question about meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chickiemom, Mar 27, 2007.

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  1. chickiemom

    chickiemom Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2007
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    ok I hope I dont offend anyone. But what is the difference between meat birds and everyday birds. I know I am very fond of my chickens too. But do I have to buy "meat birds" or are they all meat birds?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    No worries, that's a normal question!

    When someone says meat birds they generally mean cornish x's. They eat a lot and put on weight so fast they are ready to butcher at 8 weeks old. A meat bird can also be an unwanted roo or a mean one... which I sell as soup chickens so people don't think they will be like the fat cornish x's from the store.
     
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    meat birds are birds solely raised for the table.an not used for eggs.now theres dueal purpose breeds.that are used for both meat an eggs.
     
  4. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    I have questions. I received two birds from a post office. One was shoved in a mail collection box and one was in a parking lot. They gave them to me because I already have RIReds. I'm fairly new to birding and still learning. These birds are white with super thick yellow legs. One is a roo and the other a hen who just started laying the biggest eggs I've ever seen. From reading other pages I guess maybe their cornish x ? I can't find it again but someone wrote that these birds will die early of nature causes. I have become so upset after reading this. So far the roo seems fine. But the hen doesn't seem so great. She's to fat to roost and walks very slow cause she's so big. I've named her Lucky because she was a rescue but now I'm thinking she not so lucky. Is she going to die early? Is there any thing I can do to make her more comfortable or prolong her life. Or maybe prolonging her is somehow cruel? She was panting during a very warm day recently. It makes me wonder how she could possibly handle the summer heat. She's lovely and has awsome eggs. I'm distraught about her future. Should I expect the worst?
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Be careful about the heat. If you are going to keep her for her life span, try to keep her cool in the summer. I put a fan on my cornish x chicks for the last two weeks before butcher if it gets over 75 deg.
     
  6. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2007
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    If you have raised them up to laying eggs and past the screaming " was that a crow" stage you are well on your way. Most that die of heart attacks or have extreme leg problems die between 6-14 weeks. It sounds to me they are around 24-30 weeks old, which is great.

    Some things to caution are feed, heat, water, and exersise.

    1) When feeding don't let them eat a lot or whenever they please. Give them what they can consume in about an hours time 2-3 times / day. If not they will over eat and literally eat themselves to death. Make sure the protein in the feed is low...around 15%.

    2) Heat...Like mentioned before this is one of the toughest things to deal with, do your best to keep them cool.

    3) Lots of water never let them run out...there is a lot of meat on these birds so make sure they have plenty of water to go round.

    4) Probably the best thing for these birds is to force them to exersise. By feeding them limited feed they will act like they are starving....don't fall for them....they are fine. They are pigs when it comes to food but with time they will learn to search for bugs, eat grass, dust, and scratch. They will search for food just fine and keep those joints in their legs healthy.

    Broilers are genetically modified for growth, they are bred to gain weight fast. With this people have the assumption that all they do is eat and sleep. Which if left in contact with feed they will. The poor things will eat and as they gain weight they will eat to compensate for the amount of calories it takes to stay alive and what it takes to gain weight. Before they know it, it's a constant battle to meet their daily intake of food as day by day the amount of calories it takes to run these tanks increases. Before long it's too late and the amount of meat on the birds makes them uncomfortable to walk so they sit....right next to the feeder. They are now bored....can't walk....so they eat more.

    The genetics in these birds are modified but the instincs haven't changed. When these birds have the right kind of exersise they will be fine. What we do here on our farm is when the birds get around 6-8 weeks we make them exersise by not feeding first thing in the morning. I go out around 6:30 a.m and prop the chicken tractors up off of the ground so the birds can go outside of the four walls. These little basketballs will range up to 100 yards away devouring anything that moves, they are hungry and their instincs tell them to look for food....not sit and wait for it to come to them. After about an hour I come back with a 2 wheeler of feed stacked on it and fill each pen......you should see 300 supersized cotton balls run....at 8 weeks weighing over 7 lbs ea. they look like Sumo Wrestlers on steroids!

    GOOD LUCK don't let the statistics bring ya down.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  7. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    Thanks so much Brunty. I have some hope now. I have been stingy with the feed lately hoping to encurage ranging for bugs and greens so she would get some excercise. I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing but now I feel better. I have a RIR and a leghorn that the two have been following around and learning where the good stuff is in the yard. They do get tired fast and rest more than the others but they are out and about. As long as it's not hot she seems to be getting around much better. Now I'll just have to battle the summer heat. I'll be in Maine for the first three weeks in July. I hope she makes it since I won't be around to help her through the ruff times. My son wants me to bring her into the house to be in the AC during the heat. I wouldn't mind, but I don't think the hubby will go for it. I had to remind my son that we'll be gone in July and she might not make it. He was upset. He thinks Santa brought him this bird. I will have a fan going while we're away, and hope for the best. Thanks again! Dee
     
  8. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern California
    Any chicken can be eaten so my answer is they are all meat birds.
     
  9. pueawjapygrta

    pueawjapygrta Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2007
    I think for general purposes, meat birds are classified as ones that grow quickly, and have a lot more "weight on the bone" than the standard breeds
     
  10. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern California
    Quote:But then again that doesn't apply to everyone but probably the majority, my wife and I prefer a leaner bird that is tougher and not high in fat or soft meat, but each to there own. My wife will tell me meat chicken bone soft and not hard.
     
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