starting a meatie flock?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by abhaya, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    I have a small flock of laying birds (mixed breeds) I have a small flock of silkies. I am thinking about starting a flock of meat birds. But I dont know a ton about them. I know you butcher them young because they grow fast. I am tinking about cornishX. Can they free range with the laying flock or do I need to build them a coop and run?
     
  2. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    CornishX don't freerange very well. If you want some meat birds to freerange, look into the freedom rangers or red or black broilers. They will take a few weeks longer to grow out but I think it is worth it on the amount of dead cornishX's many people get.
     
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have raised quite a few Cornish X 's over the years. The only dead ones I had were a couple DOA. [​IMG] all of the rest from my own hands that end up in freezer camp. [​IMG] The losses that one hears from others are more often management issues from the day of arrival to processing time. Yes, they will forage, however they need much more protein (24% first 2-3 weeks then 20% ) due to their growth genetics potential than what grass plus a here or there bug will provide. Plus ,you need to limit their feed intake to 12 hours with full feed and 12 hours no feed as rest period for their hearts and lungs to keep up with their bodies' growth rate. Results are a freezer full of healthy chicken meat. [​IMG] As the old Scottish saying goes... " The eye of the master fattens the cattle". [​IMG]
     
  4. misschickenlittle

    misschickenlittle REALLY wants a new title

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    Quote:That's good to know. My DH is on me about wanting to get more layers when he wants meaties! I do too but... keep hearing how much more work they are. Do you have to keep them in a seperate coop than the other since you have to feed them differently?
     
  5. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had mixed experiences with Cornish crosses. My first year I butchered 45 out of 46 chicks purchased. My only death was a 9 week old with heart failure. (I raised mine to 11 weeks - average weight was 7 lbs.)

    My second year I butchered 35 out of 45. I lost them all over the board - leg problems, heart problems, I don't know what problems.

    I posted something about it, and people said that if you raise tham right, you'll be fine. I did all I could to raise them correctly. I did a lot of research. And they are very well right that people have great success with them. But I just don't have that talent, even if I try my best. So for me (and I assume many other people who don't have the time to setting up a lighting schedule and controlling the temperature in "controlled housing") I don't have the time to "perfect" me raising skills. I would rather have a breed that adapts to my available method of raising.

    For example, the breed doesn't cope with heat or cold very well. It will chill itself in a puddle in a rain storm instead of moving into the housing. They don't dust bath, scratch for bugs, or even stand up. I put mine on pasture and they all sat. Just sat.

    I know people are gong to say that if you raise them right, you can get them to graze and you can keep them living. Well, call me dumb, but I wasn't able to.

    Now, like my first year, you may have great success with them even if you don't do much. And maybe I am making it sound worse than it is. I am going to experiment with the freedom rangers, and see if they are any better. I may find that they have their own problems. and even if you had a bad year like I had, you still get good meat from the ones that live. You just have to cope with all the chickens that you have to dispose of.
    That's good to know. My DH is on me about wanting to get more layers when he wants meaties! I do too but... keep hearing how much more work they are. Do you have to keep them in a seperate coop than the other since you have to feed them differently?

    I wouldn't say that thay are that much work... I go down to my laying flock twice a day anyways to feeding the broilers was no big problem. I installed an automatic waterer that saved a lot of time. And the waterer wasn't hard to put up at all.

    Besides feeding, you really don't need to do much (that is if you are raising broilers on litter - if you are pasturing, you would have to move the pasture around. Or you could just make a run off of the coop, and you wouldn't have to move it around)

    That brings me to the point of housing. House you broilers separately. You hens will peck at the little broilers just like they peck at new comers. They eat different feeds, and they have totally different energy levels. Even if you raise a purebred stain or a more active strain with closer energy levels to the hens, think of it as bringing in twenty new birds into you flock. It is a nightmare! Pecking, stress, blood...

    Anyways, hope this helps. Hope I didn't scare you about Cornis Crosses. They are not impossible, you just have to cope with them , and not them with you. Have fun with you adventures! No matter the breed, it is so worth it....yum yum....​
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  6. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    Henryetta
    We are planning on a few meaties this year too. We keep going back and forth on cornish x vs DP. The big draw back for me w/ cx is that you have to keep buying them, can't really replentish w/o a hatchery, but I think our first ones will be cx just to get the processing thing down. After that though I think we will go to a mixed DP so we can hatch our own and keep our flocks/property mostly closed. If we go down that road I will also learn the art of caponizing.
     
  7. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    may I ask what a DP is?
     
  8. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    Henryetta
    Dual purpose
     
  9. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Colorado
    Quote:That's good to know. My DH is on me about wanting to get more layers when he wants meaties! I do too but... keep hearing how much more work they are. Do you have to keep them in a seperate coop than the other since you have to feed them differently?

    you'll more than likely want to keep them in a separate coop (or ideally a tractor), because the amount they poo is HORRENDOUS. i mean, it's understandable due to their growth rate, but it is a lot!

    now it can be done (raising them together), but it's probably better to do it separately
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    These links may help you. The first is from the University of Florida on how to feed broilers. Ther other two are a video that shows how the parents of the broilers are bred and cared for. The video corrected a lot of my misconceptions about breeding the broilers.

    Feeding Broilers
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps035

    Broiler Chicken Videos


     

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