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The Good and the Bad

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by UncleHoot, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Bad news first...
    I lost 3 meat birds (out of 20 Cornish Roasters) on Wednesday, apparently due to the heat. I normally go home during my lunch hour to check on them, but that day, I decided to go to lunch with my co-workers. By the time I went home, they still had a little bit of water, so I was puzzled. Maybe it was just too hot? I keep them in a pasture-pen with about 3/4 of the pen in shade, but there was almost no wind that day, so I'm sure it was over 100 degrees in there. Yesterday, I went home for lunch, saw them panting excessively, and brought them fresh cool water. That's when I realized that the water was originally placed in a spot that doesn't see shade for the first half of the day, so during these hot spells, I'm now making sure that the water is accessible from within the shade. Live and learn, I guess.

    The good news...
    This is my second batch ever. My first batch (10 chickens) was processed in June. My wife and I have eaten 3 of them, and we gave a few away. We didn't ask for money, but a couple people paid us. This was mostly for fun. Well, one of our friends just recently ate one of the chickens. Apparently, they had a couple friends over when they roasted it. They paid us for the first, and now they want 20 more! Unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to make them wait until next year for the full order, but it's a great feeling, just to know that someone appreciates what you're doing.

    Ever since I read Joel Salatin's book "Pastured Poultry Profit$", I've been having fun raising chickens and eating the best chicken I've ever tasted. Nevertheless, I was starting to wonder if only my wife and I really thought it tasted that good. Regardless, I was happy to eat them all myself. Actually having people that want to buy is a big bonus. [​IMG]
     
  2. spock78

    spock78 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2007
    Sorry about your loss. I know when it gets hot here, my cornish X's start panting & never stop. I always expect to watch one just drop dead in it's tracks but so far my wife has been on top of the watering & she changes it & it's place almost hourly. She also adds ice cubes to their water on really hot days. They love the coolness of the ice water & it seems to cut down on their panting.
     
  3. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Ice cubes... That's a great idea! Thanks!
     
  4. Chickending

    Chickending Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2007
    Minnesota
    What I found helped during the heat was I fed them frozen watermelon and other vegies during the hotest part of the day. Along with keeping the water cool by changing it 3 times a day. I also would freeze water in soda bottles and put that in the waterer. It would keep the water cooler longer. I lost one of my Cornish-X's the first heat wave then started this regimen everytime it got hot and no losses so far.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Luckily it doesn't get that hot here and feed stores stop selling meat chicks by the time day temps just start getting into the 70's on the hot days. I would imagine it is nearly impossible to keep them cool. Mine pant even when it's 65 out there!
     
  6. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Quote:Worse yet, the day/night temperatures have really been swinging here. Today's high is supposed to be 90 with an overnight low of 55. Those are practically desert temps. But I think the biggest problem was the water. It wasn't cool enough, close enough, or fresh enough.

    I currently own a home with 2.5 (rural) acres. But with this heat, even with some occasional rain, my grass is drying out. As funny as it sounds, I'm actually glad I have a lot of crab-grass in my back yard, as it seems to survive in these hot and dry conditions. The chickens love to gobble it up in the mornings...
     
  7. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have been having really hot days, I have been adding pedialyte to their water, read on one of these threads that the electrolytes help and that feeding them corn during the heat of the day is a real NO NO it raises their temp....anyone else heard of this?
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, electrolites are good but you don't always need to give it to them. Just under stress. Corn is a hot food so yes, it should be avoided in heat.

    As for heat. I feel lucky close to the water. Day and night temps are usually only like 15 deg different year round.
     

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