Rasing Meat Birds with Laying Hens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by farmgrl23, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. farmgrl23

    farmgrl23 New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2013
    This will be our first time raising meat birds so if this sounds silly please let me know!

    We have 16 buff orpingtons hens - they have a nice size coop (indoor, not protable) with an attached outdoor fenced in area (very, very large). We would like to get 125 or so Cornish X or Red Ranger Boilers - can we put them in the same coop area for the couple months they are growing?

    Also, which do you find better to raise - cornish or red ranger?
     
  2. DStewart PDX

    DStewart PDX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    I recommend doing a lot of research. I did my first batch of meat chickens this year and it was a horrible experience. I thought after several years of keeping layers and doing some breed and keeping research that I was informed. I was not. Meat birds require very different keeping than layers. They are much more dependent on you, and may need special housing and protection set-ups. Mine did eventually share the coop with my laying flock, but one of them broke its leg getting out of the raised coop, which is a problem with the CornishX. Research, research! Also, if you plan to brood 125 meat chicks, make sure your brooding facilities are adequate! I tried to brood mine in the brooder I use for laying hens and it was totally inadequate because the chicks outgrew it pronto!
     
  3. LilRedRoo

    LilRedRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 19, 2013
    Bremond, Texas
    Start off with a test batch. We are almost 8 weeks in to testing out "red broilers" which would be similar to "red ranger" or "freedom ranger". Ours were in a seperate coop for 4 weeks as a QT safety and because we were feeding them broiler rations. But after lots of reading we moved them in with the layer flock (free range, with some feed available) and they are doing very well. It took them a week to get acclimated and accepted by the layers, but now they range with them in the field and we only feed them late evening and early morning. They are doing well and growing fine.

    Confinement will be different though unless your outdoor area is large enough to support them. 125 birds is A LOT of poutlry in one spot. I generally try to picture 200-250 lbs of total animal weight per acre when it comes to long term sustainability, but that's just for my geographic location, and the fact that I don't like to feed out of a bag unless there's a need to meet (nutritionally speaking).
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

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