Feed for meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Gazinga, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    ok, i am about to hatch a group of eggs that are all meant to be meat birds at 10 weeks old. So, question is, what do i feed them as soon as they hatch? Medicated chick feed? And for how long do i feed them this before switching, and switch to what?
  2. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

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  3. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you're butchering at 10 weeks, I'm assuming they are Cornish X's?? Feed them broiler food, with at least 20% protein, all the way through. I feed non-medicated.
  4. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    they are BO's, am i wrong on the time frame?
  5. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I want to say about 16 weeks on those, but don't quote me- my BO's are strictly layers. I'm sure someone will know more about them as meat birds eventually and answer your question better than I can.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I just read here on another thread that they get tougher after 12 weeks. And crowing is 8-9 weeks, I understand. Someone's slogan is, when they crow, they go. I'm going to see what my roos weigh at 9 weeks.
  7. exsia

    exsia Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2009
    Damascus, Oregon
    I raise dark cornish roos for meat and we usually slaughter around 12wks (give or take)
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    BO's are classified as a dual purpose (can be used for eggs or meat) heavy breed. Very different from Cornish X or Dark Cornish in terms of eating. You might read up on eating dual purpose breeds here. They have a stronger flavor and get tough earlier, but taste more like chicken, it is said. There are ways to manage the toughness to some extent, by age as well as how they are killed, and how they are handled after processing.

    I am raising several different heavy breeds and will slaughter at different ages to see how this goes. Not wild about the idea of Cornish X, so I want to find a happy medium between small and tough.

    I have read:

    Slaughter when they crow (8 wks.)

    Anything more than 12 weeks is tough.

    Any roo over 16 weeks tastes different because of hormones.

    Heavy breed fryers should be slaughtered between 12 and 15 weeks.

    I suspect that different people's interpretation of "tough" and "tasty" will have a lot to do with what we end up doing here.
  9. Kezzie

    Kezzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia

    Can you tell me what your Cornish dress out at at 12 weeks?
  10. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    If you only plan on frying your BO's then 12 to 16 weeks is a good time frame for butchering.

    But we only bake, BBQ, or roast our meat birds, and at 12 weeks there is not a lot meat on the birds. we have had better luck waiting till about 20 to 28 weeks to get more meat on them and better tasting in our opinion,

    Then after the kill/butchering, letting them rest at about 32 to 38 degrees in ice water, two days before freezing. Using the ice water method you have to be careful and have Ice on had. We have at least a dozen 1 gallon milk jugs with frozen water ready before we butcher.

    Of course the times for cornish crosses are different along with other hybread types.

    But this year the local farm store had some cornish crosses that were about a week old so we have those at the moment. since we are trying to slow them down we will most likely start butchering them at 10 weeks.


    PS last year our one cornish cross dress out at 9 pounds at about 16 weeks.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009

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