"Finishing" CX's by freeranging

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Winsor Woods, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    So I've been trying a new experiment with my last batch of CX's. I had them in the brooder with chick starter (21%) for 4 weeks. Them moved them to the chicken tractor with starter until 11 weeks old. I processed the bulk of them but I chose which ones to "keep longer" by opening up the tractor and noting which ones were eager to get out for some exercise and free-ranging. I had 11 left that I let out every day for free-ranging with no additional starter but I did scatter some scratch and flax seed around the yard for my layers that the meaties did find. Other the past two weeks, some meaties went lame and I processed them along with some others that weren't going to cut the mustard. I'm down to 5 meaties now and they are pretty good at getting out in the morning and working hard all day feeding themselves.


    Just wondering if anyone else has freeranged CX's and if they've noticed a difference in taste of meat?

    Dan
     
  2. dchickenman

    dchickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    I've never done that, so don't know for sure, but I bet they'll be great-tasting. Maybe a little tough from all the exercise...
     
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    Your not giving them any feed?
     
  4. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Columbus,IN
    The only problems i could see is that you will probably lose quite bit of weight freeranging, the birds will be tougher and you wont have a nice layer of fat on them (which i love) ... Also I hope you are giving some feed as most birds only forage fopr about 30% of their needed nutrients... They really should have some feed, wether it be just corn or oats etc....
     
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Ohio
    Quote:Thats what I was thinking, When I pen up a few cockerels by the tree of woe, I usually just give them corn and water. They still need feed. I pretty sure if they are CX's and 10 weeks you can process now.
     
  6. crperdue

    crperdue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2008
    Lake Waccamaw, NC
    Quote:Just like Conan was tied to! [​IMG]
     
  7. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Thanks all for the feedback. I've been putting some dried peas, scratch, flax and millet out in the yard for all the chickens. I do notice that the meaties love to eat my vetch. Anyways, I know they're ready to process, I just wondered how much different the meat would taste by getting them off that indust ag starter and onto a more wholesome diet, at least for a couple weeks. They are already so huge that I don't care too much about them losing weight. It's just an experiment to satisfy some curiosity. I'll let you all know the results of my side by side taste test.

    Dan
     
  8. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    mine freesrange all day with a feeding in the morning and evening... I processed some on the weekend and the one I boned certainly didn't feel tough at all! Going to try one tonight... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  9. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    I do my meaties a little differently I Put them in a Brooder till week 2 then free range them till week 8, at week 8 I put them in a broiler pen, and Hard feed them 24 hours a day, In my troubles with the CxR I found this way to be the healthiest way I can do it My birds exercise well I don't have heart or leg problems and They really fatten up nicely On the High Protien feed I use When they go to the Kill cage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  10. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2009
    Cascade Range in WA
    Quote:Hey, that's a neat idea. I may give this a try with a group of meaties from my next batch. Thanks!

    Dan
     

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