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First batch of meat birds, few questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Snotrag, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Snotrag

    Snotrag New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2014
    Hi all,

    I have just taken delivery of 50 Ross Cobb meat birds.
    This is my first time delving into this. I have read a lot on the Web about the ins and outs of raising meat birds but there is a few holes in my research.
    I will be free ranging them in a small orchard, feeding them twice a day as much as they can eat in 15 mind (Fermented food). I don't want them to grow TOO fast and get leg problems. At what stage of growth do I start this feeding schedule? Surely as new born (hatched) chicks they need access to food 24/7?
    And if they grow at such a rate I assume they can leave the Brooder a lot earlier than my heritage chooks would? I need them to be big enough to not feed the neighbourhood cats. Roughly what age would that be?
    There will be many more questions but that should do it for now :)

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Some of the answers will depend on your location, climate and predators afoot. Is there anything for them to forage on this time of year? Perhaps you're in the southern hemisphere.

    You do want chicks to have feed 24/7 for the first few days. After that I like to give them a dark period of about 8 hours and still have food/water available the rest of the day.
    If they have forage, your twice a day feeding may work well after 2 or 3 weeks.
     
  3. Snotrag

    Snotrag New Egg

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    Dec 4, 2014
    Thanks chicken canoe, I'm in NZ where summer has just begun but we have forage all year round. And my only predator is the neighbours cat which treats my yard as a hunting ground for birds. I will see how big they are after 2 or 3 weeks to be let out to forage.
    Dan
     
  4. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Portland/Vancouver area
    [​IMG] Where you are at, you can probably have them out of the broody fairly soon. But in a protected area. They are not going to need much if any heat in your summertime. Excited for you. Come visit our thread. It's about meat birds and everybody has a wonderful time. We're on page 114 so just hop on and visit. Tell us about yourself.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...rnish-cross-meat-birds-and-super-excited/1130
     

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