Meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ange, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. ange

    ange Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would like to start raising meat birds. What are the best one to get, how to rise them, can I put them in same coop as my hens?
     
  2. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2011
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    "Best" is subjective, the most common the Cornish Cross.

    The would be processed in 7-9 weeks, and aren't something you would typically keep with your layers. You'll want them on a higher protein feed, and they're pretty immobile given their growth rate and won't use a chicken ladder if your coop has one. Most people put them in separate broiler pens after they come out of the brooder.
     
  3. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pass Christian, MS
    I have the cornish rock cross, and I wouldn't raise them with your hens. We use a sperate coop and run. We got 30 this year. They require very different management.
    Mine are still being brooded, but I have them in an outside brooder. They require a high protein feed for the first 3 weeks then a slightly lower protein to finish. They also need light and heat until they feather out. They will only be around for 8 to 9 weeks.

    Here is some pics of my set up, they will be about 3 weeks on Monday.

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  4. ange

    ange Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for info. Can we put the met hens in same coop as hens, but, except separate them with wire divider? And how much room would you say the meat hens need? Are the meat hens all female? Any meat males? Do,they leave their coop, to,free range, how do,you house yours? Thank you,
     
  5. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pass Christian, MS

    You usually get straight run chicks, which means both sexes, the cockerels grow larger than the pullets. It is difficult to keep these birds longer than at the most 9 to 10 weeks as they start to suffer from health problems from the rapid growth. Some people have managed to keep the pullets for about a year before they succumb to these problems and die. You could divide the pen and coop. But they won't be able to go up a ramp. You can also allow them to free range but because they are slow and white, they can be easily beaten by predators.
     
  6. ange

    ange Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thank,you for your info. I would not keep them more then the 7-9 weeks suggested. My goal,is to raise,them, the 7-9 weeks, then butcher the, for the meat. I just want to make sure I do it properly. Since I raise laying hens, I was wondering what I do different for the meat, Cornish hens. I do,not have to,free range them, matter of fact , I would rather. It free range them, since so small, but wanted to make,sure I am not harming them by not free ranging. Shall I have a roost for the meat birds? And a nest for them. And do,the make cockers as good as the female ones? Any other info, I should know, I would appreciate. I have learned I should keep,them separate then my laying hens, and the food high protein to begin and not keep,anymore,then 7-9 weeks and not to free range. Anything else I should know?
     
  7. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will not use a roost or nest, the shelter will need to be at ground level. The cockerels get larger faster and there is no difference in the quality of the meat at the processing age. We will probably process our 30 in batches of 10 over 3 weeks. Starting with the largest at 7 weeks and so forth. I think you have it down. They do drink alot of water day and night. Be sure to have plenty of fresh water at all times. Mine will be 3 weeks old tomorrow so I am planning on only feeding them 12 hours on and 12 hours off to prevent early heart problems. They will grow slightly slower but be more healthy. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor. Keep us posted on this adventure.
     

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