Feed for broilers, how much, what kind?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by algopurple, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. algopurple

    algopurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2008
    Ripley TN
    Hi, I have only ever raised regular standard breeds and a few bantams but never broilers. I got an email from a hatchery with their broilers on sale and need to know a few things befor I go and buy 25-50 meat birds. These are the kind that are ready to kill in 7-8 weeks. How much feed do they need and what kind? I normally always give my chicks medicated started feed until they are laying age. Of course these chicks will be different so any suggestions? Also I will only be buying my feed from the local farmers co-op/farm store type place and do not make/mix my own feed.
     
  2. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Wow, there are a number of recent threads on this same topic within just the past day. Basically I feed 21% starter from day one until two weeks before slaughter and then switch to broiler finisher but you're fine if you feed starter for the entire time. Just fast them for 24 hours before processing but let them have all the water they want.

    Dan
     
  3. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2009
    We feed ours turkey feed because that's what we can get. Start limiting the feed to 12 hours on and 12 off at about a week to ten days or so. Remember broilers gain really fast and in order to do that they eat a lot, drink a lot, sleep a lot, and poop a lot. The amount of feed and water they go through is really astounding. But they make more pounds of edible chicken per pound of feed than anything else. Check out welphatchery.com. They have good instructions on the care of broilers on their web page.
     
  4. algopurple

    algopurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2008
    Ripley TN
    I just went to the Welp site and they are calling their broilers cornish rocks. The hatchery I am interested in is Meyer hatchery and they are calling their just broilers. Any chance they are the same type or are there lots of different types of broilers? I am asking cuz I always thought cornish were small birds.
     
  5. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 19, 2009
    Quote:They are the same chicken, just different names. If you thought Cornish were a small breed you may be thinking of Cornish Game Hens or straight Cornish bantams. Cornish X are hybrid meat chickens and often called broilers. Cornish Game hens, broilers and roasters are all the same chicken just processed at different weights and ages. Game hens are Cornish X processed at two to two and a half pounds live weight. Cornish X are processed at between six and eight weeks or so for broilers and fryers and at about ten to twelve weeks for large roasters. Our roasters dress out between 11 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds at ten to twelve weeks. That is not a small chicken.

    You might go to www.mcmurrayhatchery.com. Check out the meat birds. You can find a good description with pictures and everything. Read the descriptions of the Jumbo Cornish and the Cornish Roaster. That should clarify things for you. Ignore the Frying Pan Special. That is just males of laying breeds that some people like to raise as fryers. I have purchased the BBQ Special in the past and I was very satisfied with those chickens. BTW, Jumbo Cornish is just their term for the Cornish X meat bird.
     
  6. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well, if you're getting 50 of them, plan on about 1000 pounds of feed, which will get you from day one till processing, taking it away at night. My thought on medicated feed for broilers is that if you're feeding them chemicals, why bother raising your own? (But that's just me.) Is your local co-op also a mill? As in, will you be buying prebagged feed, or do they grind/mix it there? If you find one that will grind and mix it, you will save about 50% in feed cost.
     
  7. algopurple

    algopurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2008
    Ripley TN
    Thanks for the last 2 posts. They were both very informative. I guess I am a little scared to just jump into keeping a bunch of broilers without doing alot of research and asking others with experience so I don't get overwhelmed once the chicks get here.
    I called the Co-op and they only have 16% starter feed so I will have to locate some other store that sells a higher percentage first. I read on the Welp site that they need 22% first then down to 18 (I think, will reread it again soon).
    A 1000 pounds of feed! WOW! Think I am going to have to step back and think some more about the amount of chicks befor I order them.
     
  8. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That feed store must not grind it themselves. Find one that does, (you can tell when they have to towers/silos outside, near the buildings.) The ones that grind/mix the feed themselves can do it at whatever percentage you want. As for what Welp says about their birds, I'm sure they know what they're talking about, but you don't need to switch the birds' feed. It just becomes a pain to deal with, then you end up with too much of one, not enough of another, etc... So, if you're concerned about it, I guess go with what they say. Buy your birds will do just fine on one feed the whole time.

    Don't get overwhelmed- it really isn't that tough to raise broilers. It's a bit tougher than layers, but not much- it's just different, so you can't look at them in the same way. Most of what you read here, or anywhere else, is OPINION- keep that in mind. A good book to read is "Pastured Poulty Profits," by Salatin. It's the "broiler bible."

    Also, keep in mind that 1000 pounds of broiler feed will only cost you about $200, and doesn't take up all that much room. If storage space is a concern, you can probably get it ground 500 pounds at a time, then get more when you run out.
     
  9. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Quote:Yeah it's not that much. You need to plan on the bird eating 2lbs of food for every pound of weight it gains. So if you want one bird to be 10 lbs at slaughter, then that bird will eat about 20lbs of food to get to that weight.

    So 1000 lbs of food would be 20 bags of 50lbs apiece. The first week or two, you'll wonder how you're ever going to go through it all. Mine are just about 5 weeks old now and 25 of them are eating about 10 quarts (sorry didn't weigh the feed, just use a quart sized scoop) of food/day. At that rate, it's a 50 pound bag in under a week. I'm on my fourth bag now and I expect to go through 6 more. I'll buy the next two together and the last four all in one shot because the larger they grow the more they eat. It's amazing how much they grow in such a short time span though.

    My local coop doesn't grind their own and I need to find one that does. That would save me half. I spend about $200 just for 10 bags of starter.



    Dan
     
  10. algopurple

    algopurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2008
    Ripley TN
    The Co-op sells their starter at $11.10 for 50 lbs. so yeah it would be $111 for 25 birds.

    If I went to a supermarket and bought all the meat that 25 broilers dressed out to, is it cheaper to grow your own? I know I could go to the the local stores around here and find out but I was wondering if anyone has already figured this out or not. I wanted to grow my own to save money and healthier meat would be a plus.
     

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