Cornish Cross Broilers...husbandry

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Bladeguy, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Bladeguy

    Bladeguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone, I just wanted to post my experience so far raising these broilers. We got them 8/5, and had fermented feed ready. They really didn't eat until day 2. We kept them in the brooder for 16 days, and then moved them outside. The smell was getting bad in the brooder, but that was because of my watering system. I used poultry nipples and the birds figured out if they held the nipple down, the water would free flow, so they would spill a lot of water on the bedding, which kept everything wet. That isn't good for smell. If I develop a better system to keep bedding dry, they could have stayed in there for a week or two more with no smell I am sure. Just kept spreading a few pine shavings on top every day.

    So far, just shy of week 4, these chickens are about 5 days behind according to the broiler chart. We have an electrically charged fenced in area with a Salatin style pen in it. So far, we have moved the pen 4 times in 11 days within the fence, but they had been outside the pen quite a bit for the first week. Now we have a hawk so we are careful about letting them out unless we are out too. I tried a little scarecrow but didn't move it around, so that maybe the problem it didn't work. These birds are eating close to what the chart says, so my only disappointment is not that they are slower growing than the chart, but slower growing but still eating according to the chart.

    Anyway, on to my whole point for posting this. I have a few friends who have raised these birds and warned me how they just lay around, eat, sleep and poop. I want to tell anyone who will listen, that you will get out of these birds what you expect out of them. I got my birds from the same hatchery my friends go their birds from. I don't keep them cooped up in a small coop or small coop and run, but I give them room to roam. When we open the pen up for them, the feeders are left in the pen, and normally 40 of the 52 chickens are running around foraging, flapping their wings, and enjoying the outdoors. The ones left in the pen usually aren't just laying around either, some will be at the feeders, or just running around in the pen. My point is this, I'm now convinced doing chickens for my very first time, that you can make these Cornish cross birds whatever you want them to be. My friend says his layers catch flying insects while his broilers just watch them fly or barely notice them. Mine go after these insects. Why? Because I've exposed them to the opportunity regularly outside. I have given them a chance to be a chicken.

    I'm not mad at anyone who does it differently. My friends that warned me are wonderful people and I will not change my opinion about them based on how they raise their chickens. I will, however, let them know and see my experience so they at least have to qualify what they say in the future....that the problem is not the hybrid, it is how they raise them. I believe that if I'm going to take on the responsibility of an animal, I need to, within reason, give them a decent life. That may seem counterproductive since I will eventually put them in my freezer, but we all believe that should be done humanely, so why would it matter if I butcher them humanely if I haven't let them live well? Food for thought, mainly for those on the fence. Not trying to convince anyone who raises differently to change to my way, but just don't blame the breed. Look at your husbandry practices as well. If you are happy with your end product and comfortable with how you get there, I'm ok with that, but for those looking for something different, it is possible, at least according to this rookie. I will try to keep up on this if anyone is interested to let you know how this all turns out.
     
  2. Bladeguy

    Bladeguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just thought I'd quickly add a pic of my chicken yard. Like I said, Salatin style pen in an electrically charged fenced area. Just wish I had netting over the top for the hawk so my chickens could come and go out of pen as the please. Next time I have them out, maybe I can take a few pics and show what they look like when the door is open. My scarecrow in the middle.,,haven't seen any crows, but hawks, different story.


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  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    YUP !!! As the old Scottish proverb says ... " The eye of the master fattens the cattle ". [​IMG]
     
  4. Bladeguy

    Bladeguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a pic with them outside. A couple in the pen where the food is, but most ranging around. There is food in the food trays, and a few are eating there are a few at the feeders now, but most prefer to search around for more food. I don't think they would free range enough in my fenced in area to get enough food. If I had more fencing,though, they would have more access to more food. Plus, my "pasture" doesn't have much but some weeds in it with a few bugs. It is my front yard where we built our house, but haven't had the resources to out in a lawn yet. We are getting it fertilized, though, for when we do!!! :D


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  5. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Bladeguy... Great posts and you are 100% correct!
     
  6. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
     
  7. Bladeguy

    Bladeguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I weighed a few of mine today...I got them 4 weeks ago today. The largest weighed 2.4 lb.'s and the lightest 1.4 lb.'s. Either way you slice it, they are growing much slower than the charts. They sure are healthy and loving life, though. I have a few that perch on some 1" Pex tubing that I have hung in the pen with poultry nipples on it for their water. The tubing is probably head height for them, and they just jump up there in one leap and perch. I love it! :clap
     
  8. Bladeguy

    Bladeguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 1, 2014
    I took some videos a little over a week ago and had intended to post it here. Problem is I'm not very YouTube savvy, so it took me some time. Plus I have had a busy schedule. Anyway, I think these videos are worth watching. I'm not a producer, but you get the idea.
    [VIDEO]

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  9. Bladeguy

    Bladeguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Video taken today of our birds. They seem to scratch and forage all day.

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