Winter meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by booker81, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    Hoping for some thoughts from the cold weather meat folks :)

    I'd like to raise more meaties this year - I did the two batches last year, one of 12, one of 40, and I enjoyed raising them (Cornish X). Silly me sold almost all of the 40 batch because I didn't say no, and I have a list of folks who want more when I raise more. I'm hoping to do rotating batches of 25 to 50 until fall.

    I'd like to get started as soon as I can, but the lovely Michigan weather here can be.....temperamental. It can be anywhere from 0 to 50 any day so far this winter.

    I usually start in my coop, with lamps and can maintain a decent temp at least when it's down to 30 or so. I can improvise with the space I have and keep it warm at lower temps - when they are still smaller (say, up to 2-3 weeks). After that, I can move the temps up with the lamps, but I'd like them to be off lamps as soon as possible. I'm not sure if anyone has experience with raising them in cold weather.

    When do the cold weather folks start their meatie batches? I'll be shipping in from Schletch, so that is a consideration too (though they get here overnight). Last year I started in March, I'm hoping to start sooner this year.
     
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    To be honest, I wouldn't start until mid March unless you can pick the chicks up. To many times we read about chicks arriving dead because it was too cold to be shipped. I don't get mine until late March early April, that way they are ready to butcher by June. Good luck, fresh chicken is the greatest. :drool
     
  3. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised a batch to Dec. I started them in my garage where it stayed 40-50 degrees. It was getting down to 20 when I put them in their coop outside, but I did use heat lamps the entire time even up until processing, I wanted their food to convert to meat, and not convert to fuel to keep them warm.
     
  4. erinchelsea

    erinchelsea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chicks you get in March, are you putting them outside? I'm about to run out of the chicken we raised last year and I'd love to get started on a batch of meaties ASAP, but I know I don't want to raise them indoors the whole time. [​IMG]

    I agree, I'd be afraid to have them shipped in the winter.

    sorry, not trying to hijack your thread, booker81! I'm curious about this subject as well. I've only raised CX in the summer.
     
  5. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    No hijack worries!

    I might contact the hatchery to see how they ship in cold weather - it's Schletch in Iowa, and this last batch shipped out Weds I think from them, and was at my post office at 7am Thursday morning.

    If I did a smaller batch than the 40 I did, I'll raise them indoors in the coop again, with modifications. I can raise 40 in there, but the manure got to be a lot, and I would be happier with less than that per batch, with more batches through the year :)
     
  6. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    I keep all my chicks in my attached garage for the first two weeks. That is about all I can take when it comes to the meat birds. Then they go out to their own coop with multiple heat lamps if necessary.
     

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