How to feed the meat and laying birds before sexed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by yook2000, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. yook2000

    yook2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    New Haven County
    I got some ameraucana from the hatching eggs. I would like keep the hens and slaughter the roosters. Before they can be sexed, (maybe 4 weeks old), how can I feed them to keep the balance between meat and laying birds.
    Now I feed them the mixed of game bird starter, cracked corn and soybean. They are 1:1:1. They are 3 weeks now, but I don't see they grow as fast as I expect. I know Ameraucana might not be a good breed of meat, but I don't want to just give them away for free when they grow up.
    Any ideas? Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  2. yook2000

    yook2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    New Haven County
    :(nobody knows that?
     
  3. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I start all my birds on Game Bird Starter and only change feeds after I split the sexes into different pens.

    The higher protein won't hurt the pullets, in fact I leave my heavy breed pullets on the higher protein feeds to get better growth. Light breeds pullets like my Leghorns get pullet feeds once they are in their own pen. [​IMG]
     
  4. yook2000

    yook2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    New Haven County
    Quote:When will you split them into different pens? I only feeded the chicken by chicken starter last summer. When I slaughtered the rooster, the meat is little and hard. Thus, this year, I want to do somthing different and get good meat birds.
     
  5. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I can sex some of mine at hatch, otherwise by the time they go outside I'm pretty sure who's who. I usually pen the young ones according to sex and what feed they are getting.

    Having the roos on a meat finisher feed should help improve the amount of meat but a duel purpose roo is never going to look like a supermarket bird. I currently have some penned to fatten but they could defiantly use more meat on their bones. Slow moist cooking methods will produce much more tender meat. [​IMG]
     
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Ameracaunas can make fine meat birds. I have eaten several, and they were fabulous. But you can't expect them to look (or taste) like the cheap junk you get at the supermarket. You have to realize that while they will not be as large or grow as fast as the "cornish x rock" or similar, that is a GOOD thing, because the birds are naturally healthier and easier to care for and the meat is firm and juicy and has much better flavor. That is why I ONLY raise birds like Americaunas or other "dual purpose" breeds, and eat the old hens and the extra roosters and keep the hens for laying. I don't separate my cockerels from my pullets or feed them anything different. They all get the same all-purpose feed, scraps, vegetables, insects. Easy! If your meat was tough, you probably either didn't let it cool down long enough before cooking, or didn't cook it right for the age of the bird. They're not the same as "meaties"... But there's lots of good info on BYC to help you figure it out, and IMO it's well worth the trouble... Good luck!
     
  7. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I wanted to add, the all-purpose feed you have available over there would be a much simpler way of doing things.

    I'd forgotten about that as it isn't available over here. I'd be using it if it was. Then everyone could have the same thing and you'd just have to put shell grit out for the layers. Much easier. [​IMG]
     

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