Couple of general questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaku, May 5, 2008.

  1. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Ok- I got my birds 2 weeks ago, and everything is going great. I have only a couple of questions right now.

    *I've got them on the 24% starter right now. What do I switch to, and when?

    *My father in law, who was a farmer (but NOT a chicken farmer,) said that because of chemicals they put in the food, you need to cut off as much of the fat as possible, as chemicals lodge in the fat of the birds. Has anyone ever heard anything like that? He's been known to talk about things he doesn't necessarily know about, so I figured I'd ask people who know about it.[​IMG] I'm feeding the TSC brand (Dumor 24%) non-medicated, so I'm thinking it isn't true, but wanted to confirm.

    *A couple of days ago, I started taking the food away at night. When I get up to feed them in the morning, they have destroyed the brooder looking for scraps, including filling their water dish with chips. When I feed them, they swarm the feeder and eat like they're STARVING. They pile on each other and empty the food trough in no time. When they're done, their crops are the size of golf balls, and then they keep eating. They didn't do that when I fed them at night. Is this behavior what others have experienced? Is it ok? Should I wait till they're out of the brooder to deny food at night, so they can forage if they want?

    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Typically meat birds are fed broiler starter/finisher all the way through. Looking through TSC's catalog, though (we don't have them here), it looks like you want to use the 20% starter/grower starter as it appears to be more equivelant to a broiler ration.

    Quote:I believe the "things" they put in chicken food are the medications and it's the drug residues people are worried about. Since you are using non-medicated feed, you have already averted that potential.

    The source of the protien should be your biggest concern. If it's from rendered animal products versus a vegetarian feed may sway your opinion on the matter.

    Quote:Meat birds will never forage. Cornish Crosses are miserable little creatures who don't take advantage of any freedom you furnish them.

    There are two schools of thought:

    a) Feed free-choice 24/7. The logic behind this is they won't stamped eachother and are less stressed over getting enough to eat. Their genetics program them to do nothing but grow, even in the face of nutritional deficiencies. Because of this, I say always have the food out for them (although I let them run out sometime during the night).

    b) Feed 12, Pick-up Food 12. Plenty of people raise their broilers this way and also have good resulsts. They feel it keeps them from growing too quickly and potentially can avert leg issues, heart attack and stroke.

    It seems to me all the 'bad things' that happen along with owning/raising cornish crosses occur under both systems.
  3. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    As far as how much chemical they retain in their bodies, I'm not sure. About a week before processing I feed cracked corn or scratch feed to 'clean them out'. Don't know really how much it helps, but makes me feel better about the meat. While growing, mine get feed 24-7 so the don't stress or get hungry and gorge themselves.
  4. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Thanks for the info. Just to be sure, I'm assuming medicated feed will be clearly labeled as such, correct? At TSC, I didn't see any feed described as medicated, which surprised me, considering how common it is to feed medicated ration. I need to start going to an actual feed store- I like TSC, but I hate that they know nothing about what they sell.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    When you look at the tag, all medicated feeds will start with:


    followed by the rest of the ingredients and nutritional information below that
  6. bestponymilo

    bestponymilo Songster

    Jan 31, 2007
    Meat birds will never forage. Cornish Crosses are miserable little creatures who don't take advantage of any freedom you furnish them.

    Really?! I have my Cornish Crosses out in a small run (30'x20') and they bop around pecking at the grass and bugs just fine. They are in with some of my "regular" peeps though, maybe that makes a difference?​
  7. 2 weeks is a tad young to take the feed away for 12 hours. Start first by making sure that the feeder is up off the ground so that they have to be almost on tip toes to eat out if it, and keep moving it up so it stays that way. Have the water away from the feed so they have to do some work. If you let them lay down and eat/drink themselves to death they will. However if you put them out on range and spread out whole grains so that they have to learn to forage they will, and soon they will be eating bug and grass too.

    Another way you can slow them down is to put rocks in their feeder tray so they have to work around them. Pick rock size according to your feeder but the objective is to make them work at it, not just gulp it down like hogs.

    Feed withdrawal will create stampede mentality so you have to weigh the benifits. I have had them kill or injure each other. On the other hand these birds do not do well in hot weather and since digestion creates lots of heat I often take food away in the day in hot times. To aviod the stampede I throw scratch far and wide for them before putting the feeders back and again very high feeders so the spread out feed seems the easy way to get started.

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