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Author Topic: Raising meat birds  (Read 1369 times)

FahransFeathers

  • Joined Jan 2022
  • South Wales
    • Facebook
Raising meat birds
« on: August 15, 2023, 09:03:12 pm »
Hi all!

can someone give me some info in regards to raising meat birds e.g a timeline from birth to death please.

and can someone recommend some uk breeds that would be suitable for this sort of thing and ages they recommend they are butchered at for best quality meat and yield thanks!

RCTman

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Rhondda fach
Re: Raising meat birds
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2023, 09:31:52 pm »
Hi, I haven't done meat birds for a few years now, but always had good results with Ross Cobbs. You could achieve good weights as long as they were on their feet, reaching around 12lb at 12 weeks of age. But be prepared to butcher some earlier as they gain weight very quickly with their legs being unable to support their weight.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Raising meat birds
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2023, 08:41:54 am »
We buy day olds - keep them under heat for three weeks or so, then they go out in to a covered pen in the field. Moved daily to fresh grass. Based on Joel Salatin's pastured poultry system but on a miniscule scale.
Adlib chick crumbs then grower pelets. Kill at 12 weeks, roughly. 3-5kg cleaned weight. We only do one batch of 12 each year, for our own consumption, but it works pretty well.

Wehad poor experience with Ross Cobbs - I don't think they're good for outdoor systems, prefer Sassos or Hubbards


Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Raising meat birds
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2023, 08:51:42 am »
We started years ago with Ross Cobbs but found them to be just eating cr*pping machines. They don't move far and just sit around in their own excrement even when given the option of a field to free range in.

These days we rear Hubbards, which are a slower growing strain but still finish nicely at between 10 - 16 weeks with an average weight of 6lb for the 12 week old cockerels. You can grow them on as long as you like to make bigger weights though and I have had 6 month olds coming in at 10 lbs+ but they eat a lot so you have to balance the cost against the result you want.

They will free range and graze and look and move normally. Losses from heart attacks are rare unlike the Cobbs. Come in white and various shades of brown which makes for more interest looking out at them in the field! Still very food focussed (like Cobbs) so when you need to get them inside at night a bucket shake will have them racing to you in no time  ;D

 

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