What am I doing wrong with meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lilshadow, May 19, 2008.

  1. lilshadow

    lilshadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    I bought some meat birds, that I have had for 19 days now. In the last two days I have had 3 to die. I am feeding them from 8 am to 8 pm. I feed them broiler feed, but started out on chick starter/grower. They get clean water several times a day. I don't understand what I am doing wrong. I posted in the feeding time section on whether or not to give them grit. If someone could help me figure out what I am doing wrong that would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I don't know if this is your first time time raising meat birds or not. These birds were bred to gain weight rapidily and will literally eat themselves to death. I am guessing your birds probably died of heart failure. Try restricting their food and give them access to the outdoors where they can get alittle excersize. Believe me every first time chicken owner that bought their first meat chickens has probably gone through what you are. My friend Denise was frantic when her first meat birds just up and died too! The feed stores should explain more on the care of these birds. Believe it or not a meat bird will cost more in the long run if you were to buy one in the store because they eat so much feed. Good luck with your birds and I am sure there are plenty out there that know more on the care of these birds than me.
     
  3. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    How old were your birds when you bought them?
     
  4. lilshadow

    lilshadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    Thank you..next question, do you think that 8 am -8 pm is to long to let these birds eat? I should of read up on meat birds before getting some. I feel horrible.
     
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    A lot of people do not restrict feed - if your intent is to grow them to 8 wks or so and then butcher, then either way is fine. If you restrict feed too much, they can actually trample each other trying to get to the food when you come to feed them.

    If your goal is to raise them beyond the typical butchering age, then good luck. You'll definately need to restrict feed, give them as much room to exercise as possible, keep them cool and you will still have a lot of them die on you young.

    Due to their genetic ability to grow FAST, they will outstrip their bodies ability to keep up with the growth rate and are prone to heart attacks and leg problems.
     
  6. lilshadow

    lilshadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    They were day olds when I got them. Do they need grit along with their food?
     
  7. Hotwings

    Hotwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Quote:Don't feel bad most everyone has gone through this kind of experience with meat birds. People just assume they are hungry. I would not give them free access to food 24/7. You want to keep them alive till at least 8 weeks, that is when most go to market. If you have cornish x and you want to try a different meat bird try a freedom ranger instead. I think there is a thread here on meat birds.
     
  8. AussieSharon

    AussieSharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Virginia
    This is my first time raising Cornish X. I'm told losses are to be expected. I feed mine 3 times a day and don't leave food out for them. Basically all they can eat in 20 minutes and no more. ( They are now 6 weeks old ) I also let them outside to free range for a couple of hours in the late afternoon. I haven't given them any grit and so far no losses.

    Mine would eat 24/7 if I let them.
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Restricting feed is a matter of debate. Regardless of how you feed your broilers, they do spontaneously drop dead through no fault of your own. It's just the way cornish crosses are and you have to factor mortality into the # of birds you get.
     
  10. mmajw

    mmajw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2008
    Maine
    I never restrict their feed. As stated above they are known to have heart attacks from their rapid growth. Make sure that they have plenty of shade if outside and if they are kept in a coop, you may want to make sure they have good ventilation. They produce a massive amount of body heat and could easily overheat.

    What are you using for bedding?
     

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