Meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by NatureLove11, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. NatureLove11

    NatureLove11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone this spring i would like to raise some cornish x's but need alittle help on deciding some things seeing how this the first time ive ever raised a meat bird. First question is if i order straight run do i have to worry about the males crowing before 12 weeks or should i get all pullets so i dont have to worry? The reason for that question was because im not suppose to have chickens [​IMG] Next would it be ok to keep 15 of them in a 10x15 pen? I dont really plan on moving them so should i do a deep litter method to keep them some what clean? And last what do you feed your meaties start to finsh and thats cost effective. Please help me idk what im doing haha!
     
  2. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We raised 50 cornishx last spring. They will not crow before 12 weeks, and you will probably want to butcher by about 8 weeks anyways. Ours were 8 weeks and many dressed out at almost 7lbs! A 10 x 15 pen would be plenty big enough. They don't move around very much (at all), they just lay by the feeder, eat, drink and poop. We just cleaned the litter as we deemed necessary, it became more work as they got older. We used pine shavings. They poop a ton when they get older and get very smelly, dirty. Some died I assume of heart attacks before they were ready to butcher, this is common as they grow super fast. We fed a meat bird feed (fryer crumbles, made by Payback Feeds) from start to finish and put apple cider vinegar in their water to help prevent some of the diseases they could get. Some also outgrow their legs and can't get to the food or water so you have to watch for that. They were not fun to raise, my husband called them "Franken Birds", it all seemed so unnatural. We may do it again but we will have a tractor out on the grass that we can move every day so that the smell will stay down and they will stay cleaner and I hope healthier being raised on pasture. I think it was cost effective considering you have an antibiotic/medicine free bird and it really is the best tasting chicken we have ever had, that is the only reason I would consider raising them again.
     
  3. NatureLove11

    NatureLove11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks much for the response! [​IMG] And also would it be ok if i raised their food and water off the ground a bit so they dont get it durty to much?
     
  4. phasianidae

    phasianidae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you will definetly want to butcher them before 12 weeks, 8 would be ideal. but i wouldent recomend Cornish x's anyway as they can get a lot of problems( go down on there feet, die of heart atacks, ect...) i raised 80 of them this year and i am done with them for good. also, if you main reason to raise them is for health reasons, they wont forage well as they are too laisey. go for some dual-perpose heavyer breeds.
     
  5. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    I posted a thread about raising 25 meaties in the Meatbirds section-I raised them in a pen-non movable-It was an experience for sure -enough to make me say Im so glad I did it but never again-when peole tell you they poop and smell-take that for all its worth-its nasty-mine were in a large pen-I put fresh shavings and hay down daily-still smelled. I had alot of help processing them-which made things alot easier-in the end I still have 14 in feezer and they taste wonderful-I had ordered all pullets as my family hardly eats leftovers so I wanted small chickens-they averaged 4-6 lbs each-Im going to freedom rangers next year for sure-they can free range over my 6 acres and cut down on the incredible amount of feed I went through with the meaties--Im not saying these things to make you not want to do it-I think everyone should TRY it and see how it goes-some like it and all that goes with it-it was just alot more work than I thought:-( good luck [​IMG]
     
  6. NatureLove11

    NatureLove11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok now i dont know about this haha but in a bigger space i thought it would be fine for the # i want. I never really considered the smell [​IMG] and do any of you think a type of evergreen mulch would help keep the smell down mixed in with the pine shavings?
     
  7. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just processed 7 of 21 yesterday. This was my first go 'round, but I'll do it again in the spring most likely.
    My meat pen was only about 10x12. I brooded them in a kiddie pool until they were 2 weeks old. Deep litter is not really the same for meats as it is for layers. Meats don't scratch around much to keep things fresh and stirred up. Since I raised mine during cool weather - even unseasonably cold - I did put deep litter down in their shelter. The shelter was just 2 sides privacy fence, 2 sides tarp and a tin roof.

    They do LOVE to dustbathe and stretch out in warm places though (sunshine or brooder lamp). I lost 4 - 1 drowned, 2 smothered (they don't get up when the rest of the flock lays on their head) and 1 just a Cornishx death.
    I planted oats in my meat run and by the time they were out of the brooder there was a good thick carpet of grass. They loved it! I also fed them pumpkin bits, scrambled egg and leftover veggies - in addition to 20% chick feed (about 320lbs - but there was a LOT of waste because the chunky butts destroyed the feeders).
    At 7 wks old, the 3 birds we left whole dressed out at 5lbs, 5lbs and 4 1/2 lbs. We parted up 4 others. There was one cockeral who tried his hand a crowing a few times, but overall they're pretty quiet except if they have gone without feed. I fed 12hrs on 12 hrs off and they would scream at me in the morning.
     
  8. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually they can crow before 12 weeks. I had 3 7 wk olds crowing this fall, they wern't loud but were working up to it when we butchered at 8 1/2 wks. You will need to move the cage daily if you don't want it to stink horribly, you don't have to move it far. Just so they are on clean ground. I used turkey/gamebird starter since it was the only non medicated feed available here.
     
  9. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:One thing I did forget to add was the fact that the pullets were very sweet girls. I have to admit I was a sucker and hung out with them after I cleaned their pens and held a few-those girls followed me around-I should have never have done that because I did get sorta attached to some-so I had to let others process them when I wasn't around:-( Mine were very quiet-
     
  10. NatureLove11

    NatureLove11 Out Of The Brooder

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    For brooding the meat chicks is it ok to have them on wire?
     

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