Meat chickens

Mainbeam

12 pointer
Jul 7, 2012
7,523
Anybody got a good source for meat chickens. Looking for a hundred maybe . I think I can put em in a big mobile pen and move em around the yard and keep the corn throwed to em. I think my dogs will keep em safe from predators
 

barney

12 pointer
Oct 11, 2005
17,973
Have you fooled with them? Got any advice on dos and donts?
If you've raised chicks before it's really no different brooding the meat birds. Most are finishing them off in tractors on pasture like you mentioned.
 

redjackson

8 pointer
Dec 4, 2010
865
Barren County
In my experience try to keep them moving. If you get the Cornish cross they like to lay around and eat. They get fairly nasty in small confined areas quickly. They shit like a tied coon lol. I think 10-12 weeks they are butcher size IIRC.
 

muddhunter

12 pointer
Oct 18, 2005
5,011
louisville
Have you fooled with them? Got any advice on dos and donts?
If you get a hundred you better have your ducks in line for a big butcher. Get a lot of hands on deck or get an automated system of some sort. Problem with the Cornish cross is once they get butchering size their health can decline rapidly. Their frame isn’t meant to carry all that weight they put on quickly. So they get bad legs and start laying around crapping themselves. Get festered up with sores. Best to buy them in a staggered process. Buy a dozen every month or so so they can finish at different times.
 

PhilpotHunter

12 pointer
Nov 8, 2004
4,723
Reynolds Station
If this is your first time and you buy 100 be glad to keep 50 alive. Those buggars die if you look at them wrong. Keep food on one end of the pen, water on the other. Make sure you feed in troughs or you will end up with a few huge birds and a bunch of little ones. Move the tractor daily, twice near the end or their crap will burn the skin on their breasts. The stink, so be prepared. Also, they do not act like normal birds so be prepared for that. They are eating and crapping machines.
 

Mainbeam

12 pointer
Jul 7, 2012
7,523
If you get a hundred you better have your ducks in line for a big butcher. Get a lot of hands on deck or get an automated system of some sort. Problem with the Cornish cross is once they get butchering size their health can decline rapidly. Their frame isn’t meant to carry all that weight they put on quickly. So they get bad legs and start laying around crapping themselves. Get festered up with sores. Best to buy them in a staggered process. Buy a dozen every month or so so they can finish at different times.
I killed four 400 lb hogs and butchered and ground them in one day. It was a wild ass day but we got it done. Maybe a hundred chickens is too much I’m not sure Iv never done this. I think I can ring 50 necks in a day and I got a processor that is awesome for the other ones. And I’ll will add there was ten knives working on hog killing day. Iv still got 200+ rolls of good sausage right now
 

muddhunter

12 pointer
Oct 18, 2005
5,011
louisville
I killed four 400 lb hogs and butchered and ground them in one day. It was a wild ass day but we got it done. Maybe a hundred chickens is too much I’m not sure Iv never done this. I think I can ring 50 necks in a day and I got a processor that is awesome for the other ones. And I’ll will add there was ten knives working on hog killing day. Iv still got 200+ rolls of good sausage right now
I’d like to have been there that day. Sounds like a good time. As far as the chickens go, it makes it a lot quicker and simpler to skin them. I wouldn’t want anything to do with plucking 50 or 100 chickens!
 

PhilpotHunter

12 pointer
Nov 8, 2004
4,723
Reynolds Station
Skinning them goes fast but man, you hate to lose that skin! There are at least 2 processors within 2 hours of me that will process them for you. One in Bowling Green and the other... Heck, I can't remember except to say they were Amish.
 

Drahts

12 pointer
Apr 7, 2015
6,194
KY
i was gonna say the one thing you'll want if you got 100 to pluck is a auto plucker. Can be built and run with a drill, test it and you should get it to shoot the feathers into a feed sack. IF you can find any wear a surgical mask and safety glasses, it's a messy endeavor.
 

PhilpotHunter

12 pointer
Nov 8, 2004
4,723
Reynolds Station
The drill plucker is garbage, I tried. For me, it was just easier to take them to a processor and pay 3 bucks a bird to clean them and vacuum seal them. I did the math when I was raising them in bulk and selling them and I would end up having about 10 bucks in a 5-6 pound bird. Not economical but they taste better when you raise them yourselves and you at least know what went in them. They make great fertilizer for the garden also if you move the tractor over it as you raise them.
 

muddhunter

12 pointer
Oct 18, 2005
5,011
louisville
I went the drill plucker route. It wasn’t great. Matter of fact it was bad. Tore the skin, left the feathers. What feathers it did strip made a hell of a mess. In small doses best just to pluck by hand. Now that whizbang plucker is no joke. May look into that build. Cool videos on the YouTube.
 


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