First-timer, considering some broilers...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Wynette, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    I must not know "meatie terminology" because I've been searching for threads to help learn, but can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I have a few basic questions that, depending on the answers, will help my decision on whether or not to proceed with a trial of a few meaties.

    Can they be raised indoors (i.e., in a barn, specifically, a horse stall?) - I'm unsure whether they need sunlight? I do have some of those clear panels in my roof, and in the spring/summer, I typically leave the barn end doors open for breeze/a bit of light. If raising them in a barn is okay, would it be okay to use pelleted pine bedding rather than shavings? Someone told me they'd eat the pelleted bedding, but my layers do not, so I thought I'd ask clarification there.

    If I choose a breed that would be slaughtered at the 8-10 week mark, would it be fairly easy to just skin them rather than pluck them? We don't eat the skin anyway, and I thought this might be easier.

    Are there better times of the year to raise them; i.e., do they grow out faster in summer than, say, if you start in spring?

    Thanks, folks!
     
  2. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    Broilers do not need to be outside. I have raised off broilers in a 12 X 12 stall. I used wood shavings (same ones I use in the horse stalls for horses). I do have lights on a timer to make sure they have light. You can definately skin them if that is what you want to do. I actually have 18 broiler chicks coming next week with a group of hens. They should be in the freezer in 7 weeks.

    Edited to add, I actually would rather raise them now then in summer. They don't seem to enjoy really hot weather.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  3. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Monroe, North Carolina
    You can grow them in the barn with sun from a skylight. And I don't know about them eating pelleted bedding. I DO know they're little pigs, and they just might eat the pellets. But I've read that you can spread the pelleted bedding and spritz it with water, and it will fluff out and be soft and absorbent.

    But they would do much much better outdoors, with sunlight and bugs and grass. If you can make a little moveable pen with a top, and move them from spot to spot, you'll really get much better results and a lot less work. The real work with the meaties is that they grow pretty fast, and the strain on their joints causes problems. If they're outside foraging in a tractor a lot of that trouble is avoided.

    Hmmm. Michigan. Your springs are probably a lot cooler than ours here in the South. We have temps in the 80s in March. You probably need to talk to someone up your way about when would be the best time to have them outdoors up there.

    And, yes, skinning is fine, especially if you don't eat the skin anyway. No reason to work any harder than you have to.[​IMG]

    edit to add that cooler weather is less problem for flies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm....good points. If they do best being raised on grass, then I probably would not do it. I don't have a place to raise them up in, and I'd worry sick about predators (I work full time, so wouldn't be home during the day). Guess I'll have to put more thought into this. Thanks for the feedback!!! It's most appreciated!
     
  5. chicken nanny

    chicken nanny Out Of The Brooder

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    We raised 30 this winter in a shed. had 2 heat lites on them though, cause we had a bad winter.... they were right on time, 7 weeks.... sure are good eating, but you have to clean the house out often... hope this helps
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:possumqueen, can you elaborate? Why would they do "much better" outdoors? And why will I get "much better results and a lot less work" if I raised them outdoors? Just trying to figure out if it would be, you know, 'worth it' to even go for raising them indoors. My plan was to start with 10 or 15 in a 10 x 12 stall if I do this in the barn, as I'd hoped I could.
     
  7. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, Ohio
    You can do them indoors with good results, but like others said, it is more work. The thing you need to realize is the amount of poo that can come out of their little butts. The "more work" means cleaning and rebedding every few days at first. By the end, they would be able to cover the entire area in poo in a matter of several hours. Therefore, it is easier to do them in a movable pen outside, so you can simply move the pen rather than clean it out. I did a small batch indoors, and they did produce, but the barn stunk to high heaven and I went thru many bags of shavings, which added to the cost. If the only way you can do them is inside, go for it. It is just less work outside. If you need tractor ideas, do a search in this section and you will get many ideas.

    Goodluck with whatever you decide. Once you eat your own chicken, you won't want to eat store chicken anymore.
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    15 could cover a 10x12 stall in poo in a matter of hours? [​IMG] Holy cow! I mean, I'd read they poo....a lot.....but I never imagined it would be THAT much. Alright, I understand why they're more work to do indoors now. Thanks for the explanation on that!
     
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Maybe not 15 in that big of stall, but in a days time they could. Yea, it's a bunch of poo. One good thing about indoors, it makes a bunch of great composting material when you're done.
     
  10. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    As far as doing better on grass, my opinion on this is by putting them in a tractor type pen and taking the food away for 12 hrs a day, they tend to roam around the pen looking for stuff to eat. Since I put my Cornish "out to pasture" I have not had a leg issue or a death from heart attack.
     

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