They are just not gaining weight!!!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by vkp23, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. vkp23

    vkp23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered a heavy assortment from Mcmurray back in June. I planed on putting most of the roos in the freezer when they got big enough. I just don't get it! They are still boney! They have 24 hour access to feed and scratch grains, they have a flock block they eat on and they have about a half acre yard to roam around to eat grass and bugs. Some of the feed we give them gets wasted because they don't eat it all. We give them fresh feed twice a day making sure we give them more than they can eat before the refreshing. AND THE BUGGERS ARE STILL NOT GETTING MEATY!!!!! I don't get it. I asked before what I could do and people said give 24 hour food and we have done that, and they are still not gaining much weight. Is it the feed? We give them flock raiser. Is there a special meat bird food like there is a layer food? I just don't know what to do. They have been wormed so it's not that. I'm just at a loss. Any suggestions?
     
  2. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

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    they will NEVER gain weight fast...!! they are dual P breeds, they are the EXTRA males hatcherys get...its sad that they sell them as meat type birds, just give them about 24 weeks...
     
  3. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the best you can get out of that it 16-18 weeks and even then still be small. Wait till they are 20-24 weeks and you will have a nice size bird but they will always be boney in the breast area if you are comparing to a meatie, as they will never get that big breast.
     
  4. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ditto. The heavy breeds are really only ready at around 24 weeks. The meaties are ready in only 6-8 weeks. They gain in 6 weeks what a heavy breed gains in 6 months!
     
  5. knittychickadee

    knittychickadee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are yours weighing now? I have some dual purp roos hatched in June too, 14 wks yesterday. Mine are just starting to fill out the breast area, the barred rocks are filling out first. My smallest weigh 5 1/2 lbs, biggest are 6 1/2 lbs. I can barely feel the keel bone in the biggest ones now, so I feel they are doing nicely for their age. I've got them on 20% protein feed free choice. Their pasture has plenty of high pro chicory and clover growing in it, and it is still growing like crazy, we've had a cool wet summer. They only get a bit of scratch feed once a week or so, and it's an 18% protein scratch. Regular scratch feed will only slow down their growth.
     
  6. vkp23

    vkp23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Food for thought. I was reading all you guys have said (BTW thank you for answers they were very helpful!) And got to thinking well how much would meaties cost and can I breed them? I went to McMurrays website and read on the info for all the meat birds. This is what I got...

    Please Note: Jumbo Cornish X Rocks are hybrids. Therefore we do not recommend breeding, they will not produce the same high quality in the next generation and due to the extreme rate of growth they will be too large at time of sexual maturity to breed successfully.


    I'm wondering though, what exactly is the cross? How can or is it even possible to create this cross on your own?
     
  7. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm wondering though, what exactly is the cross? How can or is it even possible to create this cross on your own?

    They are a white cornish over a white rock hen then very selective breeding for 60+ years. in short no you can not reproduce the ones you buy. You can make your own meat bird but it will be cheaper to just buy the chicks then it would to breed a few for your own consumption.​
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    The commercial meat birds are an F1 generation mutt which can't reliably be bred for good offspring, if you could get them to maturity without death due to cardiovascular failure.

    The heavy assortment is just "dual" purpose birds so will never be as big or as meaty as store birds. It's just not in their genes, and the more they run around and age, the tougher they will get. Go ahead and do them off at 14-16 weeks and age for at least a few days if you want to eat meat and not just slow cook or make stews.
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    And be sure you are using BROILER feed or your heavy breed cockrels will take about 24 weeks and will still be boney.

    If you want chicken meat, raise broilers. It's as simple as that. "heavy breed" simply means they are not bantams or Leghorn type chicknes, not that they will get heavy in a physical sense.
     
  10. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is my problem with hatcheries that label their unwanted birds as "frying pan specials," or "heavy," then make people think they're getting birds at a cheap rate that will fill their freezers with meat. In reality, they are selling you nearly worthless birds that no one wants- layer breed roos. They should call it the "trash can special," and charge you a quarter per bird at most- or at least market them honestly, and tell people that they will get tasty meat, but very little of it.
     

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