type of feed before slaughter

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by scooter147, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone have a feeding schedule for birds for the table?

    Here is what I mean.

    Two weeks before slaughter I take my cornish cross off of chick grower and place on my own feed.
    I feed them finely ground corn, wheat, oats, milo and sunflower seeds. I have a small grinder and do it myself, I raise two batches of 25 so it is not all that much work.
    I also have an fenced in area of approximately 150 square feet off the brooder house that I let grow in grass and let them forage in that the last two weeks as well, plus they get sunshine.

    Maybe it's just in my head but I think they taste a whole lot better than just raised on commercial feed.
     
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Scooter, that sounds like a good mix, but why not feed it whole and skip the grinding? Scratch grain is whole, and as long as they have plenty of grit, they should do fine. I'd maybe toss some greens in there, too, if you can't feed fresh greens, maybe some alfalfa pellets mixed in.

    If there's some reason not to do that, please let me know, thanks!
     
  3. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I changed was to add fat to scratch the last two weeks, it was hot and they weren't eating well.
     
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jenny,

    When I started my feeding schedule about 10+ years ago I did just go with unground scratch and I couldn't get the silly things to eat it. I then tried to mix it with their chick grow and they just ate around the scratch. I know it is hard to believe cornish cross would not eat it, but that batch barely touch it unground.
    So I started running it through a old corn grinder I bought at a auction. It is motorized so a 50lb bag of scratch and 25 pound bag of sunflower seeds can be ground in 10-15 minutes.
    I let them range in a pen I built that is attached to the brooder house, I till and seed with grass. In the two weeks I let them out they pick it clean.

    So Jenny there is no reason not to feed greens or alfalfa pellets.
     
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you have a good system, good idea with the seeding for grass. That helps with the flavor, probably, and the grass gives them a better ratio of essential fatty acids, so they are healthier to eat.

    I didn't know the silly things would refuse unground grains! Mine ate it, but they were in the company of other breeds, even when tiny, so maybe they learned from the other birds. The instinct to compete for food probably spurred them to eat it when they saw others eating it.

    That motorized grinder is a good thing to have. I have a hand powered grinder, but eventually I'll buy a motorized base for it, but mine's more for people use than anything else. It's not bad for grinding enough to bake a loaf of bread, but it would take me forever to grind enough to feed the poultry.

    When I've raised those in the past, I'd take the feed away late in the afternoon, and haul them outside to the grass. (the doors were open so they they could go out whenever they wanted, but most of them didn't) Then they'd eat some grass, and walk a bit, as they waddled back up to the coop for the night.

    I'm working on other things right now, to start raising other kinds of chickens for meat, but any home raised bird is better, IMO, than the store bought.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2008
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL, having to haul them outside to eat grass.

    I have a pop door in my brooder house and I have to push them out as well. I generally have to get a "handfull" out and evetually the rest venture out, it takes a day or two before they get the idea of going outside. Maybe it's just in my head but I think these cornish cross are the dumbest creatures ever created.

    I agree with the better taste. I think homegrown birds are DEFINATELY tastier. The ones in the store taste watery and mushy to me.
     
  7. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens can be funny about scratch, some of our ate whole kernals, other wanted cracked, some wanted ground, some wanted scratch.

    We found the easiest finisher for all the different chickens this year was 3 parts bagged 22% turkey starter/grower, 3 parts bagged scratch, 1 part rolled oats.

    We let some grass/weed grow to about 6 inches long and cut grass/weeds with one of those weed wackers and brought the grass to them. Which was a lot less time consuming then moving birds around.

    Tom
     

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