Skinny Roosters- How do I fatten them up?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gardengirlID, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. gardengirlID

    gardengirlID Hatching

    Jan 17, 2011
    Hi everyone. This is my first post on the board so I hope its okay to jump in like this.

    We have a flock of 30 Leghorn roosters we purchased back on September 3 to butcher. My husband butchered 3 today and they were skin and bones! We were shocked to see how small these birds were after 4 months. We knew these would be smaller than White Rocks or the Cornish but this is very very small.

    What can I do to fatten the other 27 birds? Should I feed them more often? (We currently feed a.m. and p.m.) Is there a mix of grains or something that I can put together?

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks- Kim

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    If your trying to fatten them up I would leave feed out round the clock. Also give more corn, thats how you fatten up just about anything, course more people might weigh in on some more ideas.
  3. grendel

    grendel Songster

    Mar 12, 2010
    Walbridge ohio
    I would say corn too.
  4. F50myster

    F50myster Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    Central Coast
    yup just feed them cracked corn and leave a light on all night so they can eat all 24/7
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I don't know about leaving the light on 24/7 you might be asking for trouble, sometimes it upsets their sleep patterns and can cause feathering peck and no telling what if you have 27 roosters under 1 roof.
  6. Keara

    Keara Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    I would wait for them to be closer to 20 wks old, this is closer to full grown. Also leghorns do not get very big.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you are here! [​IMG]

    They will continue to grow as they get older, but after about 20 weeks, the growth rate will slow even more. Leghorns were bred for one thing, converting feed to eggs. They will never get really big or meaty compared to dual purpose breeds.

    I don't know what you are feeding them right now. I don't have the experience since I don't raise them that way, but I suggest using a relatively high protein feed, say 22% protein. And leave feed available to them full time when they are awake. Chickens do best when they eat a bit all day long, not when they have to eat all at once. That may help some but I'm afraid with leghorns you will never really be satisfied with them for meat birds. They are just not bred for it.


  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    When we finished out our extra roos they were close to 20 weeks and I feed Flock Raiser plus scratch corn, and to be game/bantam they we filled out nice. sorry lost my manners [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] Fact of the matter is that leghorns will never reach roaster status. Try a high protein gamebird or poultry grower fed ad lib. They do not have a good food to body weight conversion. We always skinned them and used them as fryers. They're just not meant for meat production.
  10. gardengirlID

    gardengirlID Hatching

    Jan 17, 2011
    We were hesitant to purchase them in the first place because the cataloug didn't mention how heavy they would get. We decided on them because they were on a special for meat birds. Grrr well lesson learned there! [​IMG] Thanks for the info. I will get some corn and let them eat their hearts out.

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