Can you hold meat birds back?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tboneranch, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. tboneranch

    tboneranch Out Of The Brooder

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    I am wondering if there is a way to slow down meat birds growth to meet a weight restriction for the county fair? Has anyone ever done this? Does it typically end in disaster?
     
  2. homestead tim

    homestead tim Out Of The Brooder

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    IMO I would limit their food and you should not have a problem.
     
  3. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

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    You can ration out their food instead of leaving it out for them to eat all day. I've seen them just lay in front of a feeder and eat, eat, eat all day.

    Try giving them enough they can clean up within 30 mins or so twice a day. Something that is a good balanced feed - either a chick starter or a higher protein laying feed (such as flock raiser).
     
  4. tboneranch

    tboneranch Out Of The Brooder

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    OK-thank you! I was wondering how long to give them to eat. Also, what about supplementing their water with electrolytes or a little sugar water? It is already in the mid 90's where we are. Will the electrolytes help them survive the change or just stimulate their appetites?
     
  5. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

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    The electrolytes should help, especially in this heat. Since some electrolyte packets contain more salt than others, you may have to give them more water than usual.
     
  6. tboneranch

    tboneranch Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2009
    OK-thanks for the helpful advice!
     
  7. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can also give them normal chick food and then normal layer ration. I've got two at least fifteen pound meatie hens in my silkie coop that are probably nearing four months old. I am curious as to if they will start laying. They look like sumo wrestlers when they run to greet people.
     
  8. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    If you are trying to hold their weight back, you need to lower their protein level. Go with a 16% over the 20-24%. Just remember to mix in the higher protein level a week before the fair, it will help to firm them up. Also, Vitamins and Electrolytes are good when it is hot but it also makes them hungry. A fan will help. Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  9. PikeCo

    PikeCo Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with 4H chicken mom. The only safe way other than rationing to slow them down without losing quality is to lower the protein level. Layena[​IMG] SunFresh[​IMG] Recipe is only one example, but it is 16% protein, and only 2.5% fat, there are many other brands that are similar. I would probably put them back on higher levels a little before they show as well. Our 4h broilers are on 30% protein and they seem to be exploding with size. We have no weight restrictions other than minimum of 7 lbs. for a pen of two, but we only have six weeks. I think it is interesting to hear how different some of the programs are laid out. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  10. tboneranch

    tboneranch Out Of The Brooder

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    4-H chicken mom, thanks for the info. regarding increasing protein the last week. I had no idea! Also, would you let them have that 16% free choice or just for 30 min. twice/day as greenfamilyfarms recommended earlier?

    PikeCo 30%?!? Wow, where do you get that? We do have the option of trying to push a smaller set of birds that is 4 weeks younger,
     

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