Cornish Cross Experiment (no, not breeding my own)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TrinityFarms, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. TrinityFarms

    TrinityFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    We raised a few hundred cornish cross this year and would like to work up as we build our market. The limit in my province without purchasing quota is 2000 broilers per year, so that would be the limit for the foreseeable future. The majority will be raised using a pastured poultry system while the weather permits, and we would like to work towards a system where we mix all our own feed, and use medication only when necessary (i.e. avoid the medicated chick starter and the antibiotic/vitamin combo in the drinking water). We want to find which conditions allow us to raise the birds for the least money.
    I'm building a coop which will hold 60 birds at 8 weeks maturity, separated into 4 contained levels so that I can experiment to find the effects of different changes to the system. I've ordered 60 cornish cross pullets, set to arrive on Friday. The first experiment will use the same conditions on all four levels, first of all to test out the system, and also to confirm that a sample size of 15 birds will be enough to find meaningful results.
    The conditions I'm using for the first experiment are those found on Anstey Hatchery's website: http://www.ansteyhatchery.ca/after.html . Additionally I'll be adding plain yogurt to the chick starter for the first week as well as offering free choice sand/grit depending on the birds' size. Processing date is 8 weeks after arrival.

    I'll put up some pics of the coop once I'm finished. I was wondering if someone had any thoughts on the experiment or the instructions on Anstey's website. I'll try to update this thread as the experiment progresses. Thanks in advance for your comments!
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I respect people's wishes not to have "medicated" food for their chicks, but when you check into exactly what the "medication" is, you find it's not really much to kick about. It's one ingredient that simply keeps them from getting cocci which is a good thing. That's my 2 cents there. Once they get it, the reason to use the medicated food becomes obvious but by then it's too late, isn't it?

    I'm a believer in probiotics for them and will love to see your outcome! And pictures, always hehe.
     
  3. TrinityFarms

    TrinityFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi galanie, thanks for the reply.
    The medication in the chick starter I purchased is Amprolium, and as you mentioned is intended to prevent coccidiosis. I suppose initially I am more concerned about eliminating the broad spectrum antibiotics from their drinking water. The vitamin/antibiotic package I bought contains penicillin G potassium and streptomycin sulfate. I wonder though if coccidiosis can be detected in time and effectively treated without having a preventitive medication. I'm not familiar enough with treatment options - maybe someone more knowledgeable can weigh in. The root of my concern about the medications is that I feel that the period of time which birds must not be treated before human consumption is much too short when considering how durable chemicals can be. My brother-in-law did a study for his PhD that involved using human waste as a fertilizer on crops. One of many problems in the study was that chemicals such as birth control hormones could be found in edible portion of the crops. If such a chemical can survive the human digestion system, composting of fecal matter, application to a field, sun, wind, rain, and absorption by a plant and still be detectable, then how can it be that simply five days time between application of the medicine and human consumption of the meat or eggs of that bird is enough that the chemical has no effect on our bodies? Just so my stance is clear though, I'm just trying to eliminate the preventative medicine. I agree that a sick bird or flock needs to be treated immediately.
    The second reason we want to switch to mixing our feed is the cheap availability of grains in our region. There is also good access to peas and canola meal as protein supplements. The most costly part of raising the chickens is certainly the feed, so if we are able to make gains there it will help the operation be much more profitable.
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    AH! I totally overlooked the part where you were giving them antibiotics in their drinking water. That would concern me, too. I was thinking of the Amprolium in the feed only in my post above. As I said, even if it's just the amprolium, I respect people's wanting to not have any "medications" in chick feed, I just think it's worth it. Antibiotics in the water, I would object to though since I too think they could easily find their way into the person eating the chickens. We all know that diseases mutate and become immune to antibiotics. Nuff said there.

    So far as I know, Amprolium isn't used for humans but the medications in your water sure are, or related drugs are at least. If I put that in my water I'd feel like I was throwing money down the toilet in addition to causing a potential problem for both chicks and humans.
     
  5. ronniewayne

    ronniewayne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only raised a couple hundred of these meaties and a couple hundred layers...so far from expert on here i will put in my 2 cents as your post reads like i think...i havent used any medicated feed and have had very low loss rates on chicks...layers 0....cornish-x less than 5%......i dont think in an 8 week life span you can get the stuff out...i did read one test where 90% of the chicken in the store and 100% of fast food chicken had arsenic in it...and hormones ,antibotics ...and the like...i think we can live better with out that stuff and so far my chicks can live without it too...i brood for 2-3 weeks then put them to pasture hoop houses where i move them dailey...good luck with yours ...for got to mention i do put raw honey in their first water and organic acv in the water after that...
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  6. TrinityFarms

    TrinityFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Ronnie. We raise our chickens in movable cages in the summer as well. We just had our first snow today though, so everything will be inside until May. I'm glad to hear that you've been able to do it without medication. Do you have any information on weight gain between store-bought feed and a properly self-mixed grain/protein/calcium/vitamin ration? I'm guessing the honey is to give them that initial sugar boost, but what is the apple cider vinegar for?

    The chicks arrived Friday. 100% live arrival. I ended up with 65 unsexed chicks, because the hatchery made a mistake. Turns out my batch was a "cob" (sp?) batch, so they weren't able to sex them. One had pasty-butt this morning, but I washed it and it seemed to be doing better when I left. I was surprised at the weight difference of the chicks on arrival. I'm a bit of a data-freak, so I weighed and labelled each one. The average weight was 39g, the smallest 32g, and the largest 48g. It'll be interesting to see how that birth weight factors in to their finished weight.
     
  7. KNAndrs

    KNAndrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am interested in this as well and the process you use to go about feeding your meaties. I am only able to do about 4 meaties at a shot and saving the guess work and developing some best practices for keeping them healthy.

    I am following this thread.

    How did you divide your birds? 16 each with averages in each pen? What is the control group receiving? More details please!


    KEN
     
  8. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't feed medicated chick starter or any antibiotics for that matter and I only lost 2 chicks out of 35 and that was the first week. These little guys are doing great and are growing like weeds outside pecking around just like my other baby layers with their mamas .. Yes, it does get into the meat of the bird.. It is an antibiotic and just like us humans if we get an infection and take an antiobiotic it gets into every cell of the body including our muscles and all tissue ( skin infections are treated with antibiotics)... If you want meat with medication, it's cheaper just to buy it in the grocery store.. Probiotics and plain yogurt are a much better solution in my opinion and actually help the body's immune system vs. trying to pump meds in the body JUST IN CASE they get cocci.. My feed mill doesn't even offer medicated chick starter...
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Most medicated feed is now with Amprollium, which is vitamin based and is NOT an antibiotic.

    If you don't want to feed it, that's your choice, but if you are not feeding it because you have dread of antibiotics, you are a little off base.
     
  10. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Quote:That's kinda where I was going in my first post, then I realized the OP said they were giving antibiotics in the water. The person you are responding to though, yeah, that's what I was addressing by saying that what's in medicated feed isn't anything to be all that concerned about.
     

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