How do I feed meat birds and layers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ToriD26, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. ToriD26

    ToriD26 In the Brooder

    Sep 14, 2016
    Pacific Northwest
    Hi, I'm still doing some research before I purchase birds next year. I want to have a mixed flock of meat and egg birds, so I'm trying to find out what other people are doing. One question I have pertains to what to feed the birds in a mixed flock, since meat birds seem to need a modified diet to grow best. Should I feed a general grower feed then just put out oyster shell for my layers when I switch to an adult feed? Or do I need to separate my meat and egg breeds? Or should I just get dual purpose birds so I can avoid musculoskeletal issues with meat breeds? So many questions!!
    Thanks everyone!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It isn't too complicated but good that you are doing your research.
    They can grow together because if you're raising Cornish cross or freedom rangers for meat, they won't be around long enough to worry and they can all get an 18% grower.
    3.5 weeks for Cornish Game hens, 6 weeks for broilers and 8 weeks for rangers.
    The only issue is that CornishX want to sit next to the feeder and don't run around much. That makes the space where they are very messy and requires more cleaning.
    If you feed outside and cause the CornishX to go outside to eat, they will eat less and be less messy.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You'll want separate housing for the two types of birds. I'm assuming by meat bird you'll be getting a Cornish X or other very fast maturing bird. They consume a lot of feed which results in a lot off waste out the other end. You'll be glad to keep the two types of birds separate.

    That said they can be on the same feed and yes as you said when the layers are actually laying they can be supplemented oyster shell for calcium they need. A good mixed flock feed that I use and would be fine for meat birds is turkey/gamebird finisher. That's usually 20% protein which is not as much as some prefer for meat birds but still a good ration for them and of course will be perfect for your growing and laying birds. When all birds are young a higher protein starter of 20-24% protein is good and will come in crumble form which young birds need. When the smallest birds are large enough to take pellet feed switch them all to the Turkey finisher.
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    In addition to what has already been said, Cornish X need to be rationed after 4 weeks old.
  5. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Crowing

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Meat birds a generally butchered long before their layer counterparts need to be switched onto layer feed. So you can raise them together, I've done it for years with no ill effect.

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