Meat Chicks


9 Years
May 5, 2010
I ordered 15 meat chicks that are now a week old and doing well. Am I suppose to leave the chicken starter out 24/7 or should I be taking it away at night time? They are under a grow light and now have all of their wing feathers

Any other special "tricks" that I should know about? I have never raised them before and plan on processing them myself...

I have also read that some people go from chick starter, to chick grower and then put them on Turkey finisher....does this give them more flavour?

thanks for all of your help
We have 9 Cornish X that are around 6 weeks old...we got them 6 weeks ago today and I assume they were about a week old when we got them, perhaps a few days less...
I started out feeding mine 24% chick starter. Then I went to 20% meat bird maker, Then I went to 27% game bird of a couple days ago they are on 20% grower, but they will finish that in no time. (TSC only had the small 25# bag) Anyway, They are looking very delicious.
I have had no leg issues, and everyone is huge...One of the biggest cockerels can even jump up to the edge of the's only 2 feet tall, but he acts like it takes some work...
Anyway, I have not heard of Turkey Finisher...Everyone has a different thing they feed, which is what prompted me to just use a little of everything...
We restrict the food, by that I mean that I feed them at night...if they run out before I feed them again the next night...then Oh well. We have also been letting them wander the yard all day for the last week or that probably has a lot to do with the fact that they aren't all splay legged and what not. They are not good at foraging though...they don't seem interested in eating the grass, but they do wander and scratch a bit...
We are hoping to start processing them in a week or so. I need to weigh a couple and see what they are at. I don't want to kill them off too early, but also don't want to let them go too long...
I'm also wondering if I should just keep them penned and feed them to their hearts content for the week before processing.
Their stomachs and undersides are always dirty...and I could do without that...but so far that is the only thing I don't like about them.
We restrict the meat chickens when it comes to their feed - we do it 12 hours on and 12 hours off, I do know a couple people who do it 24 on and 24 off, but that just seems so long.
Thanks for the info :)

Like i said they are 6 days old and I have them in a big brooder out in the shed with one of those long chick feeders that has the muliple feeding holes. I fill it up in the morning and by the evening it is down low and by the next morning just a bit of powder residue is left.....I might try taking it out at 9pm when we lock up the older hens and then will put it back in around 6:30 the next morning when i go and do my chores...I'll see how ravenous they are. I can't believe how plump they already feel.

At what age can they be let out of a bit to forage unde supervision?

You can let them out at whatever age you are comfortable letting them out. It wasn't warm enough here to let ours out until just recently, but I would have let them out sooner...

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