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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by dbjay417, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2007
    last time I got meat birds, I didnt even know they were meat birds for like three weeks, so i'm counting this as my first try. I just got ten today from the farm store.

    What i can't recall for the life of me, is at what intervals do i feed them through their short lives?

    For example, right now they look to be just a few days old, do they need constant access to food at this point like my other chickens?

    what about in 2 weeks or 4 weeks? or 6 weeks?

    All i remember is that you generally don't feed them for 24 hours before the slaughter and no water for 12 hours before the slaughter.

    My memory is usually so crisp, and my skills with a search engine rarely fail, but today it seems I'm off my game.
     
  2. For the first week after I get my chicks I give them 24 hour access to food and water. Then I go to a 12 hour on 12 hour off schedule.
    I start with regular chick starter, then change at 4 weeks to a gamebird feed that has a high protein content.
    Always plenty of fresh, cool water. A nice non-stressful environment doesn't hurt either.
    Don't keep them on wire floors. They like shavings and grass.
    Clean up behind them A LOT. I cannot stress that enough.
     
  3. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    will dirt suffice? I dont have grass anywhere on my property. The trees and garden beds don't allow for it. i think the best i can do is hay. Oh yeah, plenty of dry leaves available too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  4. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I feed straight broiler feed for their entire lives. I feed them free choice for the first 2 weeks, then switch to 12 on 12 off. As long as you keep them clean, you'll be fine. Are you raising them in a tractor? They'll do alright on dirt- just keep them on FRESH dirt, and don't let them lay around on poo.
     
  5. obsessed

    obsessed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Slidell, LA
    The not letting them lay around in poop is important. If they do they will burn the breast skin and when cleaning time comes it will just be impossible.
     
  6. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are in a small cage right now. Seems like they will need a bigger cage within a week. then eventually two cages.

    My cages basically are tractors. four chicken wire walls, a partial roof made of chicken wire. The other part of the roof is open, but I put a large piece of corrogated tin there so the chicks cant get out.the floor is completely open.

    I have two and each is 4x4. Moving them around the yard will not be a problem we have plenty of areas under shade of trees where the ground is compacted to crud and it could not be planted. Its just a matter of rearranging the dogs.

    Right now I have a clutch of three chicks that are nearing 3 months in one of the large cages, and a clutch of 9, 1 month old silkies in the other. For now, the meat bids are in a smaller cage, the same cage I always use for baby chicks.

    I also have a 2x2 cage that i have a bantam roo in right now, I've been meaning to either sell him or make soup for a while, but hes so handsome i have been hesitant, but if I need the cage, I guess his lucks run out.

    Think this will be enough floor space to accommodate the meat birds as they get older?

    I understand that this is far from conventional, and its going to be more difficult than necessary, but i have a history of going into things head long, adapting to circumstance, and making out better than proper planning has ever allowed.
     
  7. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    3 birds died within the first week.

    Lots of sneezing going on, but none of the others seem as sick as the three that died. I think I won't buy from that farm store anymore.

    $4.50 out of the $15 down the drain, not to mention the food they consumed, and more, the food they wasted.
     

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