Corn for a week before slaughter?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Hey folks,

    We have two BLR Wyandotte roos that we should have butchered last week at 12 weeks, but I dithered about keeping one or both for hawk lookouts. I ultimately decided that if I'm going to feed a roo, he'll have to have the genetics to be more than just a lookout.

    Anyway, right now they are eating starter crumbles with the pullets. Should I separate them and feed them on corn until the weekend? Or, because they are getting older by the minute, should I separate them, take away their food tonight, and dispatch* them tomorrow? I haven't been able to find a definite answer on whether the corn will do any good.


    *OK, OK. DH will do the dispatching and the gutting. I will do the plucking and the cooking. We are using these roos as test cases to see if we can handle some Cornish X in the fall.
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    We were just talking about this today in another thread... I like to feed only corn for the last week before harvesting the birds, and withold feed after noon the day before so their crop/bowel is empty. The corn adds fat to the bird, and a lot of people swear by it for nice tender meat. I don't think one week is going to make a difference at this point. But I will tell you that the Cornish are much more tender, meatwise, than a standard roo. [​IMG]
  3. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Songster

    Jun 29, 2007
    central KY
    I basically did that with mine but I used scratch instead of just corn. I had / have about 10-11 lbs cornish.
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Opinions vary.

    Corn causes the fat to be yellow pigmented.

    Corn is low in protein, so they will not be gaining weight how ever long you have them on it.

    Any change in diet will cause them to 'studder' and not gain weight for a couple days. Diet changes are a bad thing in birds which have such a short lifespan.

    I avoid corn in general, unless it's in scratch as a treat... i.e. "chicken crack".
  5. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    Uhm... this may be stupid of me... but isn't starter crumbles usually medicated? I really would want to get them off that for at least a week before slaughter (I'd personally go a little longer.)

  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    Our starter isn't medicated. We have our laying chicks vaccinated instead.

    These two boys are still on starter because we bought mostly sexed pullets. The BLRW were only available straight run, and we couldn't separate the boys before last week when our big coop was finished. And also, there was the aforementioned dithering. [​IMG]

    So it seems as if the consensus is that I should leave them where they are until 24 hours before slaughter, when it's back out to the chicken tractor with nothing but water. Will the grass under the chicken tractor be a problem, since they won't truly be fasting?

  7. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I have understood that corn really heats the birds up internally, and is often fed more to birds in the cold months. Would this not cause the birds distress at this time of the year with the warmer temp's?
  8. Quote:NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Corn does NOT "heat up" an animal. This is an OLD WIVES TALE..

    Corn is a highly digestible source of carbohydrates with a lower Heat Increment than many incredients we may choose to feed our chickens. When animals are heat stressed their voluntary feed intake decreases, therefore we want to provide a diet that contains higher concentrations of Amino Acids and Energy. This is accomplished by using highly dense ingredients such as corn and animal fats or vegetable oils.

  9. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    i remember when my horse got into my bag of cracked corn i have for my chickens as treats and she pretty much ate about half that bag. i'm sure whatever she spilled out, the chickens went after it also so it could have been less. anyway....

    let me tell ya, talk about producing ethanol! if i didn't know he had gotten into that corn, i would have thought that horse was dying from the inside. thank goodness he didn't colic, but boy o boy! it took him two days to get rid of all that gas. P U!!
  10. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Corn does change the color of Fat in a chicken. So if yellow fat is not desirable
    then don't use corn. But usually the fat will accumulate in large masses .
    Some Cook's/Chief's use these types for stew or soup and require
    yellow fat.

    Some corn is in some mixes of grower and finisher for chickens. It just
    depends on the brand. Custom mixed feed in the summer usually has more corn
    then in the winter.

    Straight corn for a finisher is not economical for chickens as the extra fat doe not accumulate in the muscle
    tissue, unlike Beef cattle which it does, and is desirable for US type commercial beef.

    Finishing on a higher ration of corn will change the taste of the meat slightly. Soe people do like this taste

    Expect Corn prices to go very high this year. As lot is now used to make Ethanol plus the flood's in Iowa.
    So it may get to expensive to try to finish with corn any way.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008

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