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Tips on Raising Meat Birds

Be sure to always have ample feeder space to allow all birds to eat at one time.

If you feed your own grains after 3 ˝ weeks, be sure to add one part 38% - 40% concentrate to three parts grain to ensure proper protein and vitamin level.

  • Always provide at least 1 gallon fount for water/50 baby chicks.

    NOTE: Watch chicks closely until they all get a good drink so they do not pile in the waterers.

    • Do not use sawdust for litter·
    • Do not leave unattended for at least 30 minutes.·
    • Do not use warm water.·
    • Clean waterers daily and fill with fresh water.
  • When using shavings, as litter be sure to provide feed in cardboard trays or 2 ˝ dozen egg flats, etc. to provide easy access to the feed. Many feeder trays will prevent litter eating and lessen chances of losses.
  • We recommend using a 20% medicated chick starter or a 23% broiler starter. Keep the feed troughs full for the first three to four days.
    • Once the birds are four days old remove the feed troughs at night, leaving the waterers only. This allows the birds to rest and should help the livability without affecting the growth rate.

      NOTE: When you do this you must have enough feeder space so all birds can eat comfortably at one time. You should have a minimum of 2" feeder space per bird. For example: for 100 birds you would need 2 - 48" feeders.

    • Continue to pull the feeders at night until you are off of chick starter at approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
  • After 3 or 4 weeks you can switch to a 16% or 18% grower. You can now begin leaving the feeders in for longer periods of time. Once you take the brooding lamps away at night you no longer need to pull the feeders.

    NOTE: If you do not use a prepared grower but rather your own grains, be sure to mix approximately 1 part 38% - 40% concentrate to 3 parts your own grain.

  • Birds require good ventilation without drafts in order to perform properly. Always try to provide ventilation high up on the walls to prevent any drafts on the birds at floor level.

    NOTE: Be sure birds do not become chilled at night or overheated. This will bring on a condition called ascites and can cause severe mortality from four weeks of age on. (Please refer to the ascites information sheet.)

NOTE: If you live in an area with a high amount of sodium in the well water, try to provide water from another source.