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. Crysalismum

    Crysalismum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I what a beautiful farm!!! So green & such funny playful silly goats I love my kids too! I could listen to the soundtrack of your video as the fall asleep music- just fab!!! I'm soon to begin my meat bed endeavour - here in Aus we have Ross & Cobb & crosses of these. I love seeing them outside- what has put me off has been the talk here that they can't walk after 6 weeks :( just awful my books- so this was so heartening to see!
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Yes there is so much misinformation about them it's sad. I feel like their advocate lately.

    I have a video at 12 weeks old - here it is.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote: What makes me sad is the persistent poor flock management that is being displayed by letting chickens of any breed get to that state and then blaming it on the breed! People seem just fine admitting they are practicing poor management as long as it's attached to meat birds...like that excuses that kind of behavior. They are meat birds, so they are supposed to be like that, right?

    BIG NO on that. NO. Just NO. They are not supposed to be like that, meat birds or not. If you all know anyone else who think meat birds have to be fed like pigs and kept in pig pens because they are "just like that", please spread the word that's it is their individual flock management that is causing these birds to be that way..not the breed, not the genetics, not anything but pure D laziness on the part of the flock owner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    5 people like this.
  4. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Very well said! I agree completely.
     
  5. farmgirlroots

    farmgirlroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Please explain to me, in your opinion, what others poor management skills in regards to meat birds are? I am in no way being sarcastic or snarky if it comes across that way - I truly want to know for reference as we plan our future move to acerage that will allow us to raise meat birds. I've been following meat bird threads but honestly as a person just 6 months in to chicken keeping it gets rather confusing with all the conflicting opinions and information. Quite honestly, what I've read about how aoxa raises meat birds and have seen videos she posts...this way makes total sense to me. Is it that people cram them in to too small of spaces with no access to natural nutrients found through spending their time scratching around ,and then expect them to perform well as meat birds, or does the poor management you see go beyond that?
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Way beyond that. They take a naturally hungry bird with a high metabolism and follow commercial broiler specifications of feeding and growth schedule and somehow expect the product they have in their back yard will somehow differ from the stench producing, the death producing methods of commercial ag broiler houses. That this will somehow not happen in their yard even though they are feeding the same rations, on the same schedule, and keeping them too crowded into a small space just like the broiler houses do.

    Then, when they do this and are repulsed by the overly fat, immobile young birds who cannot escape their own feces due to growing too quickly...they will then adamantly state that they will not forage because they are much too lazy and food obsessed to actually work for food. All the while that full feeder sits next to their obese-ly crippled birds...placed there by them...

    Or, you have those who will put 50 young birds in a 10x10 tractor out on grass, provide the continuous feeding, and then observe that the birds just do not seem to actually forage on that 10x10 square of grass each time it is moved to fresh grass. That they just trample the grass but do not actually scratch for bugs or eat the grass. Really? They have a full feeder of easily found feed and you think they should be eating the poop covered grass and finding the bugs in that 10x10 patch of grass? Do they actually imagine bugs are going to remain where 100 feet are constantly stomping the ground or that the grass is going to remain edible after all the trampling and pooping? That chickens just eat any and all grass and are not selective about which grasses are more digestible and more nutrient laden? Or, somehow, do they imagine the birds will scratch the ground looking for food in those conditions when a feeder hangs nearby with all the food they could possibly need...why then search for food?

    Yes, it goes way beyond just that. When someone can look at a young bird and see it growing into the shape of a volleyball so that it's legs are splayed out and it cannot move and they think that is good flock management, meat bird or not, they have some serious issues. It's cruel and it's also needless and anyone with a little imagination and with eyes to read can find a better way to raise a meat bird instead of blindly following the advice of commercial agri-biz people. It's for your own food consumption, for pete's sake! A sick, feces covered bird that did nothing more than sit by a feeder for its entire young life and produce colorless, mushy, questionably healthy meat is just a no brainer...why then doesn't one just skip all the drama and expense and just buy it from the store? The standard answer is: So I can know what was put into the chicken. What more could a person put into a chicken that makes it any less healthy than a bird whose cardiac, hepatic and renal health has been strained to the max by overfeeding and confined living on excessive fecal matter?

    Yes..it goes way beyond that and ventures into the ridiculous. Just because they are meat birds does not excuse actually using one's noggin to figure out they have a different metabolism and instead of exploiting it, manage around it to provide them a healthier existence in their time on Earth. It's easily done and it's a cheaper way of doing it, but many will still insist that it cannot be done...simply because they like being lazy and having an excuse for it.
     
    6 people like this.
  7. SixFizzle

    SixFizzle Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes! Well said. When I told some of my friends I planned to do a batch of meat birds they begged me not to raise the "freaky frankenbirds that have deformed legs and die of heart attacks". When I told them that those birds can be raised like normal chickens without the health issues, they were not readily convinced. I can't wait for spring so I can show them it can be done (and also have delicious meat in the freezer).
     
  8. miken56

    miken56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Cornish x chickens have about a 10,000 sq .ft. area of grass to "free range" on. I got 75 the first week of August (this is a first for me as I usually did a Spring batch but dogs got sixty of them). I was able to lett them out at a little less than 2 weeks of age to forage. When I go to let them out of the shed in the morning I open the door and immediately start filling their feeders which are inside. There is maybe one or two that actually stay in to eat the feed, the others are out chasing the heck out of the grasshoppers for about two hours till they come in for water. I mean they RUN through and over each other to get outside. they chase and fight over the bugs and grass. This happened all the time till we processed them the end of September. It seemed they were a little smaller than other years but the feed consumption was awful close to half of other years. If you have grass and bugs they will run long and far, if they are confined to a tractor or small area they will just sit and eat. I will always do late Summer chicks from now on beacause of less heat needed for chicks and cooler temps for older birds. Cornish x are not lazy unless you let them
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    This is my experience exactly.

    The fall hawk migration has been tough on the late batch of meaties. Two injured, one pretty big open wound, but I fixed it up with coconut oil (love that stuff!)

    Hawk is finally gone, and they are all out ranging like they should be. I lost probably five or six juveniles in the month it was getting ready to head south.. Darn hawks...
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Maybe do them in the early spring next year? I never lost any to hawks last batch and they were all over this place where the dog could not protect them. It helped to have a murder of crows nesting in the area who were on high alert and the hawks were rousted several times over our place with the whole murder of crows attacking them.
     

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