Longer grow time for fall broilers?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kelpieschick, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. kelpieschick

    kelpieschick In the Brooder

    May 15, 2012
    I am enjoying having my second batch of happy broilers running around the coop. :) They are 2.5 weeks old and are eating a mixture of non-medicated chick starter and crushed barley (at a ratio of 4:1 ) all fermented with ACV. Last time I processed at 8 weeks and got some really nice weights but that was without adding the barley. I am wondering if mixing in small amounts of low protein feed in addition to the higher energy requirements of a chicken growning at lower temperatures would reflect on my processing dates. Should I push it back by a week? My original idea was to process in two batches of 25. One at 8 weeks and one at 9 weeks. Should I do 9 and 10 instead? We had very few chickens last time with weights below 5lbs dressed and we have had some requests for smaller birds but I don't want them ALL to be small. Any feedback appreciated!

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Watch and see. Your suspicion of having a week or bit longer might indeed prove to be accurate. Time will tell. Since this isn't your first rodeo, you should be able to weigh a sampling of birds, say at 7 weeks, and drawn your own conclusion. Trust your instincts.
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I'm watching our CX's grow out as well - fermented scratch and broiler feed (50% each). I'm seeing birds that are growing well, but with just 3wks to go, they too seem a bit small. I know this super cold weather isn't helping them, as a lot of energy is being used to keep warm (naked tushes!) as opposed to growth. However, the fermented feed is keeping them very full with typical poo's and lack of smell.

    I had hoped to process at 8wks, but I'm thinking at least 9. I'm just at 5wks now and sizes are running on the low end (imo). But they are growing, so that's great! Now, if Mom Nature would give 'em a break so they could use feed for growth, we'd be in great shape! I too am waiting to see.....
  4. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    stop feeding the fermented scratch. Its just filler, go straight broiler. They'll catch up.
  5. kelpieschick

    kelpieschick In the Brooder

    May 15, 2012
    Thanks for your responses everyone. :) What I forgot to mention is that where I live you have to have them processed at a licensed plant in order to sell them and they book up fast so I have to book my processing dates in the next few days. I think you're right about going with my instincts though. I'm going for 9 and 10 weeks and keeping my fingers crossed that they don't get too big. That way I can finish them off on more barley to get that nice taste.

    SmokinChick, with my last batch I did straight broiler feed and this time I'm adding in some barley. Huge difference with the pooping with this batch! Last group was still runny and a bit stinky (but not too bad) This batch it's just like normal bird poop. Plus they love the barley. When they go through their mash and find a piece of barely they pounce on it and run around flapping with it like they won the biggest prize ha ha.

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