your meat bird experiance... WHAT WORKED???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by shmooborp, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. shmooborp

    shmooborp artistic fowlism

    this is for an FFA project---- ok soo basicly i need a 360 of what i need to do ... first..!! what hatchery do you recomend for getting high quality meat birds?

    2... i have a verry large tub that i can brood in, i have lights.. but what works best for bedding MEAT BIRDS...

    3... once they out grow the brooder , i have these almost like metal cabnints that have 3 cages across and 3 cages down.. so 9 cages... x3.. so i would have 27 cages to put them in.. can they stand on hard wear cloth?? or does it have to be like a metal sheet? what should i use for a surface?

    and ofcourse what do you recommend for feed? water holders? anything spesific to a meat bird essential.. :?? thanks [​IMG]
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    We had twenty-five Cornish X Rocks from Murray McMurray this year. It was our first time with chickens, and went very well. I'm sure we'll buy from McMurray, again.

    We kept them in a large dog kennel in the basement for two weeks. We pulled the top half off the bottom half and pushed them together at the door opening to make a larger pen. The pen was lined with several layers of newspaper, and a thin layer of wood shavings. We put Broiler Booster (?) in their water... It helps them grow stronger so they can support their weight. I don't remember exactly what we fed them, but it was specific'ly meat-chick feed.

    When the weather had warmed up enough, we put them out in the coop... It's a dog kennel building with inside pens. They had a space about 8x10 feet. The floor was concrete, and we put down wood shavings. We continued the Broiler Booster in a three gallon waterer pretty much their whole life, and only meat-bird feed.

    An experienced friend said to feed them twice a day only. They were little pigs and would have eaten all day long if they had had the food. This kept them from getting overweight, which would keep them from being able to stand, and bruising their breast. Not that they did much standing any way. They pretty much lounged around most of the time. They never went outside.

    We butchered them at eight weeks old. They were starting to put on some fat, enough to make them tasty, but weren't overly fat. They dressed out to about 5-6 pounds. They are delicious.

    We had help butchering and cleaning from a few friends. And, I had borrowed a drum feather-plucker. It was amazing, and defeathered a bird in fifteen seconds. We hung them from a horizontal pole by a cord tied to their feet. We cut their throats, and let them bleed out. They did flap quite a lot, and three-or-so broke a wing. Don't just chop of their heads and let them run around, they can get all banged out doing that, and dirty from the ground.

    Then, we dipped them in a turkey fryer half-full of 150-degree water for five-or-so seconds. Dropped them into the plucker for fifteen, and pulled out the few feathers left on the wings. Then they went into a large tub full of ice water to cool them down. When somebody was ready, they would pull one out and clean it. We packaged each into a separate freezer bag. We saved the hearts for the guy who owned the plucker, because he really liked them.

    It took five people not-quite three hours to handle twenty-five chickens.

    I don't know what to tell you about caging them. It seems you would need an individual water/feeder for each cage.

    I think a .5x1 inch screen for the floor might be fine... We have that for the poop-pits in our layers' pen, and they seem to be fine with it.

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