Meat birds and Layers together?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Llewin, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Llewin

    Llewin New Egg

    Apr 14, 2011
    Auburn, WA
    I saw a post on this that seemed to really only cover brooding together.

    I'm planning on raising 3 batches of meat birds this year and starting a batch of layers as well. Expectation is 50 or so layers and 3 batches of 50 or so meat birds.

    I am going to go with freedom rangers for the meat birds and I am hoping to be able to day-range all of the birds together in one rotational area.

    Has anyone tried this? Successes? Failures? Challenges?

    I need everything to be moveable by hand so I'll be using smaller roosting/laying houses for night time protection, probably something like the portable cattle panel hoop houses I am seeing here and elsewhere...

    Immediate challenges I'm uncertain about would be:

    1. It's my understanding that meat birds don't get old enough to roost so I'm concerned that the juvenile birds will get pooped on at night by the mature layers.

    2. Concerned about giving food that has a bad calcium/protein ratio to either set of birds and either causing them to get sick or perform poorly

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    Tell me if I misunderstood. You are planning to raise 3 batches of 50 broilers. You also plan to raise a batch of layers. Your plan is to brood the layers and the first batch of broilers together. Then you plan to brood two batches of broilers and toss them in with the older layers in sequence, hoping for the best.

    If I understand you correctly, the first batch of broilers/layers should be fine if you provide ample room to belly up to the bar. Keep in mind, the broilers will be at least twice the size of the pullets at 8 weeks. If introduced immediately, the second batch of broilers may have a rough couple of days moving in with teenage pullets but it should sort itself out fairly quickly. The third batch is pretty risky, IMHO. There are also some concerns about feeding young pullets too much protein as pullet grower is normally 16% and broiler is 19% but since you are ranging the pullets will probably be busy scratching and eating while the broilers focus on their job.

    These links show pullets being raised with broilers...but not broilers being raised with layers.
    See the broilers leaving the BSL behind?
    How about now?
    ...or now?

    I don't know the lady who posts the blog above. I read her blog regularly and knew she had a good set of pictures that were appropriate for this post.
  3. bauers chicks

    bauers chicks Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2010
    Southeast Arizona
    I agree with Sundown & offer my $.02 - We picked up 12 17-week old RIR pullets a while back as our introduction to raising chickens. They didn't lay until week 21 and they didn't roost until they were about 25 weeks old. I thought it was weird that they hung out & spent the night huddled at the pop door, rather that roost on my carefully sculpted & placed tree branches. They finally got the message. You may also run the risk of more broken eggs depending on how active the heavy broilers get and the fact that I see that young pullets miss the nest box.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I threw a dozen cornish cross in with my teenage layer pullets when the cornish were three weeks or so. The layer girls were pretty mean to the cornish cross but there was enough room for everyone to stay away from the worst meanies. I feed an all in one feeder, I think I did have the higher protein started for the cornish the first few weeks but just went to the all in one when everyone lived together. The broilers made weight at eight weeks and the pullets layed right around five months. I was happy.

    Depending on your roost set up, the broilers may get pooped on. Not sure what to do about that except block off the area under the roost so they can't sleep under the roost.

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