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first batch of cornishX! what are your top 3 tips?!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by City Chicken, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2012
    My goal is to raise 25 cornish X females without them tipping over or dying of heart failure and process in 7-9 weeks (before Christmas). Heat exhaustion won't be an issue right now.

    I am hoping to raise them on pasture (we have an acre for them to roam on, but can't be free all day because of the predators).
    However, we will still have them on grass, just in a tractor.

    I have read things like....

    *Feed once a day and then allow free ranging. How much per chick per day and at what rate do you increase it? (ie, do you have a feeding schedule to share with me?).

    *Fermented feed for better growth and less stinky poo?

    * I really want a 'quik and dirty' for successful meat birds if you have it to share! Thanks!
     
  2. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. Use LOTS of pine shaving and turn them every often. The birds produce grande poop and they get very dirty and smelly. Add fresh pine shavings as needed.

    2. Don't wait too long to butcher. They should be ready between 7 and 8 weeks.

    3. Don't fret too much. I raised over 100 x-rocks (25 at a time) and have had great results with NOT losing birds

    4. They aren't like regular chickens, so don't expect them to act like regular chickens. Enjoy them for what they do do, not what they don't!

    God Bless!
     
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm raising 25 CX's now - and will hopefully process by the first of November, before the first snows.

    I am using fermented feed - and have ACV in their waterers as well. For the most part, they are 'normalish' excrements - very little runny poo. The benefit of the fermented feed is a LOT less used. The FR's I raised in the spring had used 2x as much feed as these have.

    I feed 2x/day - the morning is a bit more generous than the evening meal. I have a 1gal waterer and a 5gal waterer in their run. They like the 1gal waterer better and I fill it at least 3x/day. I cannot let these little pigs on stilts out to range our 2 acres - the hawk already sits and watches them! Eep!

    The pine shavings in the tractor help absorb the poo - I have a small shelter for them to hide in - and I add shavings every 10 days or so. Helps, but mercy it composts in place, so plan carefully on where the tractor will be placed.

    Good luck! Enjoy them!
     
  4. Island Roo

    Island Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 14, 2012
    Duncan, BC
    I have only done 2 batches of cornish x but here are the top 3 tips I'm giving myself next time:
    1. Use fermented feed (tried once without and once with)
    2. Use a tractor or other shelter on pasture - certainly not the coop with other birds
    3. Feed during the day only - no midnight snacking

    This is good too:

    Quote:
     
  5. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2012
    can you all give me your procedure for fermented feed?

    how much feed for 25 as new chicks? what about in the evening?

    I understood that to ferment...
    add water, add braggs ACV (how much?)
    let sit for how many hours?

    i have also heard that you can just use water and natural yeast from the environment. thoughts?

    glad to hear that this fermented feed helps with the poo. i hate gross poo.... hate it.
     
  6. Island Roo

    Island Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Duncan, BC
    Here is the fermented feed thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/644300/fermenting-feed-for-meat-birds

    I do mine like this but there are other ideas in the thread:
    For 25 chicks, I would start with about 4 cups of feed and enough water to make an oatmeal consistency. I like to ferment the first batch for 48 hours but less is ok. When you feed the chicks (maybe one cup the first feeding) just add more feed and water to the leftovers and adjust the amounts for your needs. I also provide a choice of dry feed for the first couple of weeks.

    The ACV with mother speeds the process up and ensures you have the correct bugs in there from the start. There are alternatives mentioned in the thread - I think I'll try kefir next time.
     
  7. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, 1 cup the first feeding... and then what? 1 cup in the afternoon? then bed? and repeat in the morning?
    i have kefir, i'll use that.

    looks like they will arrive friday or saturday! so i will start my fermenting thursday. do you put a lid on it?

    i also need to ferment for my other chickens i think. they actually seem to prefer it wet (i've soaked it before).
    I have some cockerels that I would like to bulk up for processing the end of october.
     
  8. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2012
    alos how long do you keep them under a light? for how many weeks?
    and do you think they need heat other than themselves in a coop?
    i think that 25 chickens should be able to keep themselves warm at nigh,t right? we live in south central VA. i kept my other chicks under the light until 2 weeks and then took them off. they snuggle with each other for heat.

    we plan to slaughter the beg of dec, they arrive this friday or sat.

    the biggest temp thing i have heard about these birds is that they get too hot in the summer, but haven't heard anything about chilly temps.
     
  9. Island Roo

    Island Roo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Duncan, BC
    I suggest you start reading thru the FF thread I mentioned. It answers all these questions and the next questions you'll have as well [​IMG]

    The lid will keep things out - like flies, curious cats and nosey dogs.

    I would try the FF on your meaties. You'll get the most benefit with them, then when you're comfortable expand to the other birds. The FF thread is currently discussing how everyone plans to deal with FF in winter.
     
  10. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2012
    Thanks, I actually already had read a lot of it before I started this thread, but people do different things even in fermenting, the time periods vary from 8- 48 hours! Some use natural, some ACV some have wondered about kefir... which is what i will use i think.

    I will check out the end to see the winter conversation.
    Thanks!
    -a
     

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