Most cost effective,easy way to feed meaties??Fermented,free range, or...??


8 Years
Jul 23, 2011
Coastal Southern Maine
I m raising 30 meaties this yr,theyre 1 month today,6/1,I'd like to do another batch late July-Sept. OR at least raise a few of these to 15# as I did last yr,though in a more cost effective manner.By the time I added up the $$ for feed,it was'nt a terrible cost effective venture last yr,I m wondering what I can substitute for half the 24% feed to have them grow a lil slower(no broken legs,etc)and to save a lil $$,particularly if I m aiming for a 10-12# dressed wt.
I tried a free range + conventional approach last yr and had some meaties that dressed out at 12# at 12 wks old....however,THAT(12wks) was not so cost effective,so I m lookn at other feed possibilities to process them at 10 wks,hopefully just as big(10-12# dressed).
These meaties seem to have lots of constipation issues,also,I inadverdantly discovered, quite by accident that cuttn their 24% chick grower with molassess base corn-oats-barley type 12% horse feed keeps them poopn and grows them big, and not so fast that they break their legs or die of Heart issues.I also had them on ACV in their water,I stopped 2 wks ago,I will restart that.
How does the fermented food work?Does anyone have any ideas re what else I can supplement their diet with? I am free ranging them,tho the trick seems to be to free range them b4 they get stuffed on commercial feed and plunk themselves down for the day...
What is everybody else doing for cost effective feed?


8 Years
May 9, 2011
Arco, ID
I have 35 five week old CX chicks right now and they are being fed fermented feed. They eat about 9 quarts of commercial feed mixed with an equal amount of grain (wheat, barley, oats and cracked corn) with the dry weight being apx. .35 lbs per bird per day. My calculations are 100% because I am also feeding 13 little pullet chicks out of this same feed. To date I have used 200lbs of commercial feed and 175lbs of grain and my birds are probably averaging about 3 lbs right now. They are growing a little slower than on straight commercial feed but they are very actively foraging and running around. No lazy fuzzy butts at my house!! :) I love that with the FF they are able to utilize more feed instead of just pooping it all out, they actually have normal poop now and they don't have that repulsive smell to them with the FF.


8 Years
Apr 30, 2012
My 5.5 wk-old CX's free range and are pretty active. They love slugs and violet leaves and are eating ~0.5-0.6 lb of feed per day. I am going to get a live weight on all of them tomorrow, but they seem to be a little smaller than I expected at this point. If they dress to 5 lbs in a couple weeks, I think my costs will be ~$1.50/lb, including the cost of bird + shipping.

I hope to keep these costs a little lower next time around.

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