My first question about th meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bkreugar, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So Have had the egg layers for about 5 years now. A friend who is new to chickens wanted to know if we could go halfsies on some meat birds. So im doing my research and read the sticky threads on this.

    Well I can NOT find 21% protein feed. I have found 20% and 28% turkey grower. Have gone to tractor supply and the local feed and seed. Haven't gone to southern states...yet.

    So both places told me "just feed the 20% they will be fine". I am trying to find out how much the exact feed I need to give is, so not very helpful. Also the local feed and seed said feed them scratch, it is higher in protein and organic, and THAT does not sound right.

    Friend would LIKE to feed organic if possible, but at this point, id just be happy to FIND the right feed.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It depends on what kind of product you want to turn out with this. If you want meat in a hurry, then all the advice will be to feed high protein feeds and confine your birds to a pen or tractor. If you don't have to have it on the plate in 8 wks or less and you want the bird to be healthier, then you can feed it lower protein feeds and don't feed on a continuous schedule and slow that growth down somewhat.

    I'd suggest you read further than the stickies on this site...there are many different views, advice and methods on raising meat birds and you need to find the one that will suit your methods and your needs.

    If you need meat in a hurry and you don't mind how it's done, then you find the highest protein feeds you can and you feed free choice up to a certain age and then you take away the feed during the night, etc.

    If you don't need your meat in a hurry and you mind the quality of the bird's life and the quality of the taste and texture of the meat, then you find alternatives to the commercial methods of raising broilers.

    I suggest you read the threads in this section of the forum to get an idea on the different ways to feed and keep these birds and find the one that suits your style the most.
     
  3. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you beekissed that is helpful. I had it in my head that it HAD to be 21% or higher or they just would NOT grow the way they should.

    Talked to friend today and she suggests a movable pen for eating the pasture and from what i've read, if we want to do that, we don't want cornish. We want freedom rangers, I guess.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I'm doing the Cornish Crosses and find they forage better than any breed I've ever kept....they are more driven to do so by their big appetites. I feed whole grains and only once a day, free range the 50 birds in a paddock. Freedom Rangers aren't the only meaties that do well on pasture. This is the second time I've free ranged CX and find they do extremely well, no losses, healthy to the end and very active on the range.
     
  5. ChickenJerk

    ChickenJerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Find and feed them a quality, scientifically formulated CHICK STARTER, usually around 20%. Thereafter feed them according to that milling company's recommendations. If they do not thrive on this feeding program the problem is something else, usually management. A chicken can only utilize so much nutrition. All the rest is a waste and even before that point the gain is uneconomical.
     
  6. hydroswiftrob

    hydroswiftrob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I am only able to get the same feed you, and this is how I do it. I mix my 20% and 28% to get the right percentage. I want slower growth at first to give them time to gain some strength, and the final few weeks I want them packing on the pounds of that well built foundation I started. I am not saying my way is right or any other way is wrong, it is just the best method I could come up with after two years of reading and studying on what I wanted to accomplish. Mine are not organically raised because the feed isn't "organic", but the are 100% fresh, unadulterated, unmedicated, well loved for the time they are here, chickens. I do give them organic ACV in their water as a type of pro-biotic and have found this to help cut the stink in half.

    This is my schedule: (of course I am doing this with CornishX)

    Weeks 1 & 2: 20%
    Weeks 3 & 4: 22%
    Weeks 5 - 8: 24%
    Week 9: 28%
     
  7. ChickenJerk

    ChickenJerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is contrary to what the breeders of these birds recommend. This is what they have come up with after more than 50 years of research on trillions of birds.

    http://pic40.picturetrail.com/VOL384/1082797/13243225/402170412.jpg

    BTW excessive, unused dietary protein is eliminated from the body with the waste and because of the higher Nitrogen content it smells worse.
     
  8. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My CX'ers are getting a 18% broiler Mash because thats what the local mill carries. Several of the 28 hit 2lbs last Monday @ 3 weeks. Feeding the 12 on 12 off schedule.
     
  9. hydroswiftrob

    hydroswiftrob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I know 50 years of research is hard to go against, but my birds are not in a 1 sqft cage with food passing by them 24/7. My birds get exercise, they free range in the afternoon with my layers while I am doing my chores. I go on the science based upon body builders.(You don't feed a body builder less protein to bulk him up). More exercise means more protein needed to bulk-up. I have some very active 7 week-old 7-8 lb meaties running around my yard chasing bugs, eating grass, and enjoying freedom. That is something not included in that 50 years of research. If I chose to keep my birds in a cage or pen where they couldn't move and only had the option to eat, then I would probably follow that chart. On the contrary, my birds are vastly different. They are not the lazy bums everyone on here mentions, partly because I have never treated them like that, they burn calories. If there was a hint of stink with them, I would be the first person on here watching people raise them from afar because my wife would not allow the stench around the house. Like I said, this is what works for me and I am not saying the other ways are wrong.
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It is the "50 years of research" and application thereof by the commercial ag poultry businesses that has driven many to grow their own...why then repeat their same mistakes and produce a substandard product in our own backyards? What have we achieved then if we have spent much money to produce a similar product?

    The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over, expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein
     

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