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mamawcurry
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NEED ADVICE!! I bought some chicks back in October to raise for meat. We got them at a discount price beings it was towards the end of the hatcheries hatching cycle for the year. They are multi purpose birds not straight meat birds. We knew that they would not fatten as quickly as a straight meat bird but was hoping to have them big enough to butcher at 12 to 14 weeks. I was shooting for 2 to 4 lbs. Right now they are averaging a little over 3 lbs live weight. Well we are approaching that time and I am afraid they are not going to be ready. It has been cold here but not horribly cold. (We are looking at getting some below zero temps in the next few days thought). I have been feeding the chickens rolled corn for the last 2 weeks as I was told they would gain a little faster and it was much cheaper than the meat maker food I was giving them. I am also giving them winter squash I laid back for them.

I have 57 birds and am probably feeding them 10-15 lbs of corn a day. It varies. I check through out the day and if they have cleaned their pans I give them more. I really need some advice on another type of feed. Maybe a cooked mash would help them. I keep thinking that maybe they are expending all of their calories keeping warm. Weather permitting they are also getting out in their outside pen. Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. They are going to eat me out of house and home. lol

One thing about it I have learned a lot and gotten a lot of enjoyment from this group of chickens so thats a plus and my grandkids and daycare kids have enjoyed watching them grow. So it's not all bad, but it is starting to get really expensive. Please help. lol
 

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Premium Member
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3,157 Posts
Dual purpose birds will not be full size until a year old. Also they will not be anywhere near as meaty as the cornish crosses that fatten up in 8 weeks. When I butcher out my extra roosters I wait till about 28 weeks and get a 2 pound or so carcass. Your birds are only 13 weeks old and that counting from October 1st. So you still have at least until April or May. Plus you have to realize chickens usually downsize a bit in winter due to their bodies burning so much to stay warm and lack of fresh free range to eat.

Oh and feeding only corn isn't going to do anything except make fatty birds (fatty as in yellow nasty fat not meat). Corn is like candy, it is not meant to be fed that much. If anything hopefully your birds don't die of heart attacks by time you can butcher them. They need a flock raiser or grower feed. Corn as a treat or small additive.
 

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Backyard Breeder
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1,329 Posts
Welcome to the Chicken Forum!

I agree. Corn alone won't do much but make fatty. Have you ever thought about fermenting your feed? It is great for meat birds. I started 5 months ago and it has cut my feed bill in half, and my flock is healthier better looking than they were 6 months ago.

I have also heard meat birds don't fill out as well in the winter.

This is a link to a good thread on fermenting. http://www.chickenforum.com/f17/fermented-feeds-5523/

Good luck!
 
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