Chronicle of raising different breeds all at once as broilers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mon27, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2013
    I will make this as concise as possible. I have ordered about 34 chickens from Ideal and plan to keep 6 as layers, 1 roo, and the rest in freezer heaven. Will choose btwn the Br and Del roo, depends on who looks best.

    25 Red broilers SR
    1 Blk Australorp Pul
    1 Ideal 236( or whatever lol) leghorn Pul
    1 Blk Naked neck Pul
    2 Barred Rock Pul
    2 Barred Rock Roo
    1 Delaware Pul
    1 Delaware Roo

    Day 1, Th 8/1/2013
    Picked up chicks and 6 of the Red broilers didn't make the trip. Gave them That green gel, food and water. By the next morning, 6 more died, bringing the total to 12. 3 of the seemingly healthy ones have leg issues not that are not spraddle leg. Research leads me to slipped tendon. Ideal had been GREAT! They are reshipping my broiler order and I am switching to White Plymouth Rocks as all of my heritage breeds are alive and with no problems. I figured I should switch now while I have the chance and I paid the difference. I have 10 red broilers left so I will get to raise alot of types side by side and compare them. I know alot of people, including myself, have been looking for info like this.

    Sat 8/3/13
    It is 102 during the day so they no longer have lights. I cover the brooder with a sheet at night to keep breeze from chilling them. They huddle but still move around.

    Sun 8/4/13
    Put some dirt with a few grass pieces in the cage and they ate it all!! Kind of freaked me out but supposed to be good to get grit in the crop and build immune systems.

    Mon 8/5/13
    My batch of white Plymouth rocks is reshipping Wed to be here on Th. The three with leg issues are about the same and being kept separately. All of the heritage breeds are growing strong as well as remaining red broilers. All get free choice H and H chick starter dry as well as fermented chick starter 2x daily. I have electrolyte/pro-biotic powder in the waters. The Turken and BR are the smallest. The leghorn and Dels are feathering the fastest with the red broilers a close second. It seems that the lightest colored red broilers seem to have been the ones with the most problems, the ones with dark on there wings are still fine. Coincidence?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
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  2. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Tues 8/6/13
    At one week old, the red broilers are the largest chicks and a few are getting some serious wing feathers. The ones with slipped tendons are about the same. They have band-aid splints. Adding polyvisol to water now. Day three of having some grass and dirt put in the brooder. Graduating to next size pen tomorrow as well as giving the Mycoplasma vaccine, if it arrives. Still not needing heat lamp due to outside temp. Still eating fermented food twice daily and dry free choice. Am wondering if they are eating too much? The larger pen should help give more exercise and keep strong legs. Waiting for replacement shipment of White Plymouth Rocks on Th.
     
  3. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wed 8/7/13
    Ideal pushed back my White Rock shipment until next week. :( Now my birds will be 2 weeks apart which will be a bit of a challenge. I vaccinated the week olds with the mycoplasma g. vaccine. Not easy. I felt like I was torturing them. It calls or .5 cc sub q which is a ton of fluid. I think most of them only got half of that. I hit a vessel in one and it bled like crazy. I felt soooo bad. One of the three with slipped tendons passed away last night. The other that was with it was strong enough to go back into general population.
     
  4. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    8/12/13
    The chicks are twelve days old today. The red broilers that made it are very healthy, strong and HUGE compared to my heritage breeds. Most of the reds are a solid 2x as big as even my Barred rock roo and Turken. A few of the red broilers are about the same size as the heritage breeds but from what I read I was expecting that. They are thick and heavy and just as active as the other breeds. They seem to be a very good choice so far. I have a shallow dish that they have all learned to stand in to cool off. It has been averaging 103 here this summer and the chicks seem to be doing well. No one seems adversely affected by the Mycoplasma vaccine either. So far so good. I am considering revising my order again and cancelling the Plymouth rocks and having the red broilers sent again. They seem to have a harder time shipping but are strong as they can be once over the hump. Really glad I get to experience the breeds side by side during this. They seem to do really well on the combo dry and fermented food. They are equally excited about each. I cant help but think that the meat birds would eat less, and weigh less, if they had fermented food only. Still getting dirt and long grass put into brooder daily. Really happy thus far.

    I weighed them this afternoon. The red broilers range from 4.5 to 5.5 Ounces and the heritage breeds range from 3 to 3.5 Ounces.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  5. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    8/15/13
    The 25 White Plymouth Rock chicks arrived today. They are straight run. They are as strong and healthy/ fat as they can be. It seems that the red broilers are a great option ,as the ones who made it are doing awesome, but they have a higher initial fatality. We will see in the end. The heritage breeds have def made the trip better thus far. They have warm sugar water and H and H chick starter (20% protein) that is wet a little. In a few hours they will get water with polyvisol in it. I am thinking of raising this breed with a higher protein content. I know they will take about 4-6 weeks longer than the red broilers to reach the weight I want so I am going to push them to try and speed it up a bit. Texas natural has a 22% chick starter and I may mix that with game bird starter for even more. I dont want to raise them for six months. They will have sixish hours a day free ranging once they can go outside. I have over 40 chicks now!!!
     
  6. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    8-16-2013
    The White Plymouth Rocks are doing well. They never needed a heat lamp and all are strong and vibrant. I have 2 that are noticeably smaller but the rest are pretty uniform for a straight run. I have been racking my brain for a way to increase protein in my 20% soy free, non-gmo starter. Today I think I found an OK solution. Its called Ultra Kibble for chicks. It is 32.5% protein and seems to have pretty decent ingredients. Its a booster... perfect!! I mix it at a ratio of 9/1. Today was the first day so the jury is out. I am going to alternate one feeding with the starter/kibble at 9/1 and the next feeding will be meal worms ( for the older pen only) and starter at a ratio of 12/1. This should vary their protein a bit. I am also going to add 1 tbsp a day of Calf Manna after about 4 or 5 weeks of age. The Red Broilers are really something. The Roos are huge! They are panting in the heat but to their credit it is over 100 most days. Also considering sourcing beer mash and trying to make some of my own mix. It is $27 a bag for my starter!! WAYY too much money. I do think the fermented food twice daily helps to fill them up on less feed. My Ideal 236 leghorn is the friendliest and is my favorite, her name is Fairy. :) I am trying to figure out when I should pull my layer breeds out and get them on a lower protein feed. Maybe at 4 weeks? This is going to be a logistical nightmare with 2 pens of broilers 2 weeks apart and about 7 layer chicks. AAH! The mycoplasma vaccine either didn't work, wont work until the booster, or was given improperly. The older broiler pen ( 2 weeks and some change) are all on Tylan now. :( Dry sneezes. Hoping that this, with the booster in 3 weeks will keep them well without any further intervention. Tommorrow my plan is to try and source whole grains for sprouting. This weekend I want to figure out how to post some pics of all the diff breeds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  7. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    8/29/13
    All is going well!
    Got some rough weights today as I didn't have any help.

    The Plymouth White Rocks are 2 weeks and 1 day.
    I weighed 4 of them just to get an idea. Not sure who is a roo and who is a pullet yet.
    Smallest was 3 ounces, 2 came in at 4 ounces and a big one was 4.5 ounces. They are more uniform than the red broilers.

    The Red Broilers, Roosters auditioning for a permanent job and layer replacements are 4 weeks and 1 day.
    I didn't weigh all 12 red broilers as I couldn't tell which I had weighed already, I may also have a margin of error in my pullet vs roo determination in this breed.

    RB roo 18.5 ounces 1.15 lbs
    RB roo 19 ounces 1.18 lbs
    RB roo 15 ounces .93 lbs
    RB roo 17.5 ounces 1.09 lbs
    RB pullet 9 ounces .56 lbs
    RB pullet 13 ounces .81 lbs
    RB pullet 11.5 ounces .72 lbs

    Other breeds also 4wks and 1 day old
    On same food, in same pen, same care
    Turken Pullet 9 ounces .56 lbs
    Delaware Pullet 6.75 ounces .42 lbs
    Black Australorp Pullet 10 ounces .625 lbs
    Barred Rock Pullet 8.5 ounces .53 lbs
    Delaware Rooster 9 ounces .56 lbs
    Leghorn Pullet 6 ounces .37 lbs
    Barred Rock roo 10 ounces .62 lbs

    The Red Broiler Roosters are WAY larger than the rest and, on average the red broiler pullets are a bit bigger than the heritage breeds. They do appear to have a larger capacity for weight gain though and I anticipate them pulling farther away from the heritage breed pullets in the next two weeks.

    Ultra Chick Kibble update:
    None of the chicks would eat it.... so I added it into the fermented mash and they eat it all up! Nothing left behind! :)
    They all prefer the fermented over the dry but I will continue to provide both daily. They like the meal worms but didnt freak out over them as much as I though they would.
     
  8. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 23, 2013
    Portland/Vancouver area
    Wow, just found your thread. Please update on results. I'm very interested in Delawares. Were the Red Rangers like the Crossx as far as broken down at the end? I'm torn about buying the fast growing ones and the heritage. [​IMG]
     
  9. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there!! Ok. So the Red Broilers are better BY FAR than the heritage breeds. My white plymouth rocks, barred rocks, etc are probably barely 3 lbs at this point. All the the Red Broilers that made it past the first 2 weeks grew and developed without problem. I would never try to raise a heritage breed for meat again. I will hatch my own chicks from my heritage breeds and eat the roos and retired hens, but I would never buy them to raise for meat. I slaughtered the red roos about a month ago and they weighed almost 7 lbs and had an avg of a 5 lb dressed carcass. They were delicious, easy to pluck, pretty carcus. They were also very docile and easy to work with. I now have 20 white plymouth rocks running everywhere eating tons of food but they arent even close to being ready to slaughter. I did some of the red hens a few weeks ago and they were good as well. Slightly harder to pluck than the roos for some reason. About 6 lbs live and about 4.3 lbs dressed. REALLY fat too! Surprising as they were free ranged and fed soy free, non gmo feed, no crazy broiler rations or anything. They all ended up being really pretty as well. It made it tough because they are very attratctive birds. I am keeping two hens to breed with my Barred Rock and Del roo for another batch of decent meat birds. Pretty much all of the heritage breeds are about the same size. All of the hens are around 3 lbs right now and dont look even close to mature. My del and BR roos that are the same age are bigger but dont weight anything, they are all bones and feathers with no filling out happening yet. You would take a huge loss in feed prices and have to wait about 6 months to butcher one of the heritage breeds. I have learned that lesson FOR SURE. I am sort of glad about it though as it makes the decision making process much easier. :)
     
  10. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

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    I should add, the red broilers werent creepy or lazy at all. They grew fast but they free ranged and roosted and ran with the best of them. Nothing seemed unnatural or unhealthy about them. They just grew quicker AND actually put on meat where as the others would be about like eating a big dove. Would not be worth it. Not even close.
     

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