meat hens with layers???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Yukonchick, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Yukonchick

    Yukonchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Does anyone know if its ok to raise your laying hens with meat hens in the same pen. [​IMG] We're only planning on building one shelter for a start. The one we're building would house 20 chickens comfortably.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Its typically not done due to the different feed requirements of meat vs. layers. Cornish X are bred to stack on weight faster than their legs or organs can handle so it is generally recommended to give them feed for 12 hours on, then withhold for 12 hours. Also, to put the water across the other side of the coop to force them to get up and walk to it. Meaties will tend to just sit in front of the feeder all day and eat. Layers on the other hand can be free fed. As I understand it, meaties also do better on a lower protein feed if you want to avoid health problems from them gaining weight so fast.

    That said, I did once raise a meatie chick with a group of layers and he did okay although as he got bigger he had a hard time keeping up with them because he just couldn't move as fast as they did.
     
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  3. birdman1960

    birdman1960 Out Of The Brooder

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    I start my meaties with my layers in a kiddie pool, makes for easy cleaning, split them after about 2 weeks, put meaties by themselves and feed broiler mix and continue chick starter with layers. the first 2 weeks meaties don't eat all that much....but I do limit feed intake on the meaties so I do not have the leg problems...
     
  4. Yukonchick

    Yukonchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Those meat hens, you're talking about, are those the white feathered fast growers as they're called up here?? I also heard that the anti biotics in feed are suspected for the chickens developing crippled up legs. Some of those medicated feeds are known to have, cyanide in them which is supposed to speed up growth.[​IMG]
     
  5. Yukonchick

    Yukonchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read that the stuff added in the medicated feed is what causes crippled legs in some birds. Have you heard anything about this? I'm not going to give my birds medicated feed cause I don't think antibiotics should be given to anyone as a preventative medicine. I know commercial feed has an arsenic base added to it to battle parasites and make them grow faster.[​IMG]
     
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    The medicated feed does not cause leg problems, the medication is for cocci. The leg problems are caused from over feeding. I don't feed mine medicated feed due to they get butchered at 6-8 weeks.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I've raised 20 CX successfully with a free ranging layer flock. The only problem that you may have is that the meaties will crowd in first to the feeder, so just provide them with another feeder and feed them first. While they are distracted with their own feed you can then feed your layers. Don't offer free choice feeds and you don't have to have any feeding schedule or feed separate feeds at all. These birds are predisposed, genetically, to form more muscle in their breasts and thighs and they will do that eventually whether you offer broiler feeds and feed continuously, our not.

    If you want them to remain healthy and active, I'd suggest once or twice a day feedings of the same ration you feed your layers. Turns out a beautiful, healthy meat bird that grows they way they are supposed to grow~without leg problems, heart attacks, sores on their breasts, etc. You can even provide them with low and wide roosts and they will roost off the floor.
     
  8. Yukonchick

    Yukonchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    How much feed should i feed a meat chicken. About a quarter cup each when they are close to full grown???
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    That's something you will have to judge when you feed them yourself and you watch how they go along. If they finish it quickly and are still searching for more, then it's not enough. If they finish and walk away while there is still feed left, then it's enough or too much, depending on how much is left over.

    Each bird is different and has different needs, so when you raise them in a flock you have to be familiar with their feeding habits. On a meaty, those habits change quickly because they grow quickly and their needs change accordingly. Most people who raise CX don't know their birds and their needs because they just fill enough feeders to keep constant food in front of them for 12 hours a day.

    If you are going to raise chickens, I urge you to watch them, get familiar with their habits, assess and adjust your methods until you know those birds like the back of your hand and can dish out what they need at any given time or season because you know them so well. Then study them some more because the learning curve never ends.

    Those who would reduce their knowledge to measures, percentages, and what is the norm according to books will never truly learn their flocks, no matter how many treats they dish out or how much they cuddle with them. Each flock has it's own normal and a good flock master knows their flock...most of the time that flock doesn't fit into any chart that measures what is normal or what should be fed according to the "experts".
     
  10. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We tried that last year and found that the Leghorns liked to pick on the Cornish X. This year we removed our Cornish x before they got too big and slow. We didn't have any picking this year but we didn't want to loose any chicks again. I just have my CX in a dog kennel wrapped in chicken wire and the top covered in a secure shed. This seems to be working out well. My young laying hens with roosters are sparring a lot and they were sparring with the CX. The CX are bigger but slower. The Cornish X were stepping on my layers when theywere resting and I feared that they might hurt the little layers. Anyway, I guess it can work but it hasn't worked for us.
     

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