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Would Dec. in Florida be too late?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kizanne, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    I have a vacation over Thanksgiving or else I would have done fall meaties.

    I really want to do a batch. Would December in north florida be too cold.

    We will have an occasional freeze but it doesn't usually dip below freezing for more than a few hours with the average temps being 60 during the day and 40 at night.
    January is cold with an occasional hard freeze but again might dip to 18 overnight but then back up to 50 during the day.

    They will be feathered out at 4 weeks right? so after that does it matter that it gets cold?

    They will have a coop not heated but I'll have them in a brooder til feathered.

    Will it slow their growth too much or just increase their feed rate?

    Any info would be good.

  2. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Songster

    Apr 18, 2010
    I'm gonna guess it'd be okay - I know here just outside of Houston the 4H kids aren't even getting their broiler chicks until the week before Christmas break (at least at one school) and the weather is pretty close to the same here as in Florida...I think they go pick the chicks up like 12/19 or right around there and we sometimes get the occassional random freeze...but I bet if you are prepared to provide a heat source if needed then you should be okay...
  3. pat3494

    pat3494 In the Brooder

    Mar 9, 2010
    Northern Florida
    I live about 60 miles west of Tallahassee and I think it could be done. Make sure you don't put them out until they're fully feathered and use a draft free coop with plenty of bedding. I haven't tried meat birds during the winter but I have raised meat birds and dual purpose birds in this climate. I would expect your feed bill to be greater to maintain their body heat.
  4. Renee'

    Renee' Songster

    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I order my fall meaties so I can process them on the same day I process my Thanksgiving turkeys! You may want to consider it for next year.
  5. stoneunhenged

    stoneunhenged Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Our farm is not too far from Tallahassee and we raise chicks throughout the winter. On the average January is the coldest month of the year in this part of the world. (Average nightly low of 39°.) I think you'd get high mortality if four-week-old birds were left outdoors without any supplemental heat in January. You'd probably get some death from hypothermia and more from smothering and trampling when they clump together at night to keep warm. Even if you were able to avoid high mortality (and unfortunately I doubt it), a great deal of the feed would be converted to supplying body heat and not carcass growth. I'd suggest ideally an overhead lamp at night with a ceramic infrared element. If you don't have access to electricity, something with sustained warmth (heated bricks, a a large heated water bottle) in an area with deep bedding and complete wind protection might work.

    Bottom line: Could you grow out meat birds in the winter in Tallahassee? Absolutely, under a limited day ranging program where they were protected and warm at night. Can you do it without artificial heat? A tough proposition on chicks hatched in December.

    I hope this helps. Good luck.
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    Thanks this is all good info. I might wait til Jan. or Feb. The brooder is in the house so If I start in Jan. They'll be protected for 3 to 4 weeks then by Feb. it is warming back up some. I can get elect. out there but don't know if I want to add the cost of running a heater.
  7. kfacresagain

    kfacresagain In the Brooder

    Oct 4, 2011
    Quote:just put a heat bulb lamp for them...

  8. jessicayarno

    jessicayarno Songster

    Oct 6, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    If you have a heat lamp on them they should be fine.. It dips down into the 20's here at night and my cornish X are 3 weeks old and I haven't lost one since putting them outside a week ago.. I definitely would wait until they are 2-3wks to put them outside..

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