First Batch results are in.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Todd S, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Todd S

    Todd S Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2013
    Butchered my first batch of 21 CX this weekend, everything went very well and I'm super pleased.

    We had zero problems, no mortality and no leg problems.

    Basically 8 weeks old.

    Total feed used 335 pounds, total finished weight 108lbs chicken. This gives me a feed conversion fo 3.1 which doesn't seems to ideal. They free ranged the last few weeks of their lives and they had access to feed for most of the day.

    Does the ranging cause them to not convert as fast because of the increased activity? I'm sure I fed them enough, seems like feeding more emight have increased size but would have also increased feed used.

    This is the system I want to use so I guess I'm wondering if my numbers are normal and good or should I be looking to correct something?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    They will convert the calories to energy, which they use to range.

    I'd much rather eat a healthy active chicken than one that sat around in cramped corners.

    That meat will be healthier for you. Don't think too much about the convresion ratio.
    Some charts I have read quoted 20 pounds per chicken to butcher. Your birds ate 15.95lbs each. Some of that would most likely have been waste (the crumble has a lot of dust!) so let's round it down to 15 pounds per chicken.

    5.14 lbs average. That is not bad at all for 8 week old birds.

    You may want to let them out to range earlier than the last couple weeks.

    I started ranging at 2 weeks and my average weight was about the same a little later in life. I used a lot less feed though. I never feed the CX freely. Each bird ate about 8--9 pounds of feed by 12 weeks. I soaked the feed which reduces their water intake and makes them full with less being consumed.
     
  3. Todd S

    Todd S Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2013
    I've been soaking the feed for about the last 4 weeks or so, once I learned about it. :) Mine were in a tractor until I thought they were big enough to avoid the local coopers hawks. We are in town and have a park near by, they are a real problem, they killed two other chicks and injured the Momma right around the time the cx showed up. Had me pretty nervous.

    I found even though the feeders were full they would only eat for a little while and then were back to roaming the yard, I think raising them with a broody mom and a clutch of chicks might help to teach them to be better chickens.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Yes those darn cooper hawks.. Real problem for us this fall as well. I am going to stick with summer chicks next year. It injured two meaties last weekend, but has since moved on (migrated). They are now out and are doing very well considering they were not free ranged early. I started them at 5 weeks and only for that weekend. Once the hawk went down and grabbed one (chased it off) and back for another an hour later (chased off again!) I decided to keep them in until less hawk action was noted.

    Hawk hasn't taken another all week so I let them out again this weekend at just over 6 weeks. They ranged like they've been doing it their whole lives.
     
  5. Todd S

    Todd S Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2013
    I'm really interested in the 8-9 pounds of feed, feed is so expensive. I'd be fine with a longer growth time to cut the overall feed consumption. I know my layers don't eat much but I assumed part of that is they are no longer growing. This spring I'll have to try the range early and twice a day feeding to see how it goes. Do you have them on deep bedding at night? I found just over night mine would poop a ton and would be messy in the am from laying in it. Not sure how I an avoid that, perhaps feeding less? Do you give them a roost? Will they roost? The hens also poop a lot overnight so maybe a roost is key.
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    They have a roost, but it has to be a low roost, or a ladder roost.

    I have them on 8 inches of bedding. I throw scratch in there to keep it stirred. If it is particularly humid I will add stable boy which removes the ammonia (awesome stuff that is!) When I put it in the bedding, I add fresh shavings and it dries it up - removing all ammonia. I make them turn it for me though.

    Yes they will roost. Saw a few of them at the top of my big barn roost tonight at lock up. Some were roosting on a playpen I have in the goat barn (for no real reason... it's garbage).

    [​IMG]
     

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