Feeding a very large chicken?

thegoodwinshens

In the Brooder
May 11, 2015
68
3
43
Davidson, NC
I honestly couldn't come up with a good title. We got this chicken in a set of 6 sold to us as golden comets as chicks, but clearly weren't. The other 5 were roos and we got rid of them. I've had a few people say they look like Freedom Rangers. But she is HUGE! And she will not forage for food at all. I was really wanting to keep her as an egg layer and was seeing if there is anything I can do with her feed to make her not gain so much.

She is only 14-15 weeks old and bigger than my year old dominique hen
 
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GertrudeLover01

Songster
7 Years
Mar 20, 2012
340
14
126
Murfreesboro, TN
There really isn't anything you can do to slow or stop the growth of a chicken (unless I really have missed something). They typically eat as much as they need and not much more, and she doesn't look overweight, so I don't think this is an eating issue. If she does ever become overweight, make sure you aren't feeding her too many scraps or treats. Why do you want to slow her growth? Is there a reason you don't want a big chicken?
As to how she got so big, it could be possible that she has a bigger breed in her lineage, such as a brahma (although they have feathered legs) or orpington.
 

thegoodwinshens

In the Brooder
May 11, 2015
68
3
43
Davidson, NC
She's getting so big she's starting to have issues with walking, getting out of the coop etc. I've heard of this being a common problem with the breed, that the grow so fast the rest of their organs can't catch up.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,200
491
Long Beach, WA
She's a Red Broiler, basically the same thing as a Cornish Cross, only red instead of white. The only way to slow the growth is to restrict feed. Offer no more than can be consumed in 15 minutes, and only feed twice a day. Scatter her feed instead of putting it in a feeder, to get her moving more.
 

jpalmatier83

Chirping
Jul 15, 2016
152
16
91
Traverse City, MI
Coworkers have mentioned similar problems to me. Their opinion is similar to junebug's above, from a growth restriction standpoint.

Not to sound cold hearted, but is she really the right breed to keep long term for laying purposes?
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,986
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Where did you get these birds? If you were sold "golden comets" they would have been sex linked and all should have been guaranteed to be female. The bird you have, if it is a Freedom Ranger is somewhat of a dual purpose bird, that can be held over as a layer. But she is intended to be a meat bird, and if she's having problems with her legs at this young age, you would be better off to cull her. She will not meet your needs or your expectations. I held a Pioneer pullet over, and she became the earliest and most productive layer of the pullets that season. However, she is now 2 years old, and not laying often. Her eggs are massive. She is on the cull list for this fall. Any how, if you made it clear that you wanted layers when you bought these birds, you were taken advantage of, unless they came from a bin of birds that got mixed up and the employees were clueless.
 

thegoodwinshens

In the Brooder
May 11, 2015
68
3
43
Davidson, NC
Where did you get these birds?  If you were sold "golden comets" they would have been sex linked and all should have been guaranteed to be female.  The bird you have, if it is a Freedom Ranger is somewhat of a dual purpose bird, that can be held over as a layer.  But she is intended to be a meat bird, and if she's having problems with her legs at this young age, you would be better off to cull her.  She will not meet your needs or your expectations.  I held a Pioneer pullet over, and she became the earliest and most productive layer of the pullets that season.  However, she is now 2 years old, and not laying often.  Her eggs are massive.  She is on the cull list for this fall.  Any how, if you made it clear that you wanted layers when you bought these birds, you were taken advantage of, unless they came from a bin of birds that got mixed up and the employees were clueless.  


We were taken advantage of we bought these over an hour away from us. We are very much newbies, just wanting a few birds and we've had such a tough time this year.
 

CluckerCottage

Songster
5 Years
Sep 16, 2014
625
87
118
Oneida County, Upstate NY
That's a red broiler. We raised some of them as meaties this year in addition to CX's and Dixie Rainbows.
Very good tasting meat.
Yes, they have leg problems and it only gets worse so honestly, you'd be best off fattening her up on meat bird feed, then processing her.
Sorry for your situation.
 

thegoodwinshens

In the Brooder
May 11, 2015
68
3
43
Davidson, NC
That's a red broiler. We raised some of them as meaties this year in addition to CX's and Dixie Rainbows.
Very good tasting meat.
Yes, they have leg problems and it only gets worse so honestly, you'd be best off fattening her up on meat bird feed, then processing her.
Sorry for your situation.


So how much longer should I wait to cull her?
 

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