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First meat Birds-(HELP)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by leasmom, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. leasmom

    leasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    I've had chickens over a year now and I currently have 16-(with three being pullets). I've never raised meat chickens before so got several questions.

    1) I have cornish rock mixes and white rocks coming, do I need to keep them separate?
    2) Do I need to feed them special meat bird feed?
    3) Do I provide grit if using the meat bird feed?
    4) How long will it take before the cornish mixes are ready to be processed?
    5) How long will it take the white rocks before they are?
    6) Do I keep them separate from the aracauna chicks to keep their feed separate?

    Thanks!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    In regards to mixing the chicks, I always raise my meat chickens with other chicks, HOWEVER, I always order the chicks at the same time and therefore are the same age. I never have any real issues by raising the two groups together. In your case I would seperate.
    Grit is not necessary as long as they are fed the commercial crumble feed. I do switch mine to scratch grain and grass two weeks before butcher and then do provide grit at that time.
    The roosters on the cornish cross can actually be processed at about 4-5 weeks. They are called a cornish game hen in the grocery store, make great little baked dinners.
    Generally though the roosters can be processed starting at 8 weeks and the hens at 10 weeks. This process is really a processes of watching their size. I have been raising them so long I can tell if they are ready by just looking at them.
    I can't give a great opinion on the white rocks except that they will take longer to achieve a weight in which it is worth butchering. You will not have nearly as much meat as the cornish. I would not let them get past 12 weeks if you want them as fryers or meat to cook on the grill, they can become tough and chewy after that age.
    I always stick to the cornish x for my meat birds and the occasional rooster I get in with my laying hen chicks sticks around until late fall/early winter then they are butchered for chickn-n-dumplings/chicken soup, things like that.
    I hope I helped a little.
     
  3. leasmom

    leasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    Yes, thank you. Did you feed them the same feed, meaning your regular chicks ate meat bird feed??
     

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