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Can i mix my meaties with my regular girls?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by roll8221, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. roll8221

    roll8221 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to get about fifty meaties for me and my family but I just moved the girls into thier nice big coop and id hate to have to move them back. would they be ok mixed together????
     
  2. The meaties will eat the other birds food and you may have a problem with the ohters not getting enough food. I mean these birds do NOTHING but eat, they are increcible !!
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Keep in mind that your meaties will be ready to eat in 8 weeks. So really, they won't be like adult layers and will be babies for those 8 weeks, and depending on where you live, those 8 weeks may be all in a brooder like setting with added heat and shelter. They are just big babies so won't be able to live with your layers ever anyways.
     
  4. roll8221

    roll8221 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, i wanted to take them to around ten pounds....how long would that take? I have a mid-size chick pen for chicks that are kinda in between chicks and ready for the big girls to pick on them. I'm getting them from welp.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    10 lbs alive would be just about 8 weeks or old, 10lb dressed should be about 12 weeks or so. It can vary a bit though a few weeks. Near the end, they gain about one lb a week.

    Might want to look into raising meat birds a bit more before jumping into 50 birds at one x. They aren't like layers at all. I tractor 8 at a time and move them weekly.
     
  6. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:could you elaborate on how they are different ?

    why do you think 50 is such a great number? that is only 1 per week..

    our very first attempt at raising chickens,, we started out with 200..
    no brooder, no coop.. raised them outside in the open air..
     
  7. roll8221

    roll8221 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, I shot for fifty birds becuse if I can theoretically take 50 birds to ten pounds dressed then thats 500 lbs of meat which would be more than enough to fill my familys frezzers. I was even thinking about getting straight run chicks so i can take some roosters and then taking the hens a bit later.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They eat more food in a shorter amount of time. They will go though the same amout of food in those 8 weeks as a layer will in the first 6 months of life. Thus more cleaning to keep them up.

    They sit by feeders for their 8 weeks of life. There are different feeding strageties, and you have to figure out what works for you, but often they will just keep on eating and grow so fast they are prone to flip(die due to heart attacks). I have fed out 24/7 and high so they have to stand and eat.

    A chicken a week isn't that much chicken, but 50 meat birds at one time is a big load of work. You can do it if you have the time to dedicate to it all, but they are really a big stinky mess, so just be prepared for lots and lots of cleaning and bedding changes. T

    Up here, we can't just raise them out in the open air. Lots of preds and weather is "cold" and raining 200+ days a year. Summer highs are normally in th 70's. I do them early in the year, because I find they suffer in heat above 75 and have had some just die from the heat. However, at a few weeks old I let them free range. They go out at times, but often prefer to stay in and eat. Everyone has different envornmental and pred situations so you have to do what works.

    If you don't have a processor help in processing, doing 50 birds can be a big task since they usually are done in the same week or same day. If you have friends willing to help or a place to do it for you, then that's easy. Unlike the layers which run around doing their thing, which you can pick off at any time, these meaties often get big so fast that their health can decline so fast the mortality rate can start to skyrocket after about that 8-10 week window. Some report 50% mortality, while others only have like 1 or 2 die due to size and growth. Just another varibility per area, season, and raising style.

    So really, as long as you know what to expect, you can start with 200 meat birds and be just fine. 200 layers can be a challenge, but they have more leway, since at 8 weeks, likly you could still keep them in a brooder type setting and each are about half a lb. At 8 weeks with meat birds, you'd likly have 2000lbs of dinner chilling in what ever pen you have set up for them.
     
  9. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't mix them in with your regular girls. Meat birds do better on their own special food - which chickens think is heaven. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't have a tendency to make your regular layers overweight and if it didn't cost more than average chicken feed (at least it does out here).

    Also, meat birds are _extremely_ docile. If you have any huffy hens then your meaty babies may be bullied.

    As for numbers, if you want to raise 50 meat birds on your first go then have at, but here are some things to consider:

    1. Meat birds are made of meat and poo. I'm convinced a meat bird craps his weight in poo every day. Fully convinced. They eat a _lot_ more feed and all of that feed has to go somewhere.

    2. This isn't just chicken poo. This is evil poo, the sort of stuff that can make your eyes water and blow your mind ("That little one week old bird did _not_ make that smell."). It's like having a baby. A real mini-person baby with a very full diaper. Multiply that by 50. This is the sort of stuff scented oils won't cover - it's like putting potporri in a well-used gas station restroom. All it does is smell like herbal poo.

    3. This poo doesn't just smell - it's pasty and depending on the feed, it's going to be very runny, and will require regular cleaning.

    Meat birds are not chickens. They are birdzillas, somewhat related to chickens, but mutated into doing everything _a lot_. Lots of growth, lots of eating, lots of stinking, lots of poo. We'll raise 300 quail in the house or 100 chicks before we'll keep a dozen Cornish-Rock inside.

    I have only somewhat exaggerated these qualities. If you're keeping the birds outside in a brooder with a light and plan on cleaning it out then you should be fine. If you plan on raising them in your kitchen for a few weeks (read: a few days [​IMG] before moving them outdoors then you may be in trouble.
     
  10. When I tried putting my meaties and my layers together, the meaties got picked on really badly and we bleeding/missing feathers, etc. They have redder skin than other breeds I've seen and it encourages the others to pick at them.
     

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