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Dixie Rainbow Grow Out Journal - S&G Poultry

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by zephyrcreek, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. zephyrcreek

    zephyrcreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Yale, Michigan
    There have been so many questions about alternative meat birds that I have decided to record some of my results with my current batch of Dixie Rainbows. I have already processed 100 CX this year. I currently have 100 colored range birds from J&M that I will start processing this week at 11 weeks old. I also have another 100 Dixie Rainbows that are 7 weeks old at this point. I have basically used the same management program with each group. The only major change I have had to implement is adding extra feeder space for the Dixie Rainbows. They seem to be much more active and there is a greater difference in temperments.

    At week 4 on my first batch of DR I noticed a major size range between all the birds. I had extra large to very small (1/6 the size of the largest). I doubled my feeder space from 10 ft to 20 ft of trough style feeders and now at 7 weeks the size gap has greatly decreased.

    [​IMG]
    DR shown at 6 weeks old



    [​IMG]

    Housing

    All birds are kept in brooder until 3-4 weeks depending on the weather. At this time they are moved into a hoop house. The hoop house is moved 1x a day in the beginning, and by 7 weeks is being moved 2x a day. Birds are allowed to free-range for a few hours a day depending on weather from week 5- week 9. The last few weeks they are contained in hoop house. Hoop House is 10X12.

    Feeding Program

    Chicks have fresh water and 24% feed 24/7 while in brooder. The hoop houses share space with my horse pasture which is well seeded and contains a high % of clover. They are voracious foragers both for grass and bugs, and also any feed that may have been spilled and left behind when the house was moved. Very little waste around here. All hoop houses now contain 20 feet of trough type feeders (3 in PVC cut and hanging from top) and (1) 5 gallon waterer. Fresh water and food is given 2x a day for younger birds, and 3x a day once they are no longer free ranging.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
  2. TillinWithMyPeeps

    TillinWithMyPeeps Waiting for Spring...

    Aug 22, 2008
    Ohio
    Whoa! [​IMG] Those are very nice looking meat birds.
     
  3. zephyrcreek

    zephyrcreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Yale, Michigan
    Current Project - 50 Dixie Rainbow Meat Birds
    Plan - Weigh 15 chicks each Monday to track progress.
    Keep feed seperate from other birds so that I know exactly how much feed I have used.
    Process at 11-12 weeks
    Goal - Dressed birds at 4-5+lbs

    Birds arrived on 7/15/09. Picked up from MJ's house on 7/16/09. Chicks look similar to previous batch including a wide range of colors. This shipment also includes a number of black chicks. I had no black chicks in previous batch.

    [​IMG]

    DR chicks pictured on 7/20/09 - One Week


    Randomly weighed 15 chicks (30%)
    Average Weight: 2.98 oz
    Range: 2.5 oz - 4.5oz

    Observations: All chicks seem to be progressing as expected. Very healthy and active. Many have been observed jumping for insects in the brooder. The 4 chicks I took outside for pictures immediately starting pecking at the grass and showed a great curiosity for me and what I was doing. It was difficult to take pictures as the wanted to check the camera out and kept getting too close.
     
  4. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    Apr 17, 2009
    Central Illinois
    do you think that they sent you some Johnny Grays?
     
  5. zephyrcreek

    zephyrcreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2009
    Yale, Michigan
    Nope, they are just growing too big and fast to be Johnny Greys. Plus they really do look just like the J&M colored Range Birds. The Dixie Rainbows just have a few more color patterns than the range birds. The lighter color birds look the exact same as the ticolors just with more white.

    Hope that makes sense.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  6. ke_ben

    ke_ben Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. dirtyshoes

    dirtyshoes Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2009
    if those birds came with shoulders Id get some for sure. Might just anyway they look like the real deal. J&M you say?
    Thanks
     
  8. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

    3,393
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    Apr 17, 2009
    Central Illinois
  9. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    Zephyrcreek - thanks for posting a grow out journal! Can't wait to get mine in August. They are awfully cute babies! Looks like a hefty bird as they age -- just what I wanted.
     
  10. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Newaygo Michigan
    Interesting! [​IMG]
     

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