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Cornish Rock Crosses not finishing out

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PickawayCountyFarmer, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. PickawayCountyFarmer

    PickawayCountyFarmer In the Brooder

    Aug 1, 2010
    I have a batch of female Cornish Rock Crosses that for some reason have not filled out as much as they should for their age. I am feeding straight ground corn, (due to costs) and they were doing great till they got too large for the pen. I then released them into a small pasture, about 30'x40'. They really loved eating the grass and bugs in there. I have kept the corn available at all times, to fit easier into my schedule instead of giving them 12hrs feed, 12 off as I have read. Could that be why they have seemed to top out just around the cornish game hen size and haven't filled out the rest of the way? They are about 13 weeks old at this time. Should I change the feed? or should I just go ahead and start harvesting them now so they don't get too old? I had hoped to have a bunch of chickens already in the freezer at this time, not still feeding them.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    They are not finishing as they should because corn is not a balanced ration, and even with daily foraging they are unable to 'balance' their ration.
  3. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    Quote:I'm sorry to say this and hope I don't sound rude but how in the world do you expect them to grow to the proper size if your not feeding them the proper food??? Corn that's it?? Mine were huge at 8 weeks but they were fed 20% protein feed!! I never did the remove the feed they just didn't eat when it was dark!
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    In total agreement on the feed...Put them on good feed -unlimited-for the next few weeks and they might finish out at proper weight--older than expected but larger than what you have now
  5. erinszoo

    erinszoo Songster

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    We got our first batch of meaties three weeks ago and they are over two pounds already. We are butchering our first ones for game hens today but we've kept them penned up and they get 20% feed. Although I understand budget constraints all too well, if you want meat birds for meat then you have to feed them the high protein chick food. A 50 lb bag at our local coop only costs $14 and lasts about 10 days for 14 birds.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I do agree about the diet, but if they're that small at 13 weeks, I've gotta guess they're not meat birds. Post pics. I think you got something else, even the free range alone should have made them bigger than you're saying.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    On a all corn diet that is about 8% protein if I remember right... Fast growing broilers often need 20-24% starter to meet their potential, not to mention the vitamin/supplement powder that is mixed into formulated feed vs plain cracked corn.

    Feeding 'cheap' corn is a false economy as you'll have to keep them much longer and have them eat much more feed to gain the same weight. I would get them on a good formulated feed asap if you want them to grow, or just do them in now in case deficiencies have caught up with them and stunted them too much.

    In human terms... I know many first generation people my age who's parents immigrated from countries where their parents ate rice as a staple or nothing at all. They have tiny tiny parents, but growing up in America... although their parent's were tiny and you'd expect similar sized offspring... well, the genes were there and some of my friends are 2x the size of their parents. LOL To drive home this kind of sad point, some of my friends older siblings who spent the first 2-5 years growing up in their home countries/as refugees are bigger than their parents, but still significantly smaller than their younger siblings born and raised here.

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