Just some meat bird questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Chick_a_dee, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    The hatchery I'm ordering my meaties from has this to say on their special care.

    Special Care Considerations for White Rocks

    FEED RESTRICTIONS
    Start the chicks on 20 or 22% chick starter. Once the birds have reached 5 to 6 weeks of age, feed restriction can be used to slow down growth and promote a healthier bird. Feed what the birds can eat in 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Caution must be used, as too little feed can leave the bird malnourished. A vitamin supplement in the water can be used during feed restriction.

    LIGHTING
    Start chicks with 24 hours of light for 4 days, then introduce a dark period. (Heat lamps must stay on.) When chicks reach 5 weeks of age, darkness can be increased. The period of darkness will reduce the feed consumption as well as stimulate melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the bird to help the immune system fight disease.

    TEMPERATURE
    Pay particular attention to the temperature guidelines outlined above under "Heat Source."

    AIR QUALITY
    Air quality is very important in the prevention of Ascities. Poor ventilation, extreme temperatures, and spores from moldy litter can all affect the bird's breathing. In chilly weather, it is better to supply extra heat and open a window than to subject the birds to a stuffy room with insufficient oxygen.

    As An Alternative:
    If you lack the facilities or patience to provide the optimum conditions preferred by White Rocks, consider raising our Special Dual Purpose breed. They won't grow as big or as fast as the White Rocks, but you should experience lower mortality and few health problems. And because the Special Dual Purpose birds grow more slowly, many people find their meat to be firmer and tastier than that of the White Rock.

    I'm planning on housing them in a tractor outside, so I'm confused as to what they're talking about with lighting..

    How early did you guys put yours outside? ... It gets quite hot here during the summer and it's still rather hot at night here.

    We're planning on ordering 20-30 chicks, probably 30.

    Anything I should know, care information, housing information. I want them outside ASAP as I know that they will get disgusting and stinky. We have a lot of space so I can move them around daily.​
     
  2. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I would like to know too. I just checked with my farm store to see if they would be supplying meat chickens. They are and I want to be prepared.
     
  3. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    As far as light, it sounds like they're referring to people raising indoors. I doubt many people pay much attention to those lighting recommendations- I sure don't. I would think you'd have to get full spectrum grow-type lights for it to even make a difference. Personally, I'd say ignore that part. Mine are in a brooder in my barn for three weeks, under constant heat lamps, with additional light coming through the windows during the day only. They go out to the tractors at three weeks, where they get regular light hours.

    Meat birds aren't like regular chicks where you decrease brooder temps by 5 degrees/week, etc. They are ready to be outside at three weeks- I live in MI, and my spring birds got no additional heat once they went outside in May. My fall birds got a heat lamp in the tractor with them, because we were getting freezing temps early this year. Do them as early as possible if you get hot temps. Heat is really tough on them.

    When you talk about getting them "outside ASAP," I hope you aren't planning on brooding them in your house. Please, don't do this!! The smell isn't bad in a garage or barn, but you'll never want to live in your house again if you keep them inside.
     
  4. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:HAHAHAHA, yeah hopefully they get brooded in the barn, but first i'll have to get rid of the burrowing rats -_-
     

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