I need your 'secrets' :) for 4-H meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chellebyerly, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. chellebyerly

    chellebyerly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    Jasper Texas
    actually, I'd never ask for someones secrets, BUT, I do need some help [​IMG]

    My kids are doing broilers this year.

    I have 50 cornish cross coming next month.

    I know the basics, keep a radio on, stir them a few times a day. keep a light on all the time, wake up at least once during the night and go and make them wake up adn eat. etc etc etc.


    BUT- I keep getting asked "what recipe are you going with?" and "so you know what to feed them right?"

    When I say 'pellets' or 'recipe? I thought I brought 3 up there alive and they judged them, I didnt know I had to kill and cook them too" they just laugh and pat me on the head...

    folks have told me to 'find a recipe, they used to like to use butter and molasses' or prefer the grease, corn and molasses, - but in the 'secrecy of it all' noone will actually tell me what to feed. (even those who's kids are well out of 4-H adn in college, they are saving the secrets for their grandkids to use in 10-15 years.) I guess I understand, I mean, for lots of folks the 4-H world is akin to looking for an enemy around every corner and they dont want the competition. Dont get me wrong, I like to win as much as the next guy, but I also realize this is for kids to learn whats a good 'eatable' animal, possibly make some money for college and gain knowledge about animals. I mean, I have a secret family recipie, that I was sworn to secrecy when given, so I have kept it that way. BUt stuff I make, or find in a book, I share with anyone who asks. I'm just that way. I understand the concept, belive me. and there are times when you do keep something a secret, and I know that. I just dont know how to find out anything. I havent really even been able to find anything on the web.

    Usually I get "aww, just feed them whatever, just remember to use a radio and wake up in thenight to wake them up- you'll be fine" meaning "HA! your not gonna be any competition at all!! WHEW!" LOL

    And since I am going into this totally blind I dont know what to do. I have been told "you better find something, otherwise your kids birds will be the first off the table" Since the top 20 pens go to the auction, and the rest just go home I'd hate for that to happen. I dont want them discouraged this quickly. we are already having issues with the rabbits. ( couldnt get them to breed on the breed day, or after that...) (they all bred just fine in the past, just wouldnt do it that week... LOL )

    not to mention the 107.00 I put out for the birds, and the new coop I have to build JUST for these birds. Plus, my kids get up early enough to go and feed all the rabbits, and hogs, laying hens and everything else, then catch the bus at 6:15. They are really putting everything into this, and since the rabbits wont be an option, I'd hate for them to loose out on the birds too.

    So, to get the biggest, best meaties, what do you feed them? there is not a mill around here that mills feed for you, Its gonna have to be something I can mix up myself, or buy ready made.


    We all had to buy our chicks through the 4-h, from the same place. so it all depends on getting a few good birds, and feeding them right. can y'all help me feed them right?
     
  2. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    I'd look up a ratio for meat birds. See what everyone else has been successful with. I think you are just over complicating. Raising meat birds is only a little different from laying hens, and it sounds like some of these folks may just be yanking your chain. Check all the Meat Bird topics and you will do just fine [​IMG]
     
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Why a radio and stir them at night? I know nothing about meaties...
     
  4. chellebyerly

    chellebyerly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cindiloohoo, I thought that at first too. But I have talked to quite a few people folks I'm kin to and folks I have been friends with for years. And they all said that yes, people really do mix up stuff to feed them, high fat stuff, or high protien or something. They have seen it, and heard them talk about it. But dont know the actual parts put in. Or they have heard folks say " I tried the molasses one year and it just didnt work, so I went back to butter" where as some folks swear by lard. LOL

    And the ones who DO raise them, I asked them point blank, if they were serious, and they said yes. And that I just had to fiqure it out for myself, that noone helped them. LOL



    redhen. they get so fat so quick, or so big so quick that they get lethargic and wont eat. The radio keeps them awake, same with the light. Stirring them makes them get up and not just sit around. I've heard tell of a set up where a guy had a button he pushed everytime he would roll over at night just to make a loud noise at the chicken coop to wake them up and get them going.

    I have a Christmas lights timer I will put on a radio, so it will go off a few times at night. I might park my truck close by and set off the alarm a few times, that sort of thing. LOL

    Its really no differnt from setting your lights in the layin hen house so they have more 'daylight' and will lay during the winter. You just have 8 weeks to take them from day olds to as big as possible to show.
     
  5. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    Quote:Lol! Yeah I was wondering the same thing! Beats me? I'm interested to hearing the answer

    Edited to say "I was too late with this comment. I was typing the same type as the above poster...lol" It does make sense with the radio now....interesting
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2009
  6. chellebyerly

    chellebyerly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh and this actually happened infront of a meeting one day. Lots of folks around.

    when we were signing up for the birds someone asked me "do you know anything about broilers?"

    I said "well, I incubate and raise my own laying hens, we butcher the roos and I keep them alive- I'm not worried, a chicken is a chicken right?"

    folks laughed. seriously. they are quick to tell you that your wrong, but wont tell you waht to do right.
     
  7. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Well I'd say gamebird feed and supplement with high fat then. Lemme get my chicken book and see if I can help ya [​IMG] How many weeks do you raise them?
     
  8. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Ok Storey's guide says start out high protein ration for strong skeletal structure to hold the weight they will gain, then when they look good size wise pour on the carbs for weight gain to finish them. Also says to confine them so they don't burn energy that will convert to weight..Feed is 2 pounds per bird for every 1 pound of weight gain. That should help you figure how much feed costs will be. They will eat constantly!!! OY, I hope this little bit of info helps [​IMG]
     
  9. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    That makes me wonder if the perfect food wouldn't be peanuts...high protein and high fat. It stinks you have no time to experiment to see what works best.
     
  10. chellebyerly

    chellebyerly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cindyloo, Thanks so much!! [​IMG]

    and your right~ I think I do remember some folks saying peanut butter.. or maybe I just invented that one cause I have heard such weird other stuff... LOL . I swear- this is gonna be the death of me. LOL

    okay, so instead of chick starter, give them gamebird starter. That I can handle. Its what my SIL feeds her quail right? same type of thing..

    I think its recomended a 5X5 for 25 birds. So, I'm thinking a 10X10 for 50?? would that be about right? LOL

    We have them about 8 weeks I belive.

    I really appriciate the help..
    I am feeling a little better about it [​IMG]
     

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