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Question on timing feed for broilers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MacPoultry, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. MacPoultry

    MacPoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2009
    middle TN
    I know that you feed broilers 12 on and 12 off. My question is, can their “on” time be during the night?

    I am 4 wks into my 2nd batch of Cornish X. I use a hoop coop - with a 10’ x 12’ base with 2 cattle panels bent to form the coop, then covered that with chicken wire and tarps. At 1 ½ to 2 weeks old, I started letting them outside, containing them with a portable dog pen until about 3 ½ 4 weeks old where they now free range during the day. I don’t feed them for the first hour after letting them out, which seemed to help them learn how to forage for bugs and eat grass. As I overbuilt the coop/tractor, I have to move it with the 4-wheeler, so the free ranging allows me to move it every 2 – 3 days, depending on the weather and how often they hang out inside the coop.

    I thought I had read on here that someone fed theirs at night. My pullets (egg layers) are now eating the broilers feed and I hate to have to go back to containing the broilers with the dog pen. They sure do seem to enjoy their freedom.
     
  2. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    I believe if you are going to feed at night you will need a light on for those 12 hours in order for them to eat.
    Do you have electric run outside to the coop?
     
  3. MacPoultry

    MacPoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2009
    middle TN
    I have an extension cord with a heat lamp (red) that I am still using as the nights are cool. We have had a few nights of frost and one freeze so wasn't sure how much longer to use it???
     
  4. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure as far as using it for heat, I saw on poster here that said they used the light 24/7 their whole lives and others stop it at a couple of weeks, every situation is unique.
    I have read here though that they won't eat at night without a light and that is why I recommended that as a consideration.
    If it is that cold there now then I don't see a light being left on at night for the duration as hurting them.
    I am sure you will get more advice on this as well.
     
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,305
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    Apr 29, 2007
    Ohio
    Ya definately... honestly though when the temps are cooler... you can get away with 24/7.

    They seem to do just fine.
     
  6. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Michigan
    Why would you time feed? Our grand champion broilers were raised on 24/7 feed. Course, they only lived for 6 weeks.
     
  7. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some people say you can get them to live longer, past the 6 weeks by slowing their growth.
    They feed 12 hours on and 12 hours off, its slows their growth enough to avoid leg problems and heart attacks so they can get bigger over more time.
     
  8. MacPoultry

    MacPoultry Out Of The Brooder

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    0
    22
    Sep 13, 2009
    middle TN
    Thanks so much for all of your help. I have been reading this forum for several months and have learned so much.

    I have read repeatedly about the 12 on 12 off feeding, but not about 24/7 during the colder times until today here - and on another thread. Makes sense though….

    Another question. My birds are almost 5 weeks and are pretty much fully feathered out. I still leave the red heat lamp on at night. Temps vary so much that if it is a warm night - 50’s or so I turn it off, but 40’s or lower I leave it on. I am using a hoop coop so is taller – about 5 ft in the center, so there is more heat loss. Plus we have had so much rain the ground is constantly wet and cooler. I know that lack of experience makes me paranoid, and I do tend to err on the side of caution. Is this the case here too? In other words, am I being an overprotective mother hen???
     

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