Opinions on using a finisher or lowering protein for the final weeks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PurpleChicken, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Does anyone here use a finisher rather than feeding their meat birds broiler feed
    right up to processing? Mine rangers are maxed out now and I'm wondering if I should
    drop the broiler and switch to finisher for a week or two.

    Can I use layer feed as a finisher? I don't think the extra calcium would hurt.

    I stock lots of 17% layer and 1/4 ton of 26% broiler. I'd like to avoid having to
    purchase more types of feed. My quail, turkeys, and ducks are on the broiler too.
    I keep 1 bag of starter for my chicks.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    This is a question, not an informed suggestion, but could you maybe just chuck in some scratch (added to the high protein broiler feed you're using) to lower the protein / up the carbohydrate and fat?

  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:Pat, brilliant minds think alike. [​IMG]

    I started doing that but am now running out of scratch. Maybe I should just buy
    50 pounds of cracked corn and 50 pounds of oats.

    I'd like to hear from Kstaven, Greyfields, or one of the many others here with
    expertice on this subject.
  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    Some friends of ours who have raised chickens for a long time use a finisher. They said they used a finisher made from 3 parts wild game feed 2 parts cracked corn, and 1 part rolled oats. We used it this year but it's the first time we have and I am not sure if it helped.

    A person I know who works in a commercial chicken operation says they use a finisher also but would not share their magic mix. Around here cracked corn and rolled oats was cheaper then broiler feed so it did cut down some on the feed bill.

  5. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    I'm no expert by any means PC.

    After week 6, half my feed mix is corn oats and barley. Especially when I do cornish x mutants. Not so many late die offs this way is what I have found.

    Just had another round of 150 mutants shipped to me on the 26th.

    Greyfields may have his own way of doing things different from mine. It always seems that when you ask 4 chicken people how to best do something you get 5 different answers. [​IMG]
  6. Cason

    Cason Songster

    Mutants [​IMG] Yeah, that's about RIGHT!
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Thanks PDPatch and Kstaven.

    I like the idea of a blend. I'll pick up some corn, oats and barley if available. It would
    take care of the finisher, replace scratch I keep around as a treat, and maybe even
    add some flavor to the birds.

    The birds will enjoy it. [​IMG]

    "Mutants" for the cornish is a good term. My 20 cornish are exploding at only a few weeks.
    The Colored Range Broilers(Freedom Rangers) are real chickens, chickens with tree stump
    as legs, but chickens none the less. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Every time you change feed, they are going to stutter for 48-72 and not grow as they should. I recomend never changing feed.
  9. Poler

    Poler In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I raise some turkey's every so often, and in the past, i've changed their feed in the last three weeks to rolled oats, to give them that different texture, it also changes the color of their fat, instead of that yellow glob, its more light brown.

    Haven't done it with chickens though, let me know how it goes.
  10. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    Quote:As I sat and thought about the finisher feed. I have to agree with Grey, because anytime you change their feed their bodies will have to take time to adjust to the change.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: