New to meat birds, have some questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Magickbird, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Magickbird

    Magickbird Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    26
    Oct 5, 2012
    Hi! My husband and I are thinking about getting birds in the Spring for meat. We have layers now. We culled an older hen a few weeks ago and the soup was wonderful. Our questions: how much feed can we expect to need for say 25 birds. We are looking at Cornish crosses, they are 8weeks to butchering time is our understanding. Any advice y'all have will be appreciated.
     
  2. BCMaraniac

    BCMaraniac Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,860
    222
    176
    Mar 27, 2013
    Angelicisi may be able to give you a good idea. I know she is currently raising them, and had 25 recently. I think she may have fermented her feed....they do eat a lot though.

    They are susceptible to leg problems and congestive heart failure because of their rapid growth, so some people limit their feed and control their rate of growth, so they process a bit later. Of course it also depends on how large a bird you want because that will affect how long you grow them out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  3. KristiH

    KristiH New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Dec 8, 2013
    We process Cornish x Rock meat birds at 6 weeks. They're getting tough older than that. I raised 31 birds this fall and used about 9 bags of feed.
     
  4. bowhunter862

    bowhunter862 Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    7
    73
    Apr 28, 2013
    Hazelton, WV
    I raised 3 batches this year (Spring-Fall). I butchered the first batch at 8 weeks, the second at 6 weeks and the third at 7 weeks. Batch 1 averaged almost 8 pounds per bird dressed. Batch 2 averaged 4 pounds per bird dressed. Batch 3 averaged 6.5 pounds per bird dressed. In each case feed to meat conversion was nearly the same at 3:1. Batch 2 was the worst conversion and batch 3 was the best, but all were close to that 3:1 conversion. As an example, the 4 pound birds ate 12 pounds of feed. Now, that's not exact, but it is very close. I kept detailed records. I just don't have my spreadsheet in front of me right now. So, the conclusion: raise them to the size you want for the table and enjoy.
     
  5. What kind of feed did you use? I will be having meat birds for the first time next year.
     
  6. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,103
    139
    231
    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    Mine usually eat an average of 10-13 lbs. each through 6-8 weeks (we stagger processing). You could figure somewhere around 250 lbs. of feed (5 50lb. bags) to start. We feed free choice and also feed a dog that sneaks through the fence every day. [​IMG]You may use less. lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by