Is it too late to raise a few meat chickens? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm thinking I would like to get a few meat chickens and they couldn't be shipped until August 6th. I live in Northern Michigan where it normally starts to cool off in early September, but doesn't usually get really cold until late October.

Is it too late for me to buy some chickens for butchering this fall?

Thanks for your help


-- Tonya Bednarick (, July 20, 2001


If you want to raise those fast growing hybrid birds, the jumbos or broilers or whatever they are called where you will be ordering them, they grow so fast you will be able to butcher in 6 to 8 weeks. Of course, you have to feed the high protein feed. You would need to check where you buy your feed to see if this is available, a 22 to 27% protein feed. We have had to buy turkey grower before. If the feed is available, these birds are the way to go. We have enough meat from 25 birds to last us all year!

-- Scott (, July 20, 2001.

Tonya, I would think it would be a perfect time to do it and I would myself if I needed chicken this year. They seem to do better in cooler weather as they (that is if you are going to grow the fast growing meat birds) really put off a lot of heat with their metabolism being such as it is. The bigger they get the harder it is to keep them cool enough in the summer. I had fans on mine last year and still lost a couple too the heat.

-- diane (, July 20, 2001.

Thanks. I appreciate the tips and am looking forward to raising my first chickens. I got Cornish X Rocks and Cornish Roasters. They're described as fast growing.

-- Tonya Bednarick (, July 20, 2001.

Yep--the Cornish X are what we got this April--all but one have been butchered--they are good, and have huge breasts and drumsticks if you wait until 10-12 weeks old. We used "2400" from our CT store (aka Quality Farm & Country), for chicks--gets them growing--and they stay on it until butchering.

-- Brendan K Callahan (, July 20, 2001.

We have found that late summer is just the way to go when growing chickens for butchering. 1. Hot when they are babies, no need for heat lamps 2. It's cooler when they are big and they do not get overheated 3. Less flies when you get ready to butcher because it is cooler and more pleasant for all those helping. We've raised them in the Spring and also in late summer and really prefer the latter. Have fun!! The only other easier way to have chickens for butchering is to get a hold of your local FFA at the high school. They raise hundreds every Spring and then sell them at 8-9 weeks old for $3.00 a bird and you save any mortality costs since they only sell you live birds. We purchased 80 from them this year and took three mornings to get them butchered, but they were beautiful, large, healthy birds.

-- Marie Fila (, July 20, 2001.

You're not too late. We live in NE Ohio. Just butchered today, and have 25 more on order to be ready to butcher in 9 weeks. It's a good time of year to raise them, for the above mentioned reasons. Mary

-- Mary Fraley (, July 21, 2001.

Northeast South Dakota here, and we order for first week of August delivery. We feed Purina meat bird complete and are ready to butcher by the first of October. I agree with the cool weather being an advantage on butchering day and the flies are not around. We usually get the Hi- Y broilers from Hoover Hatchery.

-- JoAnn in SD (, July 21, 2001.

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