Rasing them together ??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by domromer, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    This might be a dumb question but I need to ask it anyways. Next time around I plan on getting 4 BR and 2 meat chickens. Can they all be raised together until it's time to kill the meat birds? Is there some strange reason why this is not ok? I'd like to get my feet wet in butchering before I go out and buy ten to fill the freezer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes you can. It's not entirely ideal because if you keep the laying hens on the broiler starter/finisher too long, you could cause them to overgrow and start laying too soon. However, with the modest number of birds you have, you will likely be successful. Just be sure to take out the meat birds at 8 weeks then switch the remaining over to a pullet developer (or mix your broiler feed with cracked corn to lower the protein to 16%).
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, I raise 4-6 meat birds with 2 or so layers each batch. I feed standard chick starter/grower and they get along just fine. I find the meat birds calm the layer types down a bit! Possibly since the meat birds are such nice creatures and all calm, it rubs off on their siblings. Funny how their siblings grow up thinking about sitting all the time and when they go out with the rest, they look so confused... You mean you walk and scratch!!!
     
  4. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Silkie, I don't know if it's because I had more (19-only lost one!), but I had 3 cockerels who were getting quite aggressive, and my hands and forearms are full of blood blisters where they bit me!

    It helped me not get close to them that I didn't find anything redeeming about them at all; I didn't see that they were sweet or anything. All they thought about was food, and nothing else. They never pecked at the delicious green grass I was moving them to, they never waddled over to me out of curiosity; they just demanded food, 24/7.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Haha, could be because you had more. I do the meaties in small bunches and they are so sweet. They look up at me like, are you food too? They are slow and don't mind being pet at all. Could very easily be the strain though since each line will have different personalities. Mine come from a place in eastern Washington that our feed store orders from.
     
  6. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there anyway to feed them all the same stuff until it's time to chop?
     
  7. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    Quote:Is 8 weeks the age you harvest them?
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yep, 8 weeks. I don't get a "meat bird" ration so I don't worry about separating feed types.
     
  9. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    Another question, do meat birds grow way faster than combo birds? My buffs were the size of pidgeons at 8 weeks old.
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They can be easily 8 lbs at 8 weeks, if not more when fed a broiler ration (which I don't do). Here's one of my girls at I believe 4 weeks old or so. The boy's are larger... It beds down on straw and still rubbed off all it's chest feathers. I have to move their tractor all the time.

    [​IMG]

    Compare with these at 4 weeks old (Leghorn); it fits in one hand no problem:

    [​IMG]
     

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