What was your first experience with meat birds like?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Jolyn, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    How many meat birds did you get the first time you raised them? Should i get about ten and see how it goes? I see some getting 20 or more. That might overwhelm me.

    What was your first experience like?
     
  2. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    Well, my first experience was great, and I get them every year now. The only down side is trying to keep their area somewhat clean. They are poop machines, but make great meals!! I got way too carried away with building them a fancy sturdy coop, with electricity, etc. They need surprisingly little once they feather out. The upside for me was that I liked it so much I branched out to egg layers and now use the coop for them. My meat bird set up is simple, I start them in brooding boxes for about a week, then they go outside. This past year I used an old swingset frame that I covered in chicken wire, made a door on one end out of a large pallet, put a tarp over the frame as well to block wind and rain, but left the ends open for ventilation, I hung a large feeder from the swing swivels and would fill and change their waterer through the door. I did have a problem with opposums this past year, the chicken wire had opening large enough they were able to get ahold of a couple and kill them, but not eat them. Lesson learned, will be corrected this coming season. Good Luck!! I put a rectangular garbage can on it's side in for them to house themselves in, but they did not use it after a few days, so I spread straw and wood shavings, as that got fouled with droppings, I added more straw ontop of that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  3. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    Quote:How many do you get muddler6 and what kind do you get? Thanks for responding!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  4. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    I got 15 my first year (but wished I would have gotten more) I got 20 each year after that, may do 25 this year.
     
  5. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I think 15 would be where i will start off with.
     
  6. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    My first time was great. I ordered 100 birds and split them with 2 other people so we ended up with 33 a piece.

    We are also planning to purchase more in the Spring.

    You ned to buy as many as you can afford to feed at least twice a day. They do require alot, i mean alot of work.
     
  7. carousel

    carousel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2008
    NW Oregon
    I did my first meat birds this fall - and I live IN town and don't have a huge yard.
    I started with 8 (but lost one the first week) so had 7.
    for MY set up I think the max I can do 8 maybe 10 but I would not do more than that, I just don't have he space to keep them on "clean" ground.
    If I lived out of town I think I would get 25 in a heartbeat.
    I think I could get all of the to the processor in one trip and I have freezer space for that many.
    I'm already thinking about what a good time would be to order meaties this spring!
     
  8. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    I didn't think it was too much work, I spent about 15 minutes twice a day caring for them. The hard work is building the housing for them, but if you do it right, you will be able to use it for a life time. And then either butchering them or taking them to the butcher. I luckily live near an amish family that does the butchering chore for me at a VERY reasonable rate!! There is another butcher not too far from here who does it for about $2.50 to $3.00 a bird depending on the weight of the bird. Just don't let them get too big or they will start breaking their own legs due to their quickly gaining weight. Once you taste them, you won't go back to grocery store chicken, trust me.
     
  9. muddler6

    muddler6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    Quote:I agree, I was thinking about that today, I order mine in March, and get them in May. One of my wife's relatives runs a feed store and makes it easy for me to get them and even holds on to them for me if I can't get there right away to pick them up.
     
  10. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    On December 11th I received my first order of 30 Cornish X. Lost one a few days after they arrived... couldn't tell why; it looked like it just keeled over.

    The remaining 29 are doing well so far. I built a raised 48" x 53" brooder out of materials I had on hand. The raised brooder is in their coop, which is about 8' x 8'. So, in the next day or two I'll take them out of the raised brooder and turn them loose on the floor in the coop. Just today we finished building their attached chain link run.

    I've been pretty pleased with the brooder/coop/run so far and haven't found anything I'd do differently. Our acreage is pretty uneven, plus in the spring/summer/fall I let my horses free range over 20 acres so I didn't think a tractor would really work of us, though I think it's a great idea. One of my horses is a busy-body and would like nothing more than to mess with a chicken tractor!

    This batch of "mutants" is a joint effort between my neighbor and myself. I do the day-to-day care and we'll have a combined family butchering day when the time comes. Hopefully this will work out well enough that we continue with successive batches through the spring, summer and fall. We got a tad bit impatient and decided to raise meaties in the dead of winter.... it'll cost us more in the long run, but hey, we were pretty eager to get started!

    Good luck... be sure to let us know how it goes for you!
     

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