How much feed to order? And "finishing on scratch" -- what about it?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by brandywine, May 1, 2009.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    My 101 Colored Range Broilers (Freedom Rangers) from JM are 17 days old now. They've been joined by the control group of four cornish x that are within a day or two of the same age. (And I've got my 14 Delaware, Ameraucana, and red sex links in with 'em as well for the time being; the Delawares and Ameraucanas are about a week older, but similar size now.)

    They are all eating starter/grower, and eating a LOT of it now.

    They are presently in a 10 x 14 stall in the barn, and will move out into range shelters protected by electro-net when they are feathered well enough and the weather cooperates. (And I get the shelters built.) I am pitching hay sod into the stall for them as I break ground for the veggie garden, so they are learning about natural foods. They will have essentially unlimited fresh pasture after they move outside.

    I have an order placed for a half-ton of 20% broiler feed, which the guy at the local feed mill is going to custom mix for me. I'll be picking it up May 11.

    Will a half-ton be enough to bring 105 chicks from age 3.5 weeks to slaughter, which I project will be at about 11-12 weeks?


    (I'll probably do the cornish x significantly earlier. The little dodo-birds are already worrying me with their Cartman-esque physiques.)

    I thought a half-ton would be plenty, but seeing how fast they went through the last bag of starter, now I'm not so sure.

    I can add more feed to the order now, but need to get a revision to the mill before they mix it for me. Should I get a few hundred pounds more?

    Also, I've read here and there about "finishing on scratch." Thoughts on this? What is the advantage? How long do you feed the scratch?
     
  2. jjparke

    jjparke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Boise
    I've never had rangers but my model last year is as follows:

    30 cornish cross
    9 weeks to slaughter
    approx. 100lbs medicated chic starter
    approx. 400 lbs broiler grower
    approx. 200 lbs broiler finisher

    Upon butchering mean dressed carcass weight was 5.5lbs

    Good luck hope this helps
     
  3. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:That sounds about right- I'd hoped the 500 lbs I bought for my 50 Cornish X's would be enough, but now, 4 weeks in, it clearly won't be!
     
  4. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I don't do Freedom Rangers but you may want to check with Greyfields,Purple chicken, or maybe Brunty Farms. The first 2 are into Freedom Rangers. Will
     
  5. exsia

    exsia Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Damascus, Oregon
    I just processed half of my rangers at 5 wks. Had to get rid of some because they've gone through alot of feed (30 lbs a day). I only ordered a half ton but it looks like I'll have to get another half ton to finish growing out the rest of the flock to 12wks. It's been too cold and rainy here so they're confined in the shed 24/7. If you're able to range them, you might have better luck on less feed then I did [​IMG]
     
  6. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Exsia, how many rangers did you start with?
     
  7. exsia

    exsia Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Damascus, Oregon
    98, shipping took 3 days (PA to OR) so I lost some in transit. After I culled the biggest ones, I noticed that feed consumption dropped by more than half... now I'm worried that they're not eating enough lol [​IMG]
     
  8. LaLoomis

    LaLoomis Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
  9. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you haven't waded through Harp Turkey Ranch's whole grow out journal (excellent) to find it -

    Harp had projected that 100 birds would eat 1200 lbs
    Harp concluded that they ate 1375 lbs to age 12 weeks. Lost a few along the way, as well.

    Cold weather may have influenced eating (more).
     
  10. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Western PA
    Thanks for the help. Turns out they had already ground and mixed my order when I called to increase it. So I may have to buy some more feed at the end. One reason I'm asking about finishing on scratch, which no one seems to have anything to say about.

    Now, they will be nearly four weeks old when I pick up the half-ton, so I've been feeding them on starter/grower -- probably 250# of it -- up to now. (Can't be sure of the exact amount, as the ducks are eating the same feed and I'm not picky about measuring and recording.)

    I had followed Harp Turkey Ranch's thread -- and couldn't find it for love nor money when I looked for it to address this question. Search feature on this forum seems to have giant blind spots.

    We should have warm weather and plenty of forage when they go outside middle of this coming week. I'm still building my range shelters, and the weather has turned a bit snotty, so I'm not going to move them outside just yet. The barn stall is not too crowded yet, a bit stinky, but tolerable.

    Thus far only one loss, to an accident with the bail feeder. I had one more who had a case of ADR on Thursday -- 36 hours in a box on a heat pad, with food and molasses water, and he was right as rain.

    Total surviving meat birds -- 105, counting the four "comparison" cornish crosses. Everyone looks nice and vigorous.
     

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