Meat bird feed question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Trollkiller, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Trollkiller

    Trollkiller Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    Lake Como, Fl. 32157
    I have ordered up my meat birds and they should be here around the 22nd so that gives me a little time to prepare.

    The game plan so far is to house them in the sun room. We will start them in a plastic tub brooder and then move them to a wire cage when they get bigger.

    I was planning to house them inside the whole time as we are going into winter and I won't need to build a Fort Knox chicken tractor to keep out the predators.

    Then today I see the posts about the stink. The wire cage I am building will have a catch tray underneath covered in paper. The paper would be changed daily.

    It will only be 15 birds, how bad will they stink. I see by some posts that the feed makes a difference in the smell.

    What brands of feed would you recommend to minimize the smell?
    Am I a nut for wanting to keep them in the sun room?

    Any advice will be welcome as this is my first attempt with chickens.
  2. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I seriously suggest you DON'T keep them in the house You might brood them in the house, but then they need to go outside. Where abouts in Florida are you? as in how cold do your winters get?? T hey will need shelter from the elements, and a heat lamp will do the trick. They will produce alot of heir own body heat, too

    As for feed, I did 24. I had them on two 50# bags of medicated starter, then swiched over to meat builder. I'm not sure how many bags of that I went through.

    Seriously--they need to go ouside, for your healh and for theirs.

    When my last batch went to butcher--it had been freezing a night for about a week.
  3. rubyv67

    rubyv67 Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    [​IMG] I think the pine shavings with DE seems to be best. I used to raise finches,parakeets and cockateils. I always used paper covered with pine shavings. I just learned about using DE and think it would be really good. I don't think your crazy for keeping them inside. Better than having sick birds. Good luck! [​IMG]
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:Why would they be sick by keeping them ouside? I think the birds and the ppl would be more prone to illness from keeping them inside. The sink, for starters, then the dust, the feahers. 8 weeks is a long time to be dealing with that.

    All would be better off if they are kept outside. Plus the house would stink forever. Meat birds are alot different than finches parakeets and cockatiels. All they do is eat and poop--and he poop is wicked.

  5. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    well....the stink is incredible. also the wetness of the poop. the bigger area they can be in, the better. anything that is going to be humid....not good.

    i put mine out at 2 1/2 weeks. yep. that early. the poop is wet and can breed cocci like mad.

    as per food, i found that using fresh, locally grown and milled food brought the stink level down to almost nothing and i have 103 of them.

    i keep them in a hoop house and move it every day.

    15 of them will not be a hard project. they do eat a ton, poop a ton and drink a ton of water. they give off a ton of heat so, they need to keep cool.

    best blessings for a great meatie project!
  6. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    it would be worth a try in your sunroom, and if it doesn't work, you could probably build a tractor type shelter outdoors - no drafts tho.

    you would need to use either stall dry or DE and shavings, and definitely change daily (maybe even twice a day )

    the main thing would be plenty of good ventilation, altho they really do get gigantic and take up a lot of space. i think about 3 times as much as a regular chicken.

    Good Luck in however you go about it!
  7. Trollkiller

    Trollkiller Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    Lake Como, Fl. 32157
    Quote:I am in North Central Florida, look up 32157 on Google to get a better idea. The temps here drop to the mid 30s upper 20s.

    The sun room is really just a closed off porch (walls and windows). It is not in the living space of the house.

    At what age would you put them outside?
  8. Trollkiller

    Trollkiller Songster

    Oct 26, 2008
    Lake Como, Fl. 32157
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Mine get raised in a tractor from day 1. They are kept in a "sheltered" box and let out into the tractor's run at about 2 weeks old. I usually raise them in march or so and nights get into the 30's. If you can keep draft off, and heat up, they'll be fine.

    Wire for meat birds as a floor is often not advised due to their weight and propensity to have foot, toe, and breast problems rubbing on the wire.
  10. zatsdeb

    zatsdeb Songster

    Oct 2, 2007
    Lincoln, Illinois
    I raised 5 meat birds, and the mess was terrible and they were outside!! I fed chick starter and meat bird feed.
    once they are feathered they usually do fine outside, but ours, the bigger they got, the more they just ate laying down, they wouldn't even stand up! So, I had to keep bedding down and pick them up alot and clean them off.

    you really need meat bird feed though, because they grow so fast if they don't get the right feed, they will break their legs just standing up.

    The smell is really bad too. I had 25 chicks in the house in a big walmart potato box, and they were in the house for 6 weeks, and didn't make as much mess and smell as the 5 meat birds, which went out in the barn after the second week in another big walmart box.

    good luck with your birds!!!

    hopefully when they get bigger and feathered you will find someplace for them, even if its a garage!!

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