New to raising Broilers

JennaWisconsin

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 25, 2013
13
0
22
Hi I am new to raising chickens. I started with some hens last summer that I got from friends and now I am on to raising my first batch of broilers. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,074
463
North Central Kansas
Greetings from Kanas, JennaWisonsin, and
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! Pleased you joined us! The best thing about broilers, other than the taste, is that you have a short term relationship with them. My advice is: if they are Cornish X - the most common meat bird, feed them 12 hours on/12 hours off - this will slow their growth but also reduce leg problems. Make them move to get their food - they are content to just plop down and wait - make it earn it a little to get some exercise. Some folks make them climb a ramp to get to their food - I'm against this - while I think it helps their legs, the way these chowhounds assault their food, I'd fear they'd doze each other off the ramp, resulting in more leg injuries! Make sure they have shade - Cornish are kinda touchy about heat. Couple more things...Don't feed them for 12 hours or more before processing....you'll be thankful for that. Bleed them out well. After processing, let them chill for 3 days in the fridge and you will have tender delicious meat (or freeze them and when you thaw them out, leave 'em in the fridge for 3 days before cooking). If you don't, you'll have tough delicious meat. Make sure you visit the Meat Bird thread below for questions or just read the old threads for info:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/21/meat-birds-etc

And here's a link where you can chit chat with locals - find the WI thread (I'm assuming you're from Wisconsin and not named Wisconsin
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) and you're good to go. Have fun!

https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you

Oh, and one more thing...raise a few a little bigger - 8-9 pounds - and process them for roasters - so gooooooood!!!
 

JennaWisconsin

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 25, 2013
13
0
22
I feed them 12hrs on and 12 hrs off. For the past week we have finally had decent weather where I can let them free range most of the day. My biggest concern right now is not all of them feathered out totally. Is this normal? I am with them quite often during the day and I don't see any of them plucking feathers they have been like this since they started feathering out.
 

redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,074
463
North Central Kansas
I feed them 12hrs on and 12 hrs off. For the past week we have finally had decent weather where I can let them free range most of the day. My biggest concern right now is not all of them feathered out totally. Is this normal? I am with them quite often during the day and I don't see any of them plucking feathers they have been like this since they started feathering out.

Yes, that's normal - they've been engineered to grow fast than their bodies can cover their expanding bulk with feathers. It ain't pretty but it's normal...for Cornish X at least!
 

JennaWisconsin

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 25, 2013
13
0
22
Thanks redsoxs you have been a big help. I was so worried I was doing something wrong! The last thing I want is unhealthy birds, especially ones we are going to eat.
 

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