Just purchased broilers what to do?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Gersbud, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. Gersbud

    Gersbud Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Central Michigan
    I have laying chickens right now. My other half just bought Hubbard White Mountain Broiler. Wondering if they are a good breed, what should I be feeding them when they arrive. Do I treat them the same as my other chicks or do they need special starter? Will they just sit there and eat themselves to death? I know they grow fast but just how fast will they grow?
    Can anyone help with these many questions about broiler chicks.
    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I have never raised that particular breed, I raise Cornish Cross. I guess same bird, sorta. This is what I do.

    That tough! Mine do get attention, but I dont hold them, like I do the others. I will sit and talk to them for a few minutes several times a day, so they dont " scare to death" when I go in to feed and clean.

    Do not put them in with your laying hens. They are pooping machines!!As soon as mine get a little older, they will get outside time, and grassy yard. They deserve it...considering thier short life cycle.

    I free feed mine starter crumbles for the first 4 weeks. By then they are getting pretty well feathered out. Then I free feed them Grower/finisher for 2 weeks. By then they are 6 weeks old, and close to processing time. The last 2 weeks...I feed them 3 x's a day. WATER WATER WATER. THey will really go through the water.

    The night before processing, I remove ALL FEED. Its better to have an empty crop for processing.
    Have fun with them....and enjoy!
  3. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    very good advise.That should do. Will
  4. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    You should consider feeding them a higher protein feed than chick starter...try game bird or turkey feed. You can also try Purina Flockraiser. The broilers I did this year preferred the pellets rather than the crumbles. I think it was because they could eat them faster.
  5. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    I raised that breed in my first batch last year. I started them on a 20% chick starter, then started switching them to 20% grower feed (mixed it up) between 2 and 3 weeks. By about 3 weeks, the broiler feed alone should be fine.
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:If your night temperatures don't fall under 40 degrees, you can get them outside in 21 days. I would provide a heat lamp, though.

    They poop a lot because they eat food at a rate 3x that of a hen would do. They will also grow many times as quickly as your hens, so by 3 weeks they can crush your laying breed hens to death. So it's a good idea to separate by two weeks.

    Also, the broilers must have a broiler ration not chick starter. Meat bird feed is a starter/finisher. They get the same food from day #1 through the end.

    Quote:Good advice!

    Other things: Cornish crosses do not deal well with heat fluctuations. If it's hot then suddenly windy and rainy, they can drop dead. It's best to ensure they are in a tractor with protection from wind.

    Some may drop dead, just because they grow too quickly. You may not do anything wrong and lose 1/3 of them.

    Finally, take advantage of the fact that they create ample manure. Get them over where you plan to grow potatoes or corn this year.
  7. Gersbud

    Gersbud Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Central Michigan
    Thanks a bunch for all the advice on the broiler chickens.
    I have already told myself not to get attached to these chickens. Hopefully I won't. But then I do not plan on processing them myself. I have a person who will do this for me at a $1.50 per bird. This is goin the make the process a whole lot easier for me to deal with. Just take over live chickens and come home with frozen chickens in a bag..
  8. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    feed them gamebird starter.an keep them seperate from your pullet girls.because they are pooping machines.
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I don't advise gamebird starter. Although, if you have no choice between pullet ration/developer or layer ration, I would say to use gamebird starter. I would stretch it with some cracked corn, though. About 4:1.
  10. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    When old enough you will want to go with something like Grower Cal Pellets. We like those for oiur broilers. Chick starter is great to start with

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