Tips and Tricks to keep Meat Birds Happy and Healthy

Oncoming Storm

Songster
Jun 3, 2019
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A lot of new chicken owners will by meat birds not knowing what they are. Hearing that the average lifespan only being 6-8 weeks can be crushing. I should know, we purchased a broiler our first go around and unfortunately she didn’t make it. But despite this, it is possible to keep our chubby friends happy and healthy. I have a broiler hen who is roughly a year and a half old. I would also have a rooster that old however my goat didn’t enjoy his company. I want to start this thread so you can post tricks that help these meaty birds stay in the flock and off the dinner table.
So, some things I’ve learned:
1. They tend to do better in a free-ranged flock. This allows them to exercise freely and in large amounts. In a coop, they tend to be lazy and not so apt to get around.
2. Regulation of food intake is key! Do not put out a constant feed source or else they will stuff themselves. Keep them on a schedule where they get a limited amount of feed. I feed my flock mixed scratch with calcium supplements combined with free ranging.
3. Give them stuff to play with. What I mean is give them stuff to do. My birds like to roost in the low hanging trees and such. Some of our roosts are our seven-ish feet tall barn wall with five ft walls teeing into it. Next to one of these five ft walls is my tack box. So it’s like a little roost obstacle course. My meat hen can still get up on the five ft wall with little issues and the flapping motion is good exercise.
What’re some things that you’ve learned working with these birds? Any other tips or tricks you know?
376931F1-63EC-462C-A36F-F5AF41ACF06D.jpeg

This is my fat girl way up in the roosting tree. I’m very proud of her.
 

sammie12345

Songster
Jul 6, 2020
531
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Florida
I bought chicks that were labeled Egg Layers at TSC but they were actually meat chickens and I agree with all of this because mine a 9 months old and lay me eggs food intake is key to keeping them alive they also need LOTS of water (it's hot where I live 91 degrees), mine we able to run around but they choose to lay down. mine never liked to roost though, thanks for all of the info!!
 

Oncoming Storm

Songster
Jun 3, 2019
1,046
1,541
196
I bought chicks that were labeled Egg Layers at TSC but they were actually meat chickens and I agree with all of this because mine a 9 months old and lay me eggs food intake is key to keeping them alive they also need LOTS of water (it's hot where I live 91 degrees), mine we able to run around but they choose to lay down. mine never liked to roost though, thanks for all of the info!!
Yes! Lots of water! I forgot to mention that. My birds live mostly in the shade so it’s not thaaat big of an issue in the summer but meat birds get very overheated very quickly. So yes, water is also very important.
 

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