. Research on care of meat birds and don't be surprised if you find some dead in your coop, they didn't die of some mysterious illness, sad as it is this is the way they were bred to go to market at 8 weeks.
  7. joanc

    joanc Songster

    Apr 26, 2007
    Shafer, MN
    Thanks everyone for your responses. I now plan on separating the meat birds from the layers asap.[​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: