growth of meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ffafun, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. ffafun

    ffafun New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2011
    I have 20 meat birds obtained at the same time as our neighbor got hers. Same shipment, etc... Her birds are outside and weigh roughly twice what mine do. Mine are kept inside in an unused horse stall. Does being outside have that much effect on weight gain/growth? I am afraid mine won't make weight for the 4h fair in two weeks. Ideas?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Are you feeding the same feed in the same quantities? I would have thought that the free range birds might have weighed less than yours.
     
  3. ffafun

    ffafun New Egg

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    Jul 23, 2011
    mine have feed available 24/7 and we get feed from same feed mill to my knowledge. I may have gone to TSC in a pinch cuz I didn't realize we were that low on feed. It could be protein content in different feed?
     
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Make sure you are feeding a high protein feed 22-24% and put a light on them so they can eat 24/7. Good luck.
     
  5. PikeCo

    PikeCo Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree. I would look into the protein content and use a light. Be sure you aren't using a layer ration. I keep a fan blowing over our coop horizontally just to keep air moving but not blowing directly on them. Our are inside too. Roughly 7 1/2 to 8 lbs on average at 38 days. We weigh in at the fair in about a week. Good luck.
     
  6. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There have been several posts recently where people got an accidental shipment of leghorns instead of cornish x from the hatchery. If you could post pics of yours - perhaps we could help rule that part out? I would have also assumed that all conditions the same - your birds would have weighed more due to lack of exercise.

    Edited to add: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  7. connie54

    connie54 New Egg

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    Jul 25, 2011
    We too are wondering about size of birds. We purchased Buff Orpingtons for meat and eggs. They are now 16 wks old, and still not heavy enough to be butchered (except for one big rooster) Is there a general age for butchering for this breed?
     
  8. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Connie! Welcome to BYC [​IMG]

    For me - I generally consider meat birds for meat and egg birds for eggs. The birds that need to be culled from egg production will be eaten, though. The reason for this is because the DP birds just don't get as large in the short amount of time as the designated meat birds and it would end up costing me more in the long run to rely on them for such. No matter how long you wait, the Buff Orps will not be as large as the meat chickens in the supermarket. I'd probably wait until at least 20 weeks for them if you want more size - but if you don't mind eating a smaller bird, you could always try for some now.
     
  9. connie54

    connie54 New Egg

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    Thanks! As with anything, we learn as we go along!
     
  10. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's true! Don't hesitate to post or ask questions here. I have learned so much from the wonderful people of BYC and continue to learn! The "stickies" at the top of each forum section are also a valuable resource.
     

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