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Raising Meat Birds WITH Layers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hunny, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Hunny

    Hunny Songster

    Feb 22, 2010
    Recently got the "Meat and Eggs" combo from McMurry Hatchery. First off, great service, great chicks...everyone was alive and happy and perfect. I'm even happy with the rare breed they threw in. Okay now on to the issue...
    We buildta brooder its apx 4 feet by 2 feet and enclosed. Complete with PVC pipe feeder for chicks, and a large 1 gallon waterer.
    We have 28 chicks in there 15 are meat birds, 10 little ladies and 3 bantam roos. Obviously the meat birds are feisty, and getting bigger than the rest.
    Our coop build should be done in over the weekend.

    I was up late tonight and decided to check on everyone before going to bed, when I saw a meat bird "push down" a bantam roo. I rescued the little guy, and when I picked him up I noticed he has been getting pecked at, back of the neck down to the top of his right wing. [​IMG] Pretty badly- looked "muddy" in color with a red outline.
    Of course I put the little guy aside and checked all the ladies and bantams. It seems this is the only guy with pecking marks.

    So a few questions to go with it.

    Am I mistaken to think I can raise them all together for another 4 weeks until butcher time? I didn't forsee any issues with pecking as I supply them with clean conditions, water, food, space, red light, interaction etc. Now I'm concerned about putting them all in the coop when we get it finished.

    Other than keeping the little guy separate, I've neo'd his neck and put him in a tub with papertowls & fresh water/food. I'll leave him there overnight, then should I add another bantam? I'm concerned that any other chick might peck as well..since its an open wound.

    Obviously this isnt the medical care forum....but I think the bigger question is, do I need to start planning different living arrangements for the meat birds. I just have to get through another month so we can butcher ! [​IMG] (they are apx 2 weeks weeks old)

    Thanks in advance!


  2. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    It would be better IMHO to raise them seperate. In a few weeks the meat birds will be 6 lb when the others maybe only 1lb or so. This will result in the layers having a tough time getting feed and getting tramped or pecked on. Also the feed requirments are different esp if doing medicated chick starter you may need to pull the layers off early to get the meat birds finished.

    If you have lots of space and feeder area it will help.
  3. Tripp16

    Tripp16 Songster

    May 26, 2011
    North Carolina
    Quote:x2 Good luck! [​IMG]
  4. Most everything I have read says it is best not to raise meat birds and standard chicks together. I just got an order of 12 meaties and 21 standard size chicks two days ago, and my plan was to brood them together for one week, then separate them. After only two days, I can tell that the meaties are hogging the feeders and water and are feisty about it. They are already pecking me and the other chicks when I intervene. I am amazed at how quickly the meaties doubled in size from two days ago. I have them in a kiddie pool for right now, and the meaties are already jumping over the sides. Looks like I am going to have to implement Plan B sooner than I thought.

    Since the meaties will be ready to butcher within two months and they never roost, my plan is to make a large portable pen to keep them in. It will be made out of PVC pipe and covered with chicken wire and a tarp, so it will be easy to move to new grass every day. My main flock of laying hens are pastured inside of electric poultry netting, so I can set up this portable pen inside the electric netting and they can have access to grass and bugs, and have their own food and water, but be separate from the adult birds and from their brooder mates. As soon as they are old enough, which won't be long in this heat, I also plan to keep the standard chicks in a portable pen within the poultry netting run, until time to integrate them into the adult flock.

    If your coop and run is large enough, you could keep one or the other in a pen to keep them separate for four more weeks. It could be as simple as 4 steel posts surrounded by chicken wire to keep one group separated from the other.

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