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How do I feed these BR's before slaughter?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by shelleyb1969, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Last week, I acquired 4 BR's...3 roos and 1 hen. I plan on eating the roos since I can't find anyone who will trade for them. The hen...I don't know what I'm going to do with her. Anyway, can someone please tell me the best way to feed these guys? They're 5 weeks old now, and I'd like to butcher them as soon as possible. My local feed dealer sold me a broiler/grower/finisher for them, but since I've never done this, I'm not sure if that's right. These guys are put out in a tractor during the day...approximately 12 hours, with the feed. Am I doing this right?
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Barred rocks won't grow like a common meat bird. Restricting their feed won't help anything and at 5 weeks old they need all the feed they can eat to develop properly. They will need to go about 12 weeks to get a 3 - 4 pound bird. You are going to be disappointed if you expect to get a chicken like you buy at the store. They will be skinny and thin breasted but if you feed them well they will be tastey.

    Again - I would not restrict their feed. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water.
     
  3. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2008
    MI
    I would keep them on a high protien feed also. We butcher BR at 14-15 weeks kept on high protien their whole lives and they were just over 3 pounds each dressed.
     
  4. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Quote:Thanks for the info. What % protein is considered high for chickens?
     
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I feed mine 18 - 20% but you can get higher.
     
  6. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Thanks for the help. I don't restrict their diet...they have feed available 24/7. I have been putting them in my garage at night, but starting tonight, they'll be staying outside. I'm not going to be too disappointed with how they dress out. These chicks were a gift to my 3yr old, and unfortunately 3 of the 4 turned out to be roos! They've gotta go. I've got silkie eggs in the bator, and yesterday we received a shipment of bantam cochins, and right now I'm on my way to go pick up some bantam orps! We don't have room for the big guys.
     
  7. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Are you going to have a heat source for them? At 5 weeks they are not feathered out fully and will need the heat. I'm in WI and while our afternoons are warm enough I put the chicks out for a while the nights are to cold. I can't imagine your's is that much different.
     
  8. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Quote:Nighttime temps here are in the mid 60's. I've been keeping them in my garage (uninsulated) since they were 4 weeks old...with no heat source. They've been fine. So I don't think being outside the garage will be much different. Their tractor has a nice enclosed area (roof and 3 1/2 sides) in the rear of it so they can be warm and secure at night. Also, I have a tarp over the top, so rain can't pour directly down into the tractor. I'm hoping they'll do fine...they've gotten where they just go nuts wanting out every time I put them in the garage.
     

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