Slowing down growth?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by loulou57, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. loulou57

    loulou57 New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Hello everybody,

    I hope that you will understand my English, I am French-speakingÂ…

    I am wondering if there is a way to slow down the growth of CornishX meat birds.
    Every year, I have my birds butchered by a small slaughterhouse, and we have to book an appointment due to the fact that it is a small and very popular plant. I usually have them butchered at 8 weeks of age, and I get 7-8 pounds dressed birds. (I have tried in the past years to grow them to 10 weeks, but I lost many that died even before reaching 10 weeks of age.)

    The problem is that this year, we forgot to book an appointment as soon as we got our birds, and when we finally did (birds about 10 days old), the only date they could give us will make our birds 12 weeks old when butchered. [​IMG]
    They are now 5 weeks old, and eating 18% protein feed. I am very afraid that after 8 weeks they will be at a great risk of dying of heart attacks. Should I get a lower protein content feed (and what % of protein?), or add something to their current feed to lower the protein content? Do I free-feed them or restrict their access to food?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Loulou
     
  2. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go to a 14% grower ration and it will slow them down some,but switch them over a one week period, slowly adding more and more of the 14%. Then pray that all will be well.
    You may loose just a few, but that is all you can do with the cornishX. If they are penned, they will get stressed if you dont feed them freely. If they are pastured you can limit their feed a little.
     
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would stick with the 18% and reduce the amount feed each day. I fear in lowering the protein level they may end up not getting the correct amount of ammino acids for correct growth. Free ranging would also help slow them down if that is an option. There are people who raise them to 12 weeks and have good luck. Very large birds, but they are able to keep them around that long.

    The other option is to do them yourself and not have to worry about the extended time frame.
     
  4. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Good advice. Feed less.
     
  5. jenny_kap

    jenny_kap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:i agree, free ranging would slow their growth.
     
  6. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forgot to add:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the limiting their food. EI, BIL gives for 24/7 he thinks it great cause he gets way bigger chicken. But he loses more, What's better who knows.. So I feed am/pm fill feederes, When it's gone it's gone.. I will seprate smaller ones and give thme own feeder water/ if some look like their getting the short stick.

    [​IMG]

    So glad to have you here!! I'm sure you will love it as much as me [​IMG]

    Can you find a differnt prosscers? Or maybe do a few of the big Roo's your self.. (Not that I know how, I"m a chicken)
     
  8. loulou57

    loulou57 New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Thank you for all your answers, great ideas here...

    Sorry I don't have time to reply this morning as I have to prepare to go to work, but I will come back to you later tonight.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I fed mine 12 on 12 off and they did fine. When it was time to butcher the weather was way to hot and then we were working OT. To make a long story short. They did fine on 18% by the time we did butcher they were laying eggs. Some were soft. I even hatched one thinking it was a Duccle egg. It wasn't. no feathered leg. It is however a CX X Mille. wonder what it will go to be.
     
  10. loulou57

    loulou57 New Egg

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    Sep 18, 2011
    Thanks for all your answers!

    As for butchering them ourselves, we dit it the first time we had meatbirds, 25 years ago. It was not a pleasant experience as I was in my 2nd month of pregnancy, and the smell, well... [​IMG] so hubby had to do it all by himself, all I could do was rince the birds and put them in a plastic bag in the fridge... We then learned that there was a small slaughterhouse only 10 minutes from our place that would process and freeze them for a very good price so we never tried it again.

    My birds are presently in a large coop and I could manage to let them out in the day, but they do not seem too keen on going outside... sometimes hubby lets the door open while he is cleaning and filling the waterer and they just come up to the door and look outside. A couple seem interested, the smallest ones (girls of course [​IMG]). Maybe we could put the feeder outside to "help" them come out.

    I think I will try some combination of all your ideas... maybe a little less food, trying to get them to go out... Just wish me luck! I hate having big birds die just a few days before going to the slautherhouse... And I wonder if my freezer will be big enough to hold all that meat!

    Thanks a lot, I'm very happy I found this forum!
     

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