Food for Growth - Fermenting Feed

Discussion in 'Meat Chickens' started by doug, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. doug

    doug New Member

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    For those who raise meat birds, do you have any techniques for increasing size in a humane way such as fermenting feed or other food techiques?
     
  2. Riverdale

    Riverdale New Member

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    When we have meat birds (especially CornishX ) we limit the amout of feed (grains) and really push 'greens' (weeds out of the garden, and other edible plants) after the first couple months. I find that I get the size I want (albeit a week or 2 longer than only grain fed) but with less fat.

    Our birds also get kitchen scraps, everything except raw egg, and chicken.

    Never heard of fermenting feed, I'll have to check it out.

    Do you have any good links or blogs for this?
     

  3. DanaCheyenne

    DanaCheyenne Junior Member

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    I start them on later crumbs and after a few weeks I put them on turkey and game feed seems to work pretty good!
     
  4. jn4

    jn4 New Member

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    I tend to avoid commercial feeds and laying pellets or mash .
    I feed mine a mix I make consisting of wheat,..oats,....sweet feed and ground corn as a staple. I also cook up a very large pot of rice once a week as a treat for them. In addition they also get all left over "table scraps" and they get to free range forage every morning until lunch time. (Be careful if you have a garden...the flock will destroy it)

    Chickens need a goodly amount of proteins in their diets even after reaching their adult stage. Unless you free range your birds will not get enough insects for proper protein levels.
    In the winter time or colder months, I will add a good high quality protein dry "dog-food"......that gives them 20 to 30% and also supplies a good source of bone meal calcium. If you use this type of diet,..be very careful about the dog foods....some "cheap" brands are nothing more than crude fiber with very little protein and way too many "fatty fillers"..... a very unhealthy diet and increases the likelyhood of disease and sickness in the flock..
    My birds seem to grow at a good rate and are very healthy and peaceful for the most part. When it comes time to clean a few birds for the freezer,..ive noticed that the Cornish Rocks seem to be more lean and way less fat than they were when I feed them commercial feeds and cracked corn.
     
  5. Bee

    Bee Active Member

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    I do meat birds on a slow grow, restricted feed, fermented feed and free range method. It's made all the difference in the world to their health, vigor, mobility and the coop environment and bedding to feed the fermented feed.

    I've had wonderful results! And the most humane living they could possibly have with 3 acres of meadow and surrounding woods to forage in and they made use of it all from daylight to dark every day from 2 wks on.
     
  6. hennypenny68

    hennypenny68 New Member

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    Hey Bee at what age do you butcher at I'm thinking of doing some meat birds in the spring.
     
  7. Bee

    Bee Active Member

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    I have taken mine to 10-11 wks but they could go much further and still be good. The first time mine seemed to level off at 8 wks at a certain wt and no matter how much older they got they seemed to stay at around 10 lbs on average, live weight.

    The second batch came from a hatchery out west and were really healthy, vigorous birds but they were shorter of body and height and so did not reach a really good size, IMO, though I didn't get to weigh any of those and had to butcher in a hurry...my mother didn't want them pooping all over the yard for our annual family reunion. :rolleyes: I butchered those around 10 wks and then did a batch of them each day for a week until they were all gone..so, again, around 11 wks.

    I would have kept those birds for a lot longer, if I had my way about it, to see if they had finally gotten bigger or if they were going to stay these short, but still heavy, birds. They seemed to have more Cornish in them than Rock, so the genetics from each source seem to differ widely.

    If I do it again, I won't be butchering until about 3 mo. old.
     
  8. hennypenny68

    hennypenny68 New Member

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    Hmmm good to know thankyou.....I look forward to it in the spring nothing like a fresh bird on the dinner table.