How to care for meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by aggie2013, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. aggie2013

    aggie2013 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2016
    I just bought my very first 10 Cornish straight run chicks today. I know they need to be fed differently than other chicks I've had in the past. Any advice how what/how much/often to feed them? What age do I process at?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They don't really need any different treatment. They're still chickens.
    They tend to want to sit by the feeder more than foraging.
    Some use a higher protein feed (20-24%) for the first few weeks. But then, some restrict feed to a few servings a day to slow growth.
    The best way to do that is to keep them in the dark for at least 8 hours after the first few days.
    I just let them eat. Sitting by the feeder and eating does tend to make it necessary to change bedding more often.
    Cornish X can be processed at 3.5 to 4 weeks as Cornish game hens. Otherwise, you can start processing at 6+ weeks.
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    You'll be astounded at how fast they grow. They are very ungainly and will only ground roost in their coop. I agree with C'Canoe...lots of folks go full feed 12 hours on12 hours off to limit growth and stave off leg issues. They can quickly become too huge. Some also raise them past the 6-7 week fryer stage for a few more weeks to be roasting chickens. Be aware that they older and heavier they get, the more likely health problems are to occur. Good luck to you.
    1 person likes this.
  4. [​IMG]They will need LOTS of water. I was amazed how much they eat & drink. I took mine off feed for at least 12 hours & they still grew at a tremendous rate. We waited & butchered @9weeks which was too long to wait. Timing should be considered when you get the chicks and when they will need to be butchered. I think 7-8 weeks max before I butcher next go around.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  5. aggie2013

    aggie2013 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2016
    So should I be feeding chick starter or meat bird ration?
  6. @aggie2013
    I fed mine as high a protein content as possible for at least 4-5 weeks (it is more expensive) that usually is a starter but meat bird ration is fine for babies too. I just read A LOT of label suggestions & im sure folks on here will be knowledgeable than me. This spring/summer was my first go around. I do plan on doing it again for sure though.

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