silly question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Titus2Woman, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Titus2Woman

    Titus2Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so I want to get some layers but I am also interested in some antibiotic free meat birds. Here is my issue though. The place I want to get them from says they only sell them straight run... but I am not allowed to have roosters. I am thinking roosters don't start to crow until 10 weeks. If I process at 7 weeks my neighbors will never know right? Or is that a risk not worth taking? There is another type I can get that allows me to sex them but my husband things that the fact that they can fall over from heart attacks if you don't process them at 7 weeks is kind of cruel and perhaps no better than what the big producers do? Are we right in this assumption or am I misled here?

    Also, do most people have a separate coop for their meat birds? I don't think I can do a second coop. For the short time there are here could they be put in with the layers or is that a bad idea because of over crowding?
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    If you get Cornish Cross, you butcher about 8 weeks and they won't be crowing yet.

    If you get one of the dual purpose type of bird, you process closer to 6 months and they will be crowing and fighting.

    I never had a separate coop for my Cornish Cross. They were raised just like chickens and with the rest of the chickens. However, doing that slows down their growth a bit.

    Raise them with kindness and consideration and kill them quickly and humanely and there is nothing cruel about it. It's possible that your husband's issue is that he doesn't want to kill and process birds, not that they are butchered at 8 weeks. I suggest that you get that issue well worked out between you before you order meat birds.
     
  3. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    You don't want to put them in with the layers at that young of an age, because they will be picked on horribly, AND because you will need to monitor what and how much they are eating. If you are doing a dual purpose bird, there will be no point to butchering at 7 weeks, they will still barely be more than "chick" size.

    If you want a bird that you can butcher that young, you need to do cornish cross, which are the birds that have heart attacks, etc if you let them live too long. I don't see anything inhumane about raising cornish cross for meat, as long as you butcher them before they start having a bunch of problems, etc. It IS better than what the big producers do because you will make sure that their short lives are well lived and they will be treated well, not shoved into tiny cages, etc.
     
  4. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are alot of people on here who raise their Cornish X Meaties in a tractor. This allows you to move the birds to new ground frequently. From what I have read, they poop alot and moving frequently to new ground is a good idea!
     
  5. Titus2Woman

    Titus2Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Our issue is not the killing and processing (which we will be finding someone else to do) but the fact that if we go too long they will break legs or have heart attacks from the rapid growth. Does it seem right to breed birds that grow so fast they must be slaughtered then or they suffer broken legs and heart attacks rather than birds that could be slaughtered but don't have to be. I hope I am making sense...
     
  6. Titus2Woman

    Titus2Woman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:To clarify my layers will be dual purpose but will be kept for 2 to 3 years then butchered. I am talking here about getting Cornish X for strictly meat purposes.

    So if I can't put them in a coop with the layers where do they go? Do they use a run or do they just sit in a coop? I am a little confused.

    My husband and I watched Food Inc and the chickens were not in cages but they also could not walk because they grew so fast. I felt so bad for them and I guess this is part of what I am trying to avoid.
     
  7. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will want to separate the two 'types' of birds.
    I would think you MIGHT be able to get away with raising a few broilers in town. The problem is that they POOP an awful lot and in that poop is plenty of undigested feed, or something that makes it really really stinky. You have to be rather diligent in managing their bedding. It might not be too bad with just a few, but figure out ahead of time how you are going to manage the manure!
    That said, I DID have a rooster cornish X crow at 6 weeks. But, it didn't really sound much like a crow.....more like a car horn!
    Good luck, I would go ahead and try it [​IMG]
    ETA: RE: Separating the layers, meaties : Many suggest that after 5 days (and I have followed this diligently) to feed cornish X 12 hours free feed, and 12 hours NO feed. You will find that they tend to fall asleep with their beaks in the feeder. Tiny little layers eat like, well, birds! They may get over-run by the big meaties, and may be stressed by a restricted feeding program.
    It is truly educational to raise these two types of birds side by side. Eye opening.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  8. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Quote:To clarify my layers will be dual purpose but will be kept for 2 to 3 years then butchered. I am talking here about getting Cornish X for strictly meat purposes.

    So if I can't put them in a coop with the layers where do they go? Do they use a run or do they just sit in a coop? I am a little confused.

    My husband and I watched Food Inc and the chickens were not in cages but they also could not walk because they grew so fast. I felt so bad for them and I guess this is part of what I am trying to avoid.

    There are ways to control their intake to help control how fast they grow. There are threads on the meat birds section about feeding to avoid the problems as long as possible. But I don't think it's unavoidable altogether. [​IMG]
     
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:To clarify my layers will be dual purpose but will be kept for 2 to 3 years then butchered. I am talking here about getting Cornish X for strictly meat purposes.

    So if I can't put them in a coop with the layers where do they go? Do they use a run or do they just sit in a coop? I am a little confused.

    My husband and I watched Food Inc and the chickens were not in cages but they also could not walk because they grew so fast. I felt so bad for them and I guess this is part of what I am trying to avoid.

    I surmise that most of the problem is you live in an area that does not allow roosters and your watching the selective propaganda. I have raised chickens for over half a centurey and I can assure you that most breeds of roosters will start to crow well before 10 weeks. Quite a few about 7-8 weeks. The most eficient bird for feed to meat is without a doubt the CornishX. To solve most of the raising issues that you have is to process the CornishX at 35 days of age for @2lb game hen akin to as one would purchase from a grocery store. no health issues to worry about, no crowing, just enjoying a GREAT meal . I wouldn't even consider raising them with the hens as the hens would do a peck and kill on any chick that they encounter that is not their own. Such is chicken nature. Seperate housing is in order. I now raise ours this way ... order 25 CornishX 4 times / year, raise them in a horse stall , process at 30-35 days, rest carcasses in refrigerator for at least 24 hours to let rigor mortis to pass, BBQ, grill or roast, serve and SAVOR a great tasting meal with a fine wine. ENJOY ! [​IMG]
     
  10. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just built a little tractor by myself yesterday for my meat chicks. It can also be used for a broody hen, when needed. I'm 5'1" and can carry this tractor easily by myself. It cost me less than $30 and a few hours of work. Home Depot cut my wood and I used a staple gun and 2X2 8 foot long boards with the braces cut into 2 foot lengths. I used plastic poultry netting.
    The tractor is 2x8 so should hold at least 8 broilers, maybe more if moved twice daily on grass.
    Anyway, just a thought, so that you don't have to build a second coop. If I can build one, anybody can. I'm terrible at building things with wood!
    My little four day old chicks are out in the daytime with our very hot temperatures this week. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be above a hundred, ugh! I'm still bringing them in at night under the heat lamp.
    This tractor would probably be too flimsy for most bigger predators but I have a pretty secure yard with block walls.
     

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