Is it normal for meat birds to not be fully feathered?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by quinkerton, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. quinkerton

    quinkerton In the Brooder

    Jul 9, 2009
    North Bennington
    I am new to raising meat birds. Actually wasn't planning on it until next year. I have had layers now for 7 years. I was given 3 meat birds this spring when I ordered my layers for the spring at my local feed store. They are getting close to be ready to process but I haven't raised them as they should be. I have just kept them with my layers as I don't have a separate space for them as of yet, not until next year. They are gaining weight just fine and are active, however they don't have feathers down there back and on their rump. And the skin in red. Is this normal? They are cornish x. A friend of mine had the same breed and they were the same, lack of feathers and red skin. Are they ok to process or is there something wrong with them? They look gross, nothing like my layers who you just want to pick up and cuddle!
  2. Brown Farmer

    Brown Farmer In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2010
    Not natural as in heritage breeds, but yes normal in the meat industry where they want all protene to be converted into meat and not into feathers and it also makes dressing easier. In fact it was in the news that a featherless bird was produced.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I am raising some birds from the commercial houses (Tyson). They took forever to get fully feathered, whereas my layers were feathered in alot faster.
    I attributed it to the fact that I am feeding them regular grower, not the high powered feed (high protein) usually given to meaties.
    From your description I would say your birds are normal.

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