Cornish Cross and medicated start and grow

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by DreamsInPink, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm an idiot. I have 6 Cornish x, almost 7 weeks old. On Purina medicated start and grow.

    We are buying new feed tomorrow. But how long does it take for the medication to get out of their system?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The medication in that feed is Amprolium. Which drug is in medicated feed is important.

    I e-mailed Purina with that very question. Dawn Holland with Purina replied that there is no withdrawal time for meat or eggs. I’ve searched the USDA website and the only withdrawal listed for meat is in cattle. Chickens are not mentioned in the withdrawal times. These government sites can be hard to read and understand, but they are talking about feeding it to chickens in that article so I read that to mean there is no withdrawal time for chickens. As far as that goes Dawn Holland can dance around a question a bit, I’ve asked a couple of different questions, but she was very clear on that one.

    Feel free to contact Purina yourself to get verification, I’m just a stranger over the internet and we are talking about your families safety.

    Edited to add: Another reason for you to check yourself is that the USDA recommendations can change. Purina would be up-to-date on any of those changes. My information from Purina is a little dated. That's why I checked the USDA website, I'd expect it to be up-to-date, but you never know.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  3. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Hello 'neighbor!'

    I am by no means an expert but we have raised meaties for about five years now, for my daughters 4-H projects...and yes, she did the work, but it was a mother/daughter kind of thing :)
    We started with raising 10, taking the top 3 to the fair, then 12 the next couple of years, then 15 the last couple of years..and nothing last year due to the poultry situation and bird flu concerns in Ohio.

    From the poultry clinics we attended for 4-H, our local feedstore and knowledgeable folks from 4-H (and the 4-H extension offices mandatory Quality Assurance program every 4-H kid with a market project had to attend) we learned the same as the prior poster mentioned--they recommended using the medicated feed at the start and then the Purina Honor Show Chow the rest of the time. There was no withdrawal time for this and they were gearing the entire process of raising market poultry for public consumption so they were (I think/hope) up to date on what was safe and right to do.

    My daughter took her three to the fair and the rest (we never lost one over the five years we raised them and this was mid-July thru mid-Sept) we had processed at about 8 1/2-9 weeks--they were behemoths! I guess what I'm getting at is, don't worry about it :) We have never had a problem after eating them...except for the twitching crossed eyes and frequent uncontrolled drooling, other than that...nothing. :) (I am kidding...really)

    I currently am trying it again after an 18 month hiatus...have 15 in the mudroom right now, along with 3 turkey poults for the first time so we'll see how it goes this time round. They are stinking up the place something fierce, will need to create larger brooder for them soon and it's only been a week. I have six 5 week old layer chicks in my huge brooder in the main coop but they're too young to go in with the big girls and i'm not going to mix them with the meaties so will need to get creative, quickly...

    Best of luck with your batch!
  4. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey there!!! It's nice to see another Ohioan. Yay! :D

    Thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate it! I did a little research and came up with pretty much the same thing RidgeRunner said, which made me feel a lot better.

    How long did you feed the medicated? Before you switched them to the Show Chow?

    My meaties are 7 weeks old. And doing ok so far.. as far as no leg issues (knock on wood) or anything else yet. I'm very thankful for that as they will likely be a little older before I process them. Do you think they'll be ok? How much did yours weigh? I just got a scale today. I need to try to weigh mine.. that might be interesting. lol :rolleyes:

    Oh geez, is that all? Psh, thank goodness! :lau

    You don't put your meaties in with any of your other chickens? I've got mine in with 5 Isa Browns and they seem to be ok. :idunno
  5. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Buckeyes Rule!

    I fed the medicated till I ran out (50lb bag). We were feeding between 10-20 birds so maybe the first 3-4 weeks? My daughter had the records (had to keep track for 4-h) but we'd switch over when we ran out. I probably won't use the show chow for this new batch--kind of experimenting as I don't want them as huge as they were for the fair. We couldn't process the ones that DD didn't take until a week later (9 weeks) and they were huge! Would like to process at 7-8 weeks this time. Still waiting to hear back from processor on a date.
    They ended up weighing about 9-11 lbs on average when they went to the fair, after processing about 7-8 lbs. [​IMG]

    These were the "leftovers" that didn't make it to the fair in 2014 (2015-no poultry shows in Ohio so she didn't do a project her last year in 4-H).
    I would make sure you keep food and water at opposite ends to make sure they move around a bit--they'd be content never moving the last couple of weeks--eat-drink-poop in one place.

    As far as mixing with layers--personally I wouldn't. they are totally different creatures--slower the last few weeks, waddling around, getting jumpy (which worried me as they are prone to heart attacks ). My layers (I have 26 in the big coop) are pretty active and I think they'd pick on them. For the short time we have them I like to keep them content and unbothered if possible. The meaties need a bit of room, but not a whole lot--a tractor would be wonderful, someday we'll make one, but until then I'll keep them safe in a run of sorts. I rig up a pvc fence that's about 8' long and a foot high with wire and block off an area in the coop (outside of the layers section..ends up being about 8' x 5', put shavings down and they are protected and have room to move around. I also keep the food in front of them all the time--I know folks will vow they have to be 12 with, 12 without, or feed set amount twice a day but this has worked for us. I figure they're not eating at night when it's dark and when we would run out during the day they would gorge so frantically, stepping on each other, coughing as they gorged...wasn't worth it.

    Good luck weighing them..We had a large screw eye in the doorway of the coop (a 12'x16' shed), then a nylon rope with a hanging luggage scale on it. Used a 5 gallon water bucket for the birds. A two person job--one wrangled chickens, the other (me) wrote down numbers.
    Just remember to weigh the bucket first and subtract that or you might shock yourself with the weight. :) I'm sure ours wasn't really accurate as she just needed to have a trio that was evenly matched weight wise and weighing at least 12 lbs total for all three. This year is the first time I've raised them solely for us and a couple of friends. Usually we're struggling with July-Aug. heat they're stinking up my mudroom and we're only at week 1.
    They won't be outside for another 2-3 weeks...well, maybe out in the coop under heat, but I have 6 layer pullets who are 5 weeks old and still need the heat...they're in the big brooder. Need more!

    You may not run into leg issues if you withhold/limit feed. We'd end up with one or two lame birds, once with a "sprung" leg but he could still get around. I just hoped he'd be ok for a few days until the trip to freezer camp--didn't want him to suffer, but he got along ok, just not really graceful.

    Good luck!
  6. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gosh, thanks for all the info!!

    Why would you rather process earlier? Isn't bigger, better?

    I worry about keeping food and water separate... what if they don't get up to drink? I read one person's story on here about that. He had his outside and it was hot. Instead of getting up and walking 10 or 15 steps to get a drink, they died. :(

    Hmm, you are the 2nd person who said not to keep them in with our other chickens. This is my first batch of Cornish Cross. I'm still learning. And we got the Isa Browns with the Cornish Cross so they were all brooded together and grew up together. So far. I do worry about mine having heart problems. I tell my bf to move slowly around them and not get them upset. :/ Oi.

    Maybe we'll build a tractor. Can you keep them all year long in a tractor? I'd like to have another batch, but Idk when. I'm also looking into some of the other breeds to use for meat. Do you have any experience with any others?

    I've also considered how they act in the morning after being unfed all night long. I don't like it either.

    Your weighing system does sound ideal. I was planning on using a kitchen scale... hahaha. Not sure how that's gonna work. It may not work. :rolleyes:
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Keeping them longer increases the chances of losing birds to CHF or leg issues. Plus, you start to run into losing your gain starts taking more feed just to maintain weight, and while they do gain weight, they do so more slowly and you're not getting as much bang for your feed dollar. Say what you will about the commercial meat chicken industry, but one thing they do know is cost effectiveness. That's the reason they butcher at 8 weeks, it's the most cost effective time.

    Going a lot bigger also runs into problems cooking. Cooking turkeys is more difficult, because of the larger size. Breast meat tends to dry out before leg meat is'll have the same issue with CX if you let them get jumbo-sized.

    Since your birds are already 7 weeks, I wouldn't change any management now. They're only going to be around a few more weeks, and if what you've been doing is working, stay with it. I'm raising a small batch of CX (just 5) with my layers and everyone is doing just fine. Let the group free range today and the little piggies were the first out the door looking for grass. Course, they're the easiest to get back in, cause they don't run away but wait to be picked up.
  8. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you @donrae. I will try to get mine taken care of as close to 8 weeks as I can.

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