How many of you FULLY Free Range your Cornish X Meaties? Tractors do not count.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by aoxa, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I am having a hard time finding anyone who truly free ranges their meat birds. Not DP birds, but actual Cornish X (AKA Meat Kings around my area).

    I have been free ranging my 40 birds since they were 2 weeks old, right along with the layer chicks (red sex links).

    I restrict feed to only twice a day what they will clean up in 15 minutes.

    They are a nice size bird, and are very good foragers. They only lay down and nap after their breakfast and dinner.

    They may be slower to grow out (Aiming for 10 weeks), but many feel heavier than my full grown cat already at 5 weeks!

    First day free ranging @ 2 weeks old
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    They took a good few days to venture out further than the grass line by their pop door. It took us a while to get them to return to their pen at night. About a week...

    Free ranging @ 3 weeks
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    They found the pile of dead branches. This is a favourite spot to hang out even still.

    Free Ranging at 4 weeks:
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    This week was very wet. They didn't care in the least.

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    Free Ranging at 5 weeks:
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    Leftover quiche for all.. including our barn kitten.

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    They are really spreading out now. I have not increased their feed given at all since 2 weeks. I have caught a meatie as far as our front driveway in search of bugs. They are always working for their food.

    If you free range your Cornish X, please share your experience.

    Wanted to let you all know it CAN be done.
     
    ccspin, Winko, saramah and 4 others like this.
  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it can ... however in my corner of the world, I would be feeding Mother Nature's hords of coyotes, foxes,, racoons, possums, cougar, bobcats, neighbors' dogs, eagles and hawks more than myself if any are left to eat. [​IMG] So Fort Knox it is. [​IMG]
     
  3. ak rain

    ak rain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They truly look good. I'll add to "next time"s plan.
    Ak rain
     
  4. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Subscribing
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    This is what a good farm dog is for! Or Livestock Guardian dog. I use a Bernese Mountain Dog, but really don't have any daytime predators fortunately. Hawks/Eagles can be an issue in the fall, but so much cover right now..

    :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  6. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LGDs are long haired so they would suffer heavily in the heat ( summers are in the high 90*s and several weeks from 100*- 117* ) . Too, we have a huge amount of fox tail grass here in the arrid West , wich the seed heads have a nasty habit of attaching themselves to long hair, then migrating through the skin , nose, eyes wich require expensive Vet care to remove. Which is a very miserable life to subject a long haired dog too. For farm/ guard dogs, I had an Austalian Shepard, Kelpie, Rottwieler, Doberman, Border Collie, Rodiesion Ridgeback,. and 3 Boxers. that were badly mauled or killed by coyote packs ( one coyote will come in and intice dogs to chase them , have a light running fight untill they reach the pack of coyotes and it ends with lights out for the dog) over the last 37 years. [​IMG]
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I am sorry to hear that.

    The summer this year has been terrible, but it doesn't average that hot. I have friends in Florida that keep Great Pyrs as well. Their coats are insulation against the heat and cold.

    That seed heads.. Not sure what to say about that though.
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I free ranged all my meaties that I've done and no losses to preds. All the birds did well in the heat and foraged from morning to almost full dark each day. Nikki, one of our BYC members, also free ranged jumbo CX and with similar success..and finished out the biggest chickens I've ever seen in my life! Both mine and hers were fed FF as well. Fully active, fully mobile, no losses for health reasons, no losses to preds.
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, you were the one who convinced me to try it. You were right.

    Man are they hard to get passed though at the end of the day. They know that is when they eat.. and they are all over my feet.

    But so are the other chicks. They are just so big.
     
  10. bruceh

    bruceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have done it both ways.the several times i free ranged or should i say pasture raised. i have also raised according to industry. i only lost 2 on pasture do to a rather large opossum . the industry way way i lost about 40%. if you go to my profile page you can see the cornish x with my layers. i have 1 hen " the beak" who insists on raising all the young. she is pictured as well. the first batch i ranged weighed between 11- 15 lbs live weight. i dressed one out at 11.4 lbs. that was with no organs and put in the oven.. i raise mine a little longer between 11 -13 weeks.
     

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