What should I feed my meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by max13077, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just came back from the feed store and I’m more confused than before I went. The guy told me I could feed them about 20 different things. I couldn't get him to just tell me what would be best. The birds are going to be the Cornish Roasters from McMurray. Can somebody just give me a little insight as to what you’d feed them? I’d really appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  2. Red Tie

    Red Tie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2008
    Metamora, MI
    I use Purina Broiler Chow. I have to have the feed store order it. It comes in medicated or non. It it 22.5 percent protein and is fed from start to finish. No need to switch feeds which can be a pain in the butt. If you choose the medicated it can be fed right up until "the day" as the medication has no withdrawl time. You want the highest possible protein for your broilers/roasters. Protein is need for muscles development and muscles are what you eat! I also use from the very start a chick vitamin and electrolyte powder in their water. I am currently raising cornish x in the heat of a Michigan summer and so far so good. Half way done!

    Good luck with them and make sure to keep them cool and realize they will drink more water than you can imagine.....I take their food away from about 11 am until about 8 pm. This seems to help with their over heating problems as they don't have big full crops during the hottest parts of the day.

    Jane

    Interestingly enough, I got 25 free New Hampshires from Mt. Healthy with my order. I started them on the broiler feed from day one. I also have 25 pullets (New Hampshires) that I started on the regular chick starter. The chicks on the broiler feed are much larger already and are feathering quicker. Both groups are two weeks old. I did get some pullets in the "freebies" and they are much bigger than their sisters on the chick starter. I have just moved the girls into the pullet group, they are finally old enough to start seeing a lack of comb!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  3. max13077

    max13077 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the information. If I want to feed the highest protein content, would I want to feed something like quail starter? I saw that at the feed store today. It has 24% protein. I’m just throwing things out, so if it’s completely ridiculous, tell me.

    I’m glad I’ll have them where I’m going to if heats an issue. They’re parked right under a big tree. So no sun will touch them the whole day. That’s interesting about taking the food away. I started a little paper of do’s and don’t for myself and I added your response to it. Always nice to know from somebody who’s been there.
     
  4. Red Tie

    Red Tie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2008
    Metamora, MI
    Some folks do use the game bird starter if they can't get the broiler feed. Each type of bird, however, has different needs based on their use and their genetics. Cornish need a pretty careful balance to be sure that you don't have the leg problems AND to be sure you get the max SAFE growth in the shortest possible time.

    I haven't compared the quail and broiler labels so I am not sure what the nutrient balances are. If you check the Purina website it will give you a lot of info. I know some folks have posted about how much trouble they have had with Purina feeds but much of the trouble can often be traced to feed stores which are not selling the feed quickly enough (or not selling a high enough volume) to keep fresh feeds on the shelf. Not saying they are all at fault but fresh does have a limit.

    Check with your feed stores and see what they carry and what they are willing to order for you.

    It is fun doing the research!

    Jane
     
  5. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    You can use any chicken starter feed. Some brands do appear to be a little better then others. Purina has always made some of the better but you will pay more for it.

    But you should use Chicken Starter for at least the first 4 weeks, then the last 2 use a finisher. Medicated for the first 4 weeks. Once you get a couple of batches you may be able to play with there rations. But usually you don't have to.

    Or

    Just use a chicken starter, at 6 weeks they should be ready for Butchering. They will be a little larger. But it's a big chicken any way you look at it.

    Our one Cornish hybred buchered at 9.5 lbs at 10 weeks. It should be around 5 - 6 lbs at 6 weeks using regular Chicken starter. We waited until 10 weeks because that's about how far I am behind. We also kept him with the rest of our broilers since we had only one.

    Tom
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Broilers normally get a starter/finisher. They ought be on the same food from start to finish. But, not everyone can find broiler feed (sometimes it's called Fryer Starter/Finisher). Purina Flock Raiser works fine.
     

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