Fermented feeds and processing dates

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kelpieschick, May 26, 2012.

  1. kelpieschick

    kelpieschick In the Brooder

    May 15, 2012
    Hey everyone. :) This is my first time doing meat birds, I'm feeding the fermented feed (22% non-medicated starter for first 3 weeks and then 19% finisher for last 6 weeks.. maybe mixed with whole grains.. I have not decided on that part yet) My plan was to free feed for the first two weeks and then feed them twice a day from then on (I give them lots though so there would only be a few hours when their bowls are empty). I was aiming for a 9 week date (we're camping on week 8 ha ha and I was thinking that week 7 would be too early) but I have to book it in the next few days in order to ensure that I get it. I dont mind if they end up slightly on the small side but am really scared about them going over weight and risking injuries. They have a huge pen and a nice yard for digging and exercising and so far at, at two days old, they are very active and are enjoying pretending to scratch and forage.

    Does this sound like a good plan to the more experienced meat bird raisers out there? Should I be considering other ideas?

    I appreciate any input!

    P.S. As a side note they LOVE the fermented feed and I was very happy to see the normal bird poops today rather than the foamy spray that was coming out of them on day one! [​IMG]

    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  2. beckyjo

    beckyjo In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2011
    I am no expert, but from what I have read, if they have a larger area to run around in the longer it may take to get to a larger size and the less likely they are to have health problems. The more confined they are they less exercise they get and they get bigger quicker. Since you have a larger area I would guess that you would be ok with 9 weeks. This was just my impression from what I have read. I am getting my first group in the next week. Hopefully my response will bump this up and one of the experts will chime in...[​IMG]
  3. kelpieschick

    kelpieschick In the Brooder

    May 15, 2012
    Just to follow up on my own question ha ha. I fed the fermented starter and grower feed, fed them twice a day and processed them at 8 weeks and they were huge! My next batch comes in mid-September and Im going to be adding in some whole barley to slow that down a little. Still going to process at 8 weeks but would like a few more to be in the 4 lb range.
  4. Kildare49

    Kildare49 Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    Central Wisconsin
    I will be out of my chick starter @ 3 weeks & was going to switch to grower only.

    Also doing FF, what were there weights @ 8 weeks?
  5. kelpieschick

    kelpieschick In the Brooder

    May 15, 2012
    Hey there, my lowest weight was 4.36 and my highest was 6.7 dressed. I think the average was 5.7 dressed. There were WAY more big guys than small. These guys were fed FF twice daily, had fans on 24/7 the whole time and were outdoors all day long and then in a cushy indoor coop at night. The folks at the processing plant said that I did a great job and that the birds looked very healthy and robust.

    Word on the street is that they were very tasty!
  6. erinszoo

    erinszoo Songster

    Jun 28, 2011
    North Central Oklahoma
    Another feeding plan that we were told to use, and do with meat birds, is to let them eat all the want during the day and then take away the feed at night. We processed most of ours at 6 weeks and they were all over 4 lbs by then. We let a few go until week 8 and had all 7 and 8 lb birds. They were huge but we cut them into pieces and I had boneless skinless chicken breast meat to use without buying it at the store so I was happy! Each breast weighed over a pound each. We're getting another batch in September and we plan on canning some of the meat this time.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: