Delawares for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sunnybrookbecca, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. sunnybrookbecca

    sunnybrookbecca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2007
    Hubby and I bought 29 Delawares to raise for meat 2 1/2 weeks ago. So far, they seem like happy little things, eating like piglets (24% protein ration) and looking like pincushions with sprouting feathers everywhere, but since I've never raised chickens before, I don't have a good idea of what they should be doing growth wise. Is there any kind of chicken growth chart out there, to let me know if they are the size they should be at different weeks, etc? I just want to make sure I am on target and not messing up somewhere.

    Also, anyone ever raise Delawares for meat before and have any idea how long it takes? I've heard everything between 15 and 20 weeks so far.
     
  2. JacobsRewardFarm

    JacobsRewardFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Parker, TX
    Hi Sunnybrookbecca,
    I'm also raising Delawares for meat - I have 25 that are now 4 weeks old and I have put them out in their "Chook Wagon" for the first time - they have spent their first 24+ hours out there. Even though it rained last night, they stayed cozy in the portable chicken tractor - much to my delight.

    I got several ideas about ages to butcher, and I'm going to shoot for 14 weeks. They may not be as big as they could get, but they will hopefully taste good. It will be my first time butchering, so I'll be learning first hand on that as well. I have lots of good resources, and lots of help here on the forum.

    Here's a couple of pictures of my flock:
    In their brooder last week:
    [​IMG]

    Out in the pasture, cleaning up the grass and whatnot:
    [​IMG]
    I gave them another cover for more shade after I took this picture. They seem to appreciate it. I also put that back tarp down before it rained, and that helped keep them dry. In the daytime, I leave it up for a nice breeze. They LOVE flying around, eating bugs and grass and sunbathing. I hope they get really big and healthy!! I just now switched them from chick food to "flock raiser" which is 22% I think. Hope that's enough - my feed store doesn't have broiler food.

    Keep us informed on your progress!
    Blessings,
    Cindy T.
     
  3. sunnybrookbecca

    sunnybrookbecca Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2007
    Thanks for sharing your info and the pictures...they look like happy, healthy little guys. Right now ours are out in their coop, we're working on getting their fence put up this weekend so they can get outside and burn off some of their energy. Since they can't get outside yet, I've been bringing the outside to them, and they're having quite the field day flinging dandelion greens, cabbage leaves and clover heads around the coop with great abandon. And, fortunately, they really like attacking hunks of zucchini. Since that veggie always produces more FAR more than you want, it's a great way to get rid of the extras I'm always trying to find creative ways to use up. Everybody is healthy except for one little guy with a banged up toe. He's in his own little pen in our house until it heals up, the red scab is just too much of a lure for the other guys and they won't leave him alone.
    Are yours straight runs, pullets or roos? Ours are all roos since they get bigger faster....but I hope they won't get too crazy as they age:)
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Thoes in the pics look like roos... except the little one in the middle. Sure looks like a girl there.
     
  5. JacobsRewardFarm

    JacobsRewardFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Parker, TX
    Yep, I ordered straight run, and got a lot of roos in the bunch. I think I'll order all cockerels next time because they are supposed to get bigger, and they are a lot cheaper!

    I have not handled these guys much, and I can really see the difference it makes - they are aggressive little demons! I got pecked to death moving them from the brooder to the tractor! Fortunately, they're not too big and it wasn't terribly painful [​IMG]. Butchering day, I'll be wearing GLOVES!

    Cindy T.
     
  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I'd like to see some more close up shots of your "Chook Wagon"
     
  7. JacobsRewardFarm

    JacobsRewardFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Parker, TX
    I'll get more pictures up this evening... right now I'm off to pick up some fencing I'm buying from a guy off Craig's List. (My new obsession! What deals!) Then off to get some new mineral supplements from a dealer about an hour and a half from here. Anybody heard of it? Made by a company called Fertrell. It's called Nutribalancer. I'll have more info on that later this evening, too.

    Cindy T.
     

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