meat birds @ 9 weeks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by momoftwinsinwi, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. momoftwinsinwi

    momoftwinsinwi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    don't seem big enough yet to cull....is it ok to wait another 3 weeks or so??? I'm willing to bet they are only around 3 - 3.5 pounds at this point....
     
  2. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    oh I think thats plenty big, they are nice and jucy that way. I usually process in groups, do a few at 7 weeks, more at 10 this way I get different sizes. oh and if they are meaties they are WAY heavier than that by now. Mine were 3 lbs dressed at 7 weeks or so.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  3. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed are they? If you're just raising a dual purpose bird for meat, they'll grow much slower than if you were raising a Cornish Cross. I have 7 week old Cornish crosses that are about 6-7 lbs right now. I processed one last week (6weeks old) and he dressed out to 3lbs 13 oz. (basically 4 lbs.)

    What are you feeding your meaties? I've been feeding 21% starter for their entire life and will switch to broiler finisher next week. I'll do that for two weeks and then process the lot.

    Dan
     
  4. momoftwinsinwi

    momoftwinsinwi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are cornish X and aren't nearly as big as the one I raised (throw in with my layers) and although she was almost 3 months when we culled her, she was the size of a turkey, these are 1/2 the size of that. I buy Agrimaster Meat producer feed at Farm & fleet and feed 24 birds 3/4 of an ice cream pail full of feed twice a day...???
     
  5. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are a couple thought schools on feeding cornish crosses. In both of these methods you start feeding the birds 24 hours a day and give them whatever they will eat and always make sure you have ample food in there for them. After 2 weeks, some people switch to 12/12 feeding where they get all the food they want for 12 hours and then the food is removed for 12 hours.

    Others continue the 24 hour feeding and make adjustments like raising the feeder higher off the ground so the chickens have to stand up and really stretch to get the food.

    This is my first batch of cornish crosses. I started with 25. I lost one the on day 5 but aside from that, the rest survived. I processed one at week 6 which was 5.75 lbs alive and almost 4lbs dressed out.

    I feed around the clock. I have a two gallon plastic bucket that I made a feeder out of. At 7 weeks of age, my 23 Cornish X's are eating about 100 pounds of 21% chick starter per week. I also use an old plastic ice cream bin from the supermarket to scoop the food out of the bag to put in their feeder. I guess the natural question here is how big is your ice cream bin. Perhaps you can weigh the amount of food you're giving on a scale and then report back. My scooper bin holds roughly 5 quarts of volume but I haven't weighed 5 quarts of food yet because I always make sure there is food in the feeder. I do know that it only takes 3 days to use up a 50# bag of feed. My meaties are growing like weeds. If you're just using one of the half gallon ice cream buckets, I think you aren't giving them near enough food to see the growth you want.

    The other thing to think about is that the chickens need complete and unrestricted access to large quantities of water 24 hours a day. My batch is going through about 4-5 gallons of water every 24 hours. They need these large amounts of water to process the food. If your birds aren't drinking this much, then it might be a sign that they don't need that much water because they aren't processing the high rates of food.


    Dan
     
  6. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Most people feed their meaties all they will eat, except that the feed is taken away for 12 hours. Like take the feed away at seven at night and give it back at seven in the morning. If yours are small, they may not be getting enough to eat. To grow fast the way they were bred to do, they need to eat a LOT.
     
  7. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure how big your ice cream pale is, but that doesn't sound like nearly enough feed. When my 30 meaties were 8 weeks old, they would eat 12 pounds of feed in less than 6 hours. If I filled up the feeder again near evening, it would almost be almost empty by dark.

    The reason I say this is because those birds should dress between 5-7 pounds by now. Are they the slow growing Cornish?
     
  8. journey11

    journey11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a live-weight chart for Cornish X that will give you an idea of when they are ready and if they are on track for age. Even in a flock raised all the same, you will have a little variance from the norm. I used a digital scale and weighed myself with the chicken and calculated the difference. Usually this can be achieved in 6 to 7 weeks for males and 8 to 9 weeks on females. Hope this helps. [​IMG]


    Week Male Wght Female Wght
    1 .31#; 141g .23#; 104g
    2 .89#; 404g .67#; 304g
    3 1.80#; 816g 1.35#; 612g
    4 3.08#; 1.4kg 2.31#; 1.0kg
    5 4.51#; 2.0kg 3.38#; 1.5kg
    6 5.91#; 2.7kg 4.43#; 2.0kg
    7 6.70#; 3.0kg 5.03#; 2.3kg
    8 7.50#; 3.4kg 5.62#; 2.5kg

    Oh, just read your second post.... I recommend the all-you-can eat for 12 hours/take away feed overnight for 12 hours. Because of their rate of gain, I find it difficult to weigh and measure their feed accurately to meet their needs. It's easier to let them eat what they want during that 12 hours. They eat more and more and more the bigger they get. It feels like they are eating you out of house and home, but because of the early butcher date, they actually end up consuming less pounds of feed per bird than a traditional meat bird you butcher at 5 or 6 months.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  9. Winsor Woods

    Winsor Woods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a fantastic chart! Thanks for posting it. Another thing to remember is that each bird will (roughly) eat 2 pounds of food for each pound that it gains in mass. Using that chart, you see that by week eight, the males will be 7.5 # and the females 5.6 #.

    Assuming you've got a straight run and you have roughly half males and half females, you'd expect 12 males and 12 females.

    Males total expected weight = 12males x 7.5# per bird = 90 # of bird mass
    Females total expected weight= 12 FM x 5.6# per bird = 67.2 # of bird mass

    Total poundage of bird mass for you entire flock would be 90 + 67.2= 157.2#

    So if the birds eat 2 lbs for each lb they gain, you'd have fed them roughly 314.4 pounds of food during their life. That would mean you're on your 7th 50# bag of food.

    How much food have you gone through?

    What is the percentage of protein in your food?

    Dan

    Edit:

    I just found this growth chart on Cornish Crosses from Welp Hatchery. It's very informative:

    [​IMG]

    I've heard that Welp Cornish Crosses are another step above the "average" hatchery cornish cross. That said this chart is still a good guide for you. Check out the 63 (9 weeks old) day old chicken's daily intake of feed on the chart. Both Male and female are eating half of pound of food per day! That's 12 pounds of food per day for you're flock, so you'd be going through a 50# bag every 2.5 days roughly.

    Mine just turned 7 weeks old today and they take 3 days for a 50# bag so they're right on track according to this chart.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  10. momoftwinsinwi

    momoftwinsinwi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    feeding 24 cornish x all hens about 8-9 quarts of feed daily, haven't scaled it to see how much in weight but I don't think it will hurt them to go another 2-3 weeks....
     

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