Processing ages and amount to feed Cornish and Turks

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tonini3059, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    Here is a long multiple part question. I am planning on raising Cornish cross and BBW turkeys on pasture this summer. I read the book Raising Poultry on Pasture: Ten Years of Success" and it gave me some ideas and answers but I have a few more. I was wondering if anyone has done this before and can share what they learned. At what age did you process your fowl and what were the weights, I heard 16 weeks for the turkeys and 8 weeks for the Cornish would yield a 20lb and 4lb bird respectively for males. Also does anyone have any data on how much per bird should they eat based on age? Example, a 3 week Cornish would eat 1lb of feed a day. I know that it is fairly variable but a rough estimate would be nice. I apologize if this has been addressed before but my search didn't turn up what I was hoping for. I am sure more question will come to me as the dialogue starts but this will suffice for now. Thanks in advance.

  2. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Never figured out the daily feed amount, but my 8 week old Cornish X's gave me an average weight of 6.5 lbs, fully dressed.
  3. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    Here is a BB Turkey Feed Consumption per Bird

    Pounds of feed consumed during a two week period

    Age in Weeks Broad-Breasted Cumulative feed efficiency
    1-2 .6 1.3
    3-4 1.75 1.3
    5-6 3.6 1.8
    7-8 5.5 1.8
    9-10 7.75 2.4
    11-12 9.8 2.4
    13-14 11.9 2.8
    15-16 12.5 2.8
    17-18 15 3.4 Males - 2.9 Females
    19-20 15 3.4 Males - 2.9 Females

    I hope this helps you. The finishing weight will vary on how you raise them feed, space,etc. With a BB turkey you should expect to get around a 25# Tom in that time and a 18-20# hen. This would be just a guess for me as we have never raised a BB turkey before, but I have friends that have and this is what it seemed to be on the average.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Feed lists can be a useful guideline, but you do have to take in to account your local weather and so on. If it's cool out, or they get lots of exercise, the food amount will go up a lot. Most charts are made fromt he reference pont of a bird kept at constant temperature their entier lives inside.

    My x's and broad breasted did range a little, but 99% of their diet was their feed. Grass in pastures aren't really that nutritious for birds unless it's full of seeds, and although they eat some grasses, most goes though as they don't have the bacteria with cellulases to actually digest grass. The amount of bugs is often also limited, as these birds don't really hunt them down as much as standard types.

    I usually raise 4 cornish x's on one 50lb bag of feed, for 8-9 weeks to get an about 6 lb dressed bird. This is with free ranging from 3+ weeks. If they didn't range, they would probably eat less, as our spring temps are in the 40's and nights in the 30's, and I raise them in tractors outside.
  5. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks for the info, please keep it coming. I realize that they are just a guideline at that is all that I am looking for. I raised the cornish cross in the past and I fed them way too much so I am looking to see what the best feed schedule is to try and cut down on cost. I am kicking myself now for not writing amounts down so I am hoping someone else did. I do not really expect the cornish to find much feed on pasture but any little bit helps. I would expect the turkeys to find more of their food but I am not expecting miracles. I plan on trying different breeds in the future, such as the freedom rangers and bourbon reds, but I want to try these first as I plan on selling a few and most people are used to "supermarket chicken."

  6. pasturedchickendinner

    pasturedchickendinner Hatching

    Feb 1, 2009
    Winfield, MO
    Below is a table that summarized feed usage with day of age. I recorded the date I had to open a bag of feed for my pastured chickens.

    12 50 lbs.
    18 100 lbs.
    23 150 lbs.
    27 200 lbs.
    30 250 lbs.
    33 300 lbs.
    36 350 lbs.
    39 400 lbs.
    41 450 lbs.

    Above figures were for 50 chickens. No moralities experienced so the numbers aren't getting inaccurate with age. Hatched in July 7, and raised till mid-August in Missouri climate. Feed used was Purina Flock Raiser (20%P).

    Above figures give a "straight-line" rate of 0.214 lb/day/chicken.
    Chickens consumed a little more than 9 pounds each at the end of 6 weeks.
  7. Napalongtail

    Napalongtail Longtail Longtimer

    Jan 31, 2007
    NE Washington
    WE've raised meat chickens in amounts of 50 at a time. The way we figure it we are able to purchase all of our feed a head of time and not have to worry about running out or the expense in the future. we feed 1 bag chick starter the first week, 2 bags the second week. 3 bags the third week and 4 bags the 4 th week feeding 12 hours on 12 hours off, water at all times. At this point the meat birds are allowed pasture to free range for the remaining weeks and we switch them over to grower too. 5 bags the 5th week and 6 bags the 6th week. There is always some left over and since we home process we select the largest here at the 6 week mark and start the culling process. The remaining birds typically have enough food left over to feed them for another 10-16 days at which point we cull the remaining. All of our birds dress nicely at 5-7lbs.
    at our feed prices of $12.99 per 50lbs it costs us roughly $1.36per lb for 250lbs of meat
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009

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