First Timer Needs Help

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Maine4me, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Maine4me

    Maine4me New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2010
    Hello All,
    I am new to the site and need some help. I have never raised any livestock of any kind and would like to raise some meat birds next year. I can get the chicks in may and june, but what I do not know is, should I raise them inside my basement for the full 7-8weeks or can I raise them outside in a coop with a heat lamp and brooder? I live in Maine and it can be cold at night 45F-55F in May and June.
    Also, can you rasie the CX with Rhode Island Red chicks? Aka, Butcher the CX at 8 weeks and keep the RIR's in the coop for eggs later?
     
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

  3. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At that time of year you will have no problem raising them in a coop...by 8 weeks they will likely be feathered out enough that you won`t need the light at all times. We use a light at night in the late spring as we have similar temps. but not during the day.
    We usually keep ours in the house until they are 2 weeks as they are so darn cute. Then suddenly one day they become stinky, messy poopers and out to the coop brooder they go.
    I have only raised DP birds but the challenges with a combined flock come with adding later (you need to watch for disease in your new additions and there is that pecking order thing [​IMG] ) If you get them at the same time they should be okay together but I agree with the separate pens thought from what I have heard about meaties. Sounds like a lot of poop and eating. My DH wants to try some meaties in the spring to compare with the DP birds we raise for meat.
    Other members with experience with combined meatie/laying/DP flocks will have more qualified advice for you.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You will need to move the meaties outside or the poo and ammonia smells will kill you. What goes in, comes out, and those suckers eat a LOT. They'll be fine outside, rig a light for cool nights. I think you can raise both breed together, you'll just need enough room for everyone to have bare ground (again with the much poo), like a very large run or a mobile tractor.
     
  5. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can start them in your basement for a couple weeks, but you will definitely want to raise them outside for the majority of the time. After they are done, your house will have decreased in value from the stench.

    Chickens are very resilient to cold. 45-55 degrees is nothing to them.

    It's better to raise the CX and the RIRs separately. They can start out in the same brooder, but the CX will quickly outgrow the RIRs and they can be bullies and prevent the smaller chicks from eating. They literally have no control over themselves when it comes to food.

    Good luck with your endeavor!
     
  6. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not recomend having them in the house at any point. After the first few days, they will stink you right out of your house and the dust is horrid. I also would not raise RIR chicks with the meaties. The RIR will need a medicated feed, and the CX will not.
     
  7. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kept mine in a couple of rubbermaid totes for their first week, then I put them in a kiddie pool in a tarp shelter w/ tin roof. I kept lights on them (still have them on the last few) and used deep litter for warmth (not for cleanliness, no such thing with Cornishx). It was easily in the 30-40* range for the 5-7wk old range, probably 40-50 from 3-5weeks. I do use 2 red lamps.
     
  8. Maine4me

    Maine4me New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2010
    Thank you everyone for the help. I think I will build 2 coops with seperate runs. One for the layers and one for meat birds. I'll add heat lamps to the meat coop. If all goes well I hope to have a batch or 2 each year of meat birds.
    Can anyone recommend a good book to read on raising meat birds? I also plan to raise a few turkeys on the other side of my lot for meat and would like to learn as much as possible before spring arrives.
     
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:"Pastured Poultry for Profit" by Joel Salatin. IMHO it is the ultimate handbook for raising meaties, even if your only raising them for your family.
     

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