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Outside Temperature (Minnesota) for meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MNBobcat, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2011
    Hi All,

    I'm thinking about raising up some meat birds in a chicken tractor in one of my fields. I understand that they go out to the tractor at about 3 weeks of age. I'm in Minnesota. I'm trying to understand about what month that I should order the chicks. I'm a total newbie. So, for example, I don't know if suppliers stop shipping chicks later in the summer. I also don't know what the outside temperature needs to be where the birds would be okay being outside.

    I'm trying to get the timing right to both be able to get the chicks and to make sure when I put them outside they''ll be comfortable.

    I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts!

    Thanks.
     
  2. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read it's ok to put Cornish Crosses out after two weeks but I've never actually raised them to know for sure. I have 30 scheduled to arrive on 3/30 and I'm planning to put them in a coop/run that I have yet to build at two weeks, so around April 15. I'm in a much warmer part of the country but if what I've read is true they're approximately equal in size and feathering at two weeks than dual purpose breeds at 6 weeks I'd think you'd be good-to-go at three.
     
  3. Hiltonizer

    Hiltonizer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Maine
    I'm in central Maine so our climates are close... I like to have them arrive in mid-April. This way they brood in the barn for 3.5 weeks while the evening temperatures get more bearable. Then they're in the freezer end of June before the summer heat starts to beat on them.

    You can then do a second batch arriving in late June/July which reduces your heating needs for brooding, and makes for a nice fall day of processing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  4. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2015
    I am in Wisconsin ans just brought home day old meaties yesterday. Have them in an unheated garage at about 40f under a Premier panel heater and they seem pretty happy. Outdoors is going to depend on the coop and the particular season and if you are willing to supply heat outdoors.
     
  5. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2011
    Sounds exciting! Have you had meat birds before? What kind did you get?
     
  6. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cornish Rock from TSC. Haven't had meaties before, heck it was less than a year go we got layers. I have worked on farms, used to be an avid hunter and have helped a friend process his birds, so I have some idea what I am getting myself into.

    My wife who was raised very yuppie and TOTALLY disconnected from what makes the world work actuallt suggested we grow our own after we ate the "layers" that started crowing and they were so much better than store chicken. Will see how we like the "cornish cross" but I think flavor and texture wise we might do "red rangers" of some sort next kind of split the difference between pure meaties and a heritage breed.
     
  7. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2011

    Sounds like you're having a lot of fun. Who knows...maybe your wife will become a farm girl after this! I haven't had time to even think about meat birds. I want to get some but I just don't have the time right now.
     
  8. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My wife wont turn into a farm girl, she was more of a farm girl when we started dating but reverted to full yuppy after a decade of marriage and a couple kids.

    The chicks are doing well, unfortunately still in a kiddie pool in the garage. I am turning off the heater during the day and while they are huddling some they seem OK. I want to get them outside but weather turned cold and wet.

    The pool isn't big enough for good food and water sources so I am doing a lot of feeding and watering. They are dwarfing the polish chicks that are 5days or so younger but they all get along fine.
     
  9. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2011
    birds4kids,

    I saw a youtube video where someone was using one of those large 50 gallon totes that you can get from Menards. If they start getting too crowded in the pool, you could maybe split them between the pool and a tote. But hopefully the weather will warm up and you can get them outside before they get too big for the pool.

    I had to google polish chicken. Those are a strange looking bird!
     
  10. birds4kids

    birds4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some other options if I want to split them, the pool was just the largest single container.
    [​IMG]

    This is going to be a crazy looking bird, afraid it will be a roo because it is an outgoing little thing.
     

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