The PeckNPlay is set up with Mama Heat Pad on one end and feed/water on other end.
14 chicks total, ranging in ages.
Polish (hatch est. 8/13)
2 RIR (hatch est. 8/13)
2 ISA (hatch est. 8/19)
3 Ameraucana (hatch est. 8/19)
6 Cornish Rock (hatch est. 8/13)
Eating Nutrena start/grow 18%
Bought a 50# of it before bringing the CR chicks home, so plan is to alter this feed with a higher percentage protein feed and move to a 20 or 22 entirely. I find a higher % is better anyway. Real experiment here with those CRs!
Day 1 with everyone together in PeckNPlay. All birds seem happy, bouncy, and now pecking away at their new leg bands. Not seeing any of the negatives that many say about the CR meaties yet. They seem to be quite normal chicks, just a bit heavier.
Blue CR: 4.3oz
Purple CR: 5.5 oz
Green CR: 5.6 oz
Red CR: 5oz
No band CR: 5oz
Pink CR: 4.2 oz
(For fun, I chose three fat looking ones and three small looking ones, but all were lively.)
Pink ISA: 2.3 oz
No band ISA: 2.1oz
Orange RIR: 5.3oz
No band RIR: 4.8 oz
Polish: 2.2 oz
White Am.: 2.2 oz
Yellow Am.: 2.3 oz
No band Am.: 2.8 oz
Doing some references on other BYC articles, it's highly suggested to do a number of things in order to raise healthy CR meaties. I've got all the info in back of my mind but will only post with what I choose to actually pursue in order to prevent more confusion for future meat raisers.
Ultimately, can I raise these meaties alongside the future egg layers?
How must I alter the feed in order to produce two groups of healthy birds?
I know I will encounter problems, but I do with every chick brood. I want to know if there is a sustainable method to raise meat and Egg chicks together for our small homestead needs and limited space for extra brooders.
Cleaning brooder this afternoon and tomorrow I will weigh all the fluff butts again.
None of my chicks wish to hang out in the MHP cave. So very strange. They alternate sleeping on top, or in a cozy corner pile.
My last two broods spent so much time under the pad, they weren't eating enough!
The Cornish are definitely eating more than the other breeds, but no where near what people generally say they do.
Large pint mason jar filled this AM. It is only about 1/4 emptied 6 hours later.
The Cornish Rock WILL literally sit down at the feeder and eat. The other breeds stand, peck, leave.
However, they eat for a few minutes and then walk away!
Everything I read stated they would sit and gorge. 12hour food rations were highly recommended. I see no reason to ration in such a way at this time.
Currently watching two Cornish attempt to dust bathe in the wood shavings. Very cool, something most articles I read said didn't happen with this breed.
Read many places that the Cornish can be real brooder bullies and will just outcompete smaller breeds. Thus far, they all snuggle together happily, eat together nicely, and no one is being beat up. Smallest birds are still as perky as the meaties.
Kids are still messing with me on the feed.
Today I plan to add some greens from yard and grit.
Weigh in (Some band colors changed):
Blue CR: 7.3
Purple CR: 8.8
Green CR: 9.1
Red CR: 7.9
Pink CR is now yellow: 6.7
No band CR is now orange: 7.7
Pink ISA now red: 3.4
No band ISA: 3.8
Orange RIR: 6.4
No band RIR now blue: 6.3
No band AM now purple: 4
Yellow AM: 3.4
White AM now green: 3
I need to go buy feed today, so I think I'll look for a higher protein or gamebird feed and mix it with the 18% they're eating now.
My concern is trying to feed chicks with different needs. I've also read horror stories of these poor CRs suffering from the massive weight gains, and my experiment aims to plump them up for regular butcher time without having sad fat birds.
At this time, they still act like all the other chicks. Happy, flappy, and chirpy.