Can someone help me with the meaties?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by gritsar, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I have been hesitant to post about my rescue meaties in this section. I don't want anyone to think I am against raising birds for meat, I'm not! However I am raising these 18 (Tyson) broiler chicks under different circumstances and I need information. They will be pets, allowed to live out their lives here even if they only live a short while. I know that they can be successfully raised as layers, we have a friend that uses broiler culls as his layer flock and it's how my DH's late mother got her laying flock.
    These chicks are now approx. 7 weeks old. Most are the size of my layer chicks of the same age, a few slightly larger and 4 cockerels are about 3xs larger. Two are very small, but they eat, drink, play and get along fine. I believe those two to have heart conditions.
    These chicks were culls, meaning they we'ren't growing to the commercial house standards, either by genetics or defect. This weighs in their favor.
    I don't feed them non-stop. They are not eating at night because they aren't under light 24/7 (as they would be in the commercial houses) and I let their feeder go empty once or twice a day. I also offer them other foods - greens, fruit, whole grains. They are encouraged to get out and free range at least part of every day.

    I would like to know if there is anything I can supplement them with to help them grow stronger? Someone suggested calcium rich foods to help their bones become stronger? I've also heard of putting an aspirin in their water to guard against heart attacks? (I'm hesitant to do this because they share a waterer with the layer chicks).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  2. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    I have no good advice for you, but hope you have great success with them. They deserve a chance. [​IMG]
     
  3. sammileah

    sammileah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i had 2 meaties that lifed long enough to lay. huge double yolked eggs. i fed them just like all my other chickens. only thing special i did was they were to big to use a normal nesting box and they couldn't climb the ramp into the coop. so they got there own little coop on ground level. my little rocks use to sit on top of the big marsmellow birds. it was very cute. sadly they died at about 40 weeks.
     
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    No problem! lots of us on here have done the same. Don't give them calcium until they are laying & don't give them aspirin.
    Regular flcok raiser and whole grains are best (in my opinion) with very little corn (to fattening). Free ranging and exercise during the cool times are the biggest factors. Sounds like you are doing everything else right! Oh yes, even if they lie to roost (most don't) try to give them one low to the ground to prevent injuries when comin g down.
    Here is a pic of my 20 lb girls, they made it to apx 18 months and had very happy lives.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    one other thing I have noticed, the hatchery CX culls due to size seem to die earlier. maybe not always but I hear a lot of feedback of people saying thier CX runt died usually around 4-6 weeks old. just aheads up.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Oh Katy, your birds were beautiful! I'm very attached to one of the cockerels and a pullet that is super sweet.
    I forgot to mention that I have them on 16% chick grower, along with the layer chicks. In building their coop we have taken into consideration that they won't be able to navigate a ramp, so the front of it will be on ground level. I decided against a ladder type roost system and will have low roosts for everyone. I did the same thing for my brahmas. Because of their size I didn't want them to be hurt jumping down from high roosts.
    They seem to be doing great, a few are even getting pretty good at bug catching, so I won't fix what isn't broken.
     
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    thanks, I have to admit they were pretty pitifull looking at the end. That pic was taken at one year. The roos if fed right can usually make it several years. Those are two hens in my pic.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I have another question, particularly for you Katy. Did you notice that the cornish Xs are slow to feather? My layer chicks are of course completely feathered out @ 7 weeks old, but the meaties still have pin feathers everywhere, particularly on their butts. The pin feathers grab dirt and poo something awful.
    DH says Tyson probably isn't too concerned about whether their commercial birds feather out well or not, since they usually don't get to keep their feathers long.
     
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    Yes they feather MUCH slower as most of the protein they are consuming is going to muscle production. They will be fully feathered around 9 weeks lol! [​IMG] seriously
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:That's what I thought, thanks. [​IMG]
    This morning I figured out the best way to get them moving around outside - scrambled eggs. Throw some scrambled egg to the other side of the yard and see how fast the meaties remember what their legs are for. [​IMG]
     

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