Some questions about raising meat birds vs layers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SoFFarm, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. SoFFarm

    SoFFarm New Egg

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    Jan 23, 2015
    Hi All,

    We have been raising layers for about 2 years, and cull most of the roosters every few months. We have about 75 birds total right now and I wanted to raise some broilers so we can get some decent meat out of them, as the cull roosters are pretty terrible except in soup/stew/otherwise slow cooked. Our layers have a large coop and large area to free range in, and a few smart ones fly over the fence and fully free range.

    I'll be receiving 50 Cornish X from McMurry on Feb 2. My plan is to keep them inside for the first few days - a week in a pallet box (a pallet with a half size box normally seen with watermelons and such at the grocery store) with one of the premier heat plates in it for warmth. I was planning on moving them to the back half of our outdoor coop (not currently in use) - it has about 50 sq ft inside and 75 outside in a fenced run. The more I think about it though I think they may end up pooping too much for that space. I could use the litter for compost but I'd rather not have to clean the coop every couple days (or more). What I was thinking is to build a new shelter for them to put inside our fenced garden area, and then they can fertilize it without me having to clean up after them. Downside is it will be difficult to run electricity out there to power the heat plate, which they'll need for a couple weeks until they plump up more (I imagine..gets around 30 here at night and lower occasionally). Thoughts?

    Also - what is the best type of feeder to get for 50 of these birds? For our others we use a couple small round feeders but they also forage quite a bit. I was thinking one of the range type feeders (or two) so that they can all eat at the same time, while minimizing waste. Any recommendations?

    One more - how much water do they consume daily? I'll probably make 2 of the 5 gallon bucket/nipple waterers for them, as I really don't want to spend 20+ dollars on more waterers :/

    Thanks!
     
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
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  3. dfr1973

    dfr1973 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Nov 20, 2011
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    Along with the general welcome, I can share a bit of experience about CX and cold. Short version: the chicks should stay inside for 3-4 weeks to get enough feathering to keep them warm at night. When you move them outdoors, they will grow slower as they are burning calories for warmth. You will still need to have them all slaughtered by 12 weeks, regardless of size ... I just slaughtered two twelve-week-old Cornish-Rocks and they were already developing internal health problems. I moved mine out into mobile tractors this time, and just scattered the chick crumble onto the ground and let them peck and scratch. I simply got tired of the mess with the feeders, which they would flip over, spill, or poop into ... make sure you do not have the style of feeder that they can sleep inside!
     

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