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Can Layers eat Broiler feed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JayBird+16, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Songster

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    We are raising our own meat birds this year, a slow growing heritage breed called Dark Cornish. The roosters are currently 5 months old and weight 6 pounds. Optimum weight is 10 pounds and we have an appointment to have them processed at the beginning of November. I was hoping for suggestions on how to bulk these guys up. They free range and are mixed in with my layers. There is no good way to separate them to offer a separate food source. So, can everybody in the flock get broiler feed for the next 2 month or will it hurt my layers?
     

  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Id check the calcium level of the broiler food against the layer food -offer free choice oyster shell...
     
  3. TimG

    TimG Songster

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    You may not like this, but if you want to bulk them up, you probably shouldn't free range them. They burn up calories running around the yard and scratching for food.

    Where did you learn that 10 lbs is optimum? That sounds big for ~7 months.
     
  4. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Songster

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    I might lock them in my smaller pen for the last month. Thanks for the suggestions. TimG - Dark Cornish roos reach 10.5 pound and everything I read said other people process at 20 weeks, so I thought I'd wait a bit longer and hope for heavier chickens. I'm not sure I can get them up to 10 pounds, but I'm gonna try.
     
  5. TimG

    TimG Songster

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    I found this
    Standard Weights: Cock-10-1 /2 pounds; hen-8 pounds; cockerel-8-1/2 pounds; pullet-6-1/2 pounds.

    at the Oklahoma State University site. This suggests to me that you're being a bit optimistic with a target of 10 pounds. I hope you are successful, but I would lower my expectations a bit if I were you.​
     
  6. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    broiler feed for every one should be no problem. your layers are probably about to go into molt anyway so a little extra protein will be good, offering oystershell free choice is always a safe bet.
    I agree about locking them up if you want them to bulk up, burning calories doesn't help that situation.
     
  7. SteveH

    SteveH Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    Quote:I was really surprized when the first gallon of free-choice limestone was gone in three days in a flock of thirty with none laying . It was the three CX cockerals eating the most of it . Now the four CX pullets [ who are nearing point-of-lay] clean up the more/or/less cup full I give them everyday but the rest finally quit eating it . I was fortunate in that a near by quarry I used to work for gives me crushed limestone without charge .
    To the OP : Even layer rations with calcium added often have directions to offer additional calcium free choice . Oyster shell or crushed limestone are both good for layers .
     

  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    YOu know steve you probably have something there, with the amount of bone density on those CX I bet they could use some extra calcium. I'm going to start offering more to my breeders. good info!
     

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