Finishing on pure grains

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Island Roo, May 20, 2012.

  1. Island Roo

    Island Roo Songster

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    Feb 14, 2012
    Duncan, BC
    I've heard a few people talking about feeding just corn and other grains rather than the pellets / crumble sold at the feed store.
    Can you notice the difference at the dinner table? I'm thinking that a bird finished without the addition of yucky tasting vitamins or preservative/binders is a good idea.
    Anyone have experience with this?
     
  2. ghulst

    ghulst Songster

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    Zeeland Michigan
    I finesh my cornishx on whole corn if i am keeping then to heavy wts.i start adding corn at five weeks doing so cutd cost and losses dotoover feeding like bad legs or heart attacts.
     
  3. Darin115

    Darin115 Songster

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    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    Mine are scheduled to be processed on May 29th, They will be just over 8 weeks old. I started mixing scratch (mostly cracked corn) in with the broiler feed. I mixed a 25lb bag of scratch in with 50lbs of the broiler feed. Will post back when I eat the first one.

    Darin
     
  4. what did I do

    what did I do Songster

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Montana
    We mix our own grains because it is cheeper for us. We grow grains and feed our animals the screenings - the stuff cleaned out of the clean grains. Our birds seem to prefer our mix over store bought crumbles. Last year we feed more store bought feed but Also fed whole grains - we didn't grind any until this year. Our birds were sweet tasting. We get, "wow this is good" When we feed the chickens to others. We find that corn isn't the best to fatten animals with. Corn is high in protein but they say barley makes better meat. We feed yellow field peas, wheat, oats, a little corn and barley. We find that the birds like it better if it is not ground fine, like a small cracked. You need to make sure they have lots of grit with the grain. We also add a little bit minerals to our feed. Our fat cattle get the same as we give the chickens and they taste so good.

    I was smelling a bag of feed today - meat bird feed - and I turned my nose up at it. What do they add to that? My husband says I have to feed up that bag no matter how bad it smells, LOL

    We've been feeding whole grains to our laying hens, plus some laying pellets, for a whole year and our birds are beautiful birds. They might be a little fat but they always lay. We only had a slight drop in production when the temps dropped to -30.

    If you do feed grains make sure you get enough protein.
     
  5. Island Roo

    Island Roo Songster

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    Feb 14, 2012
    Duncan, BC
    Very interesting. If the birds are eating whole grains, bugs and greens - why would they need vitamins and all the other processed materials in those 'packaged' feeds. Not sure why i needed to figure this out - thats the way it should be.



    Quote: What kind of minerals do you add?
     
  6. what did I do

    what did I do Songster

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Montana

    We have gotten rid of most of our problems with our cows by giving them mineral. We know what our area is deficient in and buy mineral made for our area. We don't keep mineral in front of our chickens at all times but we do add some every now and then.

    We feed feed our chickens the mineral we give our cows. A 50# bag of mineral would last the chickens many years.

    I guess we feed the chickens mineral because we have it and are very happy with the results it has given our cows.

    I gave a small bag of mineral to a neighbor to feed to her chickens to make the chicks stronger. She has one rooster for her 60+ chickens. Out of the 44 eggs she gave me 4 were infertile, 2 quit, 3 didn't hatch - the kids kept messing with the eggs in the incubator. I think those are good odds. The first hatch I did with her eggs wasn't as good as the second. I gave her the mineral a week before I set the first eggs. She feeds her chickens the same thing I feed mine.
     
  7. Erica

    Erica Songster

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    Dec 5, 2010
    I feed mine from day one on grains, but I also add kefir (soured milk), legumes like alfalfa and peas, and seaweed meal for minerals. The grains are either freshly ground or sprouted. They're always on grass and get plenty of variety in terms of food. They taste amazing, though I don't butcher young (and I raise crossbreds that are only half cornish x and half leghorn, so they get a longer life without leg issues).

    I think grain-alone diets only work for short term fattening. Otherwise they're too low in protein and other essentials.

    If you just keep your birds on grass you'll still be improving flavour massively from store bought.

    cheers
    Erica
     

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