chicks too fat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dbjay417, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, Some where along the line my chicks went from being cute lil balls of feathers to being morbidly obese. All they do all day long is eat. They eat the morning ration with the other birds, then long after the other birds have gone off to dust bathe and scratch in the leaves, they are there cleaning up every last crumb left by the other birds. Once there is nothing but dirt left on the ground, they move into hunt mode, where they scratch and eat all day. With the exception of the hotter hours of the early afternoon.

    Its gotten to the point where try as they might they cant outrun me. mind you, i'm fat myself. Their little legs wont allow it. they waddle around with their legs spread far apart, I imagine to distribute the weight. the lil baby roo has to flap his wings just to get up from the floor when hes been laying down. he lays down to eat!!

    I've desided to purchase a cage, for them and restrict their diet a little until they slim down a little.

    i think this could have happened because they've been eating layer pellets. Unwittingly i've been feeding all of my birds layer pellets all the time. the butthead at the feedstore sold me the wrong product when i last bought food. This time I went there and dropped the cash on specific foods for my birds. This time i delt with the owner.

    Is there anything else i should or shouldn't do?
    these particular birds were supposed to breeders to hatch more of their type, and I really would rather they not die.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Post a pic of these birds. They are sounding like Cornish x meat birds that were meant to go to slaughter at 8 weeks old. If they are, you have kept them alive for an extraordinary amount of time compared to most their relatives and often live short lives and succumb to leg and cardiovascular problems.
     
  3. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    from above
    [​IMG]
    close up
    [​IMG]

    For perspective the cage is 2x2. They are active right now because they've been freeranging for over a month already.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Look like meat birds to me. They are pretty young still then huh. Free ranging is best for them if you do not plan to eat them soon. Caging them up is a good way to get them to be even more lazy so I say let them live out the way they have been or eat them. I personally would eat them as they were bred to be for that purpose and I'd hate to have so much feed/time/meat go to waste if they just fell over and died in the next year.
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Those look like my meat birds did. They are eating machines. Ration their food. They grow fast, sometimes too fast and often die from stress and heart attacks.

    At 12 weeks my birds were 10 - 13 lbs each.
     
  6. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They had feathers when I brought them home everywhere except their heads. They've grown about 75% in size, grown head feathers, and my roos head and crest started turning red almost 2 weeks ago. Is there any way to estimate their age? I don't mind killing them to eat if they are just gonna die anyway, but I need a time table.

    Should i wait till they are full grown to slaughter, or just wait till they seem about the size of one of those little butterball chickens from the supermarket??

    These are about 10 weeks old, and while they are pretty heavy, I can still pick them up with one hand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  7. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

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    They look like cornish Cross Rock. they are very good eating. Dress them out at 8 weeks. Best Fried Chicken you ever et.
     
  8. joanc

    joanc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep them separate from your layers. The meat birds won't leave anything for your layers to eat, and are very aggressive (as you've probably noticed) to get to the food. They will keep any layers away from the food.
    The layers will, in turn, start pecking at the meat birds when the meat birds get too fat to move much. Then you could have cannibalism to deal with.
    I have not let any of my meat birds get older than 8 weeks, so I don't have any experience with having them breed. I don't consider meat birds as breeding stock. Others may??
     
  9. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are already older than 8 weeks! but still seem too small to eat. they dont weigh more than 2 or 3 pounds each. since my birds free range i just scatter the feed on the ground, They never really fight for food, plus my "layers" are monsterous turkens that dont take no guff from no one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you are ok with eating them, I say go ahead and coop them up and put them on a grower ration. If they just had fluff left on their heads when you got them, they were about 4 weeks old. Butcher them if they look like they are starting to become crippled OR when you think they are big enough to eat. Figure dressed weight is 75% of their live weight. So if you want a 3 lb table bird, dress out at 4 lbs.

    Edit: Their free ranging probably kept their weight down. Confine them and they will gain nearly a pound a week. They will be tender for up to at least 16 weeks old. Do remember to age overnight in the fridge though.
     

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