Spring 2013 Cornish Roaster Journal

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Tabasco Jack, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    534
    297
    151
    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    This is a documentation of my spring 2013 Cornish Roaster flock.

    I keep them in the laundry room for the first week or two as my outdoor brooders are not in a heated space. Even with heat lamps, it can get pretty cold on the back porch in February. I use two large plastic totes that sit on top of a cabinet. Each tote holds 18 chicks. This works okay for the first two weeks. The totes are lined with newspaper and then fine grade wood shavings. Each tote has a screw-on fount base with a 1 quart plastic jar and a 18 inch slide-top chick feeder. The founts sit on piece of 1"x4" lumber to elevate them above the bedding. As the chicks get bigger, I switch to pieces of 2"x4". I give Broiler Booster supplements mixed in the water for the first month or so. I keep a 3 gallon bucket with a snap top lid in the room for feed. I use a 5 cup plastic measuring cup from Wal-marts as a feed scoop. 1 full scoop weighs 1.4 pounds. I use a plastic funnel to fill the feeders with. I hold it in my hand with a finger under the spout to control the flow. I have two red 250 watt heat lamps wired into a dimmer to control the heat. When the lamps are at ceiling level it's 90 degrees in the totes. There is a thermometer hanging inside one of the totes to keep track of the temperature.

    Each night I change out the bedding & paper, wash the founts & jars and strain the feeders. I use a wire fry basket to shift out the poop and wood chips and then dump the feed back into the feeder. Once a week, or more if needed, I wash the feeders.
    Each morning I scoop poop piles out with a toy beach sand shovel and then replenish the bedding as needed.

    36 chicks arrived Monday the 11th from Murray McMurray. All alive and in good health. They are all eating and drinking and pooping like normal. I weigh the chicks on day one and the average weight is 1.75 ounces. The smallest is 1.4 oz and the largest is 2.05. These are .15 ounce heavier than last years batch. For the first couple of days I place rubber shelf liner on top of the bedding.

    One chick dies on day 2. It happens.
    [​IMG]


    While the chicks are still in the brooders, Saturdays are weigh days. I pull them all out and weigh them while I clean the brooders.

    Saturday the 16th was day 6 for me but day 8 for the chicks. They have been drinking about a gallon of water every 24 hours.
    The average weight is 5.3 ounces with the smallest being 3.9 and the largest 6.15. Almost a full ounce heavier than last years average weight. For the first week they have consumed 12.6 pounds of 24% chick starter. This works out to .06 pounds per day per chick. Last years batch ate .07 pounds per day for the same week.

    I use the feed chart published on Meyers Hatchery's website as a guide for the amount of feed they should be eating. But these are Cornish Roasters not Cornish X so they eat a little less. According to the chart, they should have eaten .46 lbs per bird and mine ate .36 lbs. To help me plan my feed purchases, I set up a spreadsheet that calculates the feed usage based on age and number of chicks. Typically I buy feed once a month at TSC.

    On day 7 I started giving fermented feed. I mix about 1.4 pounds of chick starter in a 1 gallon bucket. I feed half in the morning and half in the evening. So far the best way I've found to feed this in the totes is to place it in a plastic baby chick feeder without a jar. It keeps them from standing in it and I can take it apart to wash it. When the FF is in the tote, I take the chick feeders out.

    I plan to update this weekly as I go along. Hopefully it will be of help to someone starting out on this fabulous meat bird journey.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    4
    81
    Dec 28, 2012
    SW Louisiana
    sounds good, keep posting.
     
  3. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    534
    297
    151
    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    Week 2
    I've been working like crazy trying to get a room closed in on the back porch to keep the brooders in. Seeing as I don't have a barn [​IMG]
    I got it finished enough to move the chicks today. The room is insulated but has no door or wall covering over the insulation. I did cover the insulation with 6 mil plastic to contain the fibers until I can get up some drywall or plywood. No lights or power yet either. I'm running the heat lamp off of an extension cord. On cold nights I cover the top of the brooder with reflective foil styrofoam insulation. No worries, I leave enough open space for fresh air.

    I lost another chick last Sunday. Came down in the morning and he was flat as a pancake. The count is down to 34.

    Water consumption is up to 1.5 gallons per 24 hours. I'm currently using a 1 gallon hanging poultry drinker. Once they get a little bigger I'll switch them over to the nipple waterer.

    Average weight tonight was 13.9 ounces with the smallest being 11.5 and the largest at 15.4. Thats a gain of 8.6 ounces or 162%. Their weight is about 2 ounces less than last years batch.
    Average daily feed was .08 pounds per chick or .65 pounds for the week per chick. According to the Meyers chart, they should have eaten 1.08 lbs per bird and mine ate .65 lbs. My feed weights do not include the fermented feed I have been giving. Once I go through a full bag of feed, I can add that into the calculations.

    I think the slower weight gain is due to overcrowding in the plastic totes. I should have gotten them into the brooder sooner but it was just too cold outside. Now I'm ready and the next batch will go straight to the big brooder.
     
  4. Hollow Point

    Hollow Point Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    4
    81
    Dec 28, 2012
    SW Louisiana
    Got some pictures?
     
  5. Mingming

    Mingming Chillin' With My Peeps

    239
    2
    93
    Feb 15, 2012
    NJ
    Thanks for the information, I certainly appreciate it! Why did you decide to go with Cornish Roasters this time? and how big is the bird in your first post? [​IMG]
     
  6. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    534
    297
    151
    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    After reading about the problems some people have with the Cornish X birds, I decided to raise the roasters. They grow a little slower and have fewer problems. At least according to the hatchery.
    Last year I lost 3 chicks within the first couple of weeks. This year I've lost 2.

    This years chicks seem to like to roost on the feeders more than last years birds did. I've had a terrible time keeping the chick feeders clean.

    The smoked bird in the first post weighed 6 pounds dressed (no neck or giblets).
     
  7. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    534
    297
    151
    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    Here are a few photos I took this afternoon


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    534
    297
    151
    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    Week 3
    The brooder room on the back porch has been great. Finally a place to keep the chicks and all their stuff!! The wife and kids are glad to have the laundry room back.
    The chicks are growing, eating, drinking, sleeping, stretching and pooping just like their supposed to. No further losses this week, we're still at 34. The night time temps have dipped below freezing a few times and we've had a couple of days where the high was in the low 40's. But the heat lamps and insulation are working. A thermometer in the brooder had always been a problem. I've gone through 3 of the hang em on a nail types and no matter how tight I get the thermometer to the wall, these birds find a way to knock it off and fill it with poop. I broke down and bought a $10 indoor/outdoor thermometer from wally world and hung the outdoor remote from a rope in the brooder. Now I can check their temp without having to go open the pen up.

    Water consumption is up to almost 3 gallons per 24 hours.

    The average weight tonight was 1.74 pounds with the smallest being 1.23 and the largest 2.01. That's a gain of 14 ounces or 101% from last week. They've passed last years average weight for week 3 by an ounce.

    My feed numbers given previously were for dry feed only. It's hard to figure in the feed used for FF since I don't always feed a full batch of the feed to them. Plus there seems to be more waste in the FF than in the dry feed. So far, I'm not so sure I'll continue it for these meat birds once they go in to the tractor. I'll see how it goes in the poop department. I really can't tell much of a difference yet.

    So in the first 2 weeks I used 50 pounds of feed.
    Week 3 average daily dry feed was .18 pounds per chick or 1.07 pounds for the week per chick. According to the chart, they should have eaten 1.76 lbs for the week per bird.
    I've used 2 bags of fine wood shavings in 3 weeks. I clean the brooder pen at least once a week, more if needed. When I feed or water, I sprinkle a few handfuls of shavings where they are needed most.

    Next weeks forecast is for dry weather so hopefully I can get back to working on the room and get it totally closed in and some lights installed.
     
  9. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    534
    297
    151
    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    Week 4
    It's been a really busy week. Had to work late a couple of nights and now that it's drying up some, I've been getting the raised beds and seedlings ready. But I was able to get the 2nd brood pen ready and moved half of the birds into it. That makes 17 birds in an 18 sf pen.
    The average weight tonight was 2.65 pounds with the smallest being 1.75 and the largest 3.29. That's a gain of 14.4 ounces or 52% from last week. They've passed last years average weight for week 4 by 10 ounces.
    Week 4 average daily dry feed was .26 pounds per chick or 1.56 pounds for the week per chick.
    Water consumption is up to between 3 and 4 gallons per 24 hours.
     
  10. daviechik

    daviechik Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    1
    93
    Apr 13, 2012
    Following, this is awesome!.best of luck
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by