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Author Topic: rearing chickens for meat  (Read 5270 times)

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
rearing chickens for meat
« on: May 18, 2016, 07:32:32 pm »
I have found a breed which I quite like, la bresse. So my question is can someone tell me how long I have to keep them for, from say growers (6wk olds) to slaughter? Also if I hatch them myself I am presuming it will take a huge amount longer, but will definately be more fulfilling in the end (sense of accomplishment-wise) :) Can someone tell me what foods they will need to fatten, at what age typically they should be killed out, too young the meats not mature enough, too old and its tough, etc, etc. Would corn be good to fatten them, after they have grown enough? Sorry for all the q's just rather new to it, haven't done it in a very long time! 
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Bramham Wiltshire Horns

  • Joined Oct 2014
  • leeds
  • Bramham flock Wiltshire Horns
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2016, 09:19:27 pm »
I'm in the same predicament
I'm told that from six weeks have them on growers pellets bad a bit of wheat/micronised peas as evening scratch  feed
Then finish on the scratch feed
I suppose this could be costly depending on how many chicks you have
With the cost of feed and eggs it will work out at 4 per bird without the cost of eggs it
would cost around 2-3 per bird
I am aiming for 17 weeks cull
I'm doing it for myself and not for profit so don't mind the cost for now

I have utility light Sussex and Indian game light Sussex
And feeding 11 birds
follow on FB@BramhamWiltshireHorns

Dan

  • The Accidental Smallholder
  • Administrator
  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
    • The Accidental Smallholder
    • Facebook
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 07:35:31 am »
This is how we do it (really need to write this up properly):

http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/diary/new-pen-for-meat-birds/

It's worked really well for us with Hubbards, less so with Ross/Cobbs, and depending on whether La Bresse can cope with being raised outdoors this may or may not be any use to you.  :)

HTH.

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 10:15:48 am »
The time depends on the breed & the weight your trying to achieve.
My experience with La Bresse & LS is 24-26 weeks would get you around a 1.5 - 2kg bird dressed.
But the trick is working out the ideal age & weight so you get a meaty carcass and not just frame.

I feed mine very simply, chick crumb for 6 weeks then growers until there processed, I also give them some scratch mixed corn twice a day and free range them., only containing them the last few weeks.
The French finish the La Bresse in small containment feeding bread & milk hoping for a tender pale meat but I've never tried it.

I'm doing 2 types of hybrid table bird this year a Slow growth Sasso Galouise which should reach 2.2kg live in 14 weeks and a Medium growth Sasso Farm Ranger which made 4.5kg live weight last year.

The problem with the meat hybrids is you have to be careful not to over feed them as they will put to much weight on and damage their legs, that is why I go for a slower growth bird, which still gives better results than a traditional breed.

I have a project going where I'm looking to breed the two hybrids together and blend in some traditional breeds for strength of carcass, which hopefully should give me a sustainable meat bird I can breed from.

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 08:36:44 am »
Some pics of my Slow Grow Sasso's at 3.5 weeks
Outside enjoying the sunshine.












They will be in this broody coop for a week while the acclimatise then will be moved to a larger house where they can free range on pasture.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 08:41:25 am by Dave C »

Eli

  • Joined Dec 2014
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 05:24:27 pm »
I've wanted to do this for a while but struggle to find a good supply of eggs or days old chicks. Any recommendations?

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2016, 06:04:57 pm »
I get mine from S&T Poultry they do hatching eggs and deliver chicks (or meet you somewhere near there route).

I have 20 Farm Rangers & 20 Guinea Fowl on order for end of June ????

BrimwoodFarm

  • Joined May 2016
    • Brimwood Farm
    • Facebook
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 06:20:18 pm »
I get mine from S&T Poultry they do hatching eggs and deliver chicks (or meet you somewhere near there route).

I have 20 Farm Rangers & 20 Guinea Fowl on order for end of June ????

Interesting re the guinea fowl. Are they good to eat?

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2016, 06:24:07 pm »
Yes very good to eat.

I also put a few in the pheasant pens on the shoot, they work as an early warning alarm for the pheasant poults.

BrimwoodFarm

  • Joined May 2016
    • Brimwood Farm
    • Facebook
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 06:42:13 pm »
Yes very good to eat.

I did not know this!  :excited: My granddad kept some when I was young but more of a novelty that anything else. Thought they were just good for burglar alarms. Interesting.....very interesting.....  :innocent:

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 09:37:37 am »
I wanted to get la bresse too but they take very long time to mature to good size and they are expensive and difficult to come buy...

Just got a delivery of meaty chicks from piggotts hatchery:
21 red sasso
18 white Ross (tesco football chickens I call them)
I ordered 10 and 20. They gave me more which is nice ????
I'm thinking of keeping a trio of the sasso for breeding. What do you think?
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2016, 10:49:21 am »
I didn't know you got different strains of Sasso - which is what we've got this year for the first time. I'll ask the supplier about strains.

They're 5 weeks today and look great although we had to cull one this morning that had a gammy leg. They're out in the pasture pen now until we kill them - planning for that at 12 weeks or so.

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2016, 11:04:28 am »
I didn't know you got different strains of Sasso - which is what we've got this year for the first time. I'll ask the supplier about strains.

They're 5 weeks today and look great although we had to cull one this morning that had a gammy leg. They're out in the pasture pen now until we kill them - planning for that at 12 weeks or so.
There are lots of different strains!
Look at their website:
http://www.sasso.fr/best-chicken-breeds-slow-growth-for-free-range-poultry-breeding.html
Those are the slow growing strains. Look at the medium growing ones.
Piggotts hatchery have the s44 red ones and red naked neck ones.

Btw what other suppliers of broiler chicks are there in the UK? I only found one!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Dave C

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Teesdale, Co Durham
Re: rearing chickens for meat
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2016, 11:46:56 am »
I use S&T poultry for eggs and day olds & they deliver   :thumbsup:

I have some Sasso slow growth T551 at 9 weeks and some Sasso medium growth X431A chicks at a week.
I'm keeping 4 hens back from each and 2 cockerels from the Slow Grow to cross them.
Also will be putting Indian Game over both as well to compare.

Have some pics on the "Breeding for meat or Eggs" thread.

 

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