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New lot of meat birds on the way

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thanks jan will having the light on 24/7 do them harm ?will they sleep at all ?thanks scott

Hi Scott

They are funny little creatures, they will just lie down down and sleep whenever the mood takes them.

You will notice they become upset if you turn the lights off during the first couple of weeks, they cheep very loudly.

By all means turn the light (not the heater) off during the day if you have natural light available, if they begin to stress just leave it on.

Jan

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Wish I had room for chickens here. Chickens in Taiwan are huge from what I am use too. But I have also noticed that the legs are a little tough. The funny thing is if I go to the supermarket and buy fresh whole chicken the cost is almost the same as buying fried chicken.. but my wifes does make much better fried chicken than I can buy anyway....

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Wish I had room for chickens here. Chickens in Taiwan are huge from what I am use too. But I have also noticed that the legs are a little tough. The funny thing is if I go to the supermarket and buy fresh whole chicken the cost is almost the same as buying fried chicken.. but my wifes does make much better fried chicken than I can buy anyway....

Hi Michael

Please ask your wife if she would like to share her receipe for fried chicken.

Jan

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hi jan,yes i did notice the loud cheeping when the light was turned off haha .i have also managed to build a moveable pen its only 2mx2m i was worried it may be a bit small but i made it so i can move it around to diffrent parts of the yard so they can have a fresh piece of grass/dirt to scratch in every few days .at the moment there living in a large heavy duty cardboard box. how old will they have to be b4 i can move them outside into their pen ? or can cope with the winter temps ?it usually only gets down to 10 degrees here 5 on the odd occasion . thanks scott

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Hi Scott

If you can manage it leave the light on, they will eat and grow faster.

Could be 3-4 weeks before all their yellow fluff is replaced by white feathers, if they are not feathered properly you may very well lose some to the cold, as I`ve said before we kept the heat on ours for a while longer this time because of the lower temperatures.

Good luck

Jan

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Gary, just wondering where you get your meat bird chicks from? They are available from a local produce store, but at nearly $7 each! Thinking of getting some stock (perhaps 20) and breeding my own from there. I have approx 15 acres, so I'll probably just fence them off a pen, to keep them separate from our girls (egg layers - Rhode Island Reds, Bond Blacks).

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Hi,

Our meat chickens were seven weeks old last Thursday.

We processed two of the chickens on Sunday. One weighed 2.7kg and the other was 2.3kg dressed weight.

We paid $2.00 each for 20 day-old chicks and $240.00 for 8 bags of organic chicken starter.

The organic chick starter ran out on Sunday at the same time.

Each of the 20 original chicks now owes us $14.00.

The two chickens we processed cost us $28.00.....and together they weighed 5kg.

At this stage, our organic, free range chicken meat is costing us $5.80kg.....and I'm happy with that......particularly since one of our early observations is that chickens on the new ration don't appear to lay down fat to anything like the same extent as other chickens we've raised.

Gary

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Hi,

Last night, one of the chickens (that we processed last Sunday) made its way onto the dinner table......in the company of some potatoes and tomatoes.

The meat was firm (without being tough) and it had none of the greasiness that is usually a feature of young store-bought chicken. We particularly noticed this in the thigh meat which is often fatty anyway

I put it down the organic feed that we have had this batch of chickens on since we got them as day-olds.

When I quoted the cost of the chicken meat, I used the incorrect price for the feed. It was actually $25.00 per bag rather than the $30.00 that I quoted.

So, that means that the total cost of the chicken feed was actually $200.00. Divided by 20 chickens.....means that each chicken owes us $12 (feed plus the cost of each day-old chick) so far.

The two chickens that we processed weighed a total of 5kg (dressed weight).......$24.00 divided by 5kg = $4.80/kg.

Another thing that struck me about these chickens was the size of the livers in them.....they were huge and healthy-looking.

Jan used the livers and hearts from both chickens to make a little bowl of chicken liver pate.....and it was great!

Gary

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Hi,

I just let all of our chickens and ducks out for their daily range.......and I got the opportunity to do a head count.

Currently, we're running nine layers, 17 meat chickens, eight Muscovies, and 12 Japanese quail.

Gary

Edited by GaryD
Adjusted quail numbers (see edit history)

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Aw ! just wait till I get my quail cage built. Shhhhh! Don't say anything about that up coming project. I think the wife will be up in arms if she only knew..:) But at least it will be much cheaper than the Aquaponics system. but after the shock she will be OK as she loves animals anyway..

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Hi,

We processed a further ten broiler chickens on Saturday.

They provided a total of 24.4kg of dressed carcasses......for an average weight of 2.44kg.

They also yielded over 900g of liver which is currently in the refrigerator in the form of chicken liver pate.

While they had more fat in them than the two that we processed last weekend, the fat is white, firm and easy to strip from the carcass. We've decided that, in future, we will attempt to render the fat. Most chickens will provide 1/2 a cup to to a full cup of fat each......and 5 - 10 cups of fresh rendered chicken fat is a useful thing to have.

We will have committed a total of 14 x 20kg bags of organic feed to this batch of chickens. With only seven chickens remaining, the remaining feed will probably last us another week or two.......so we'll process the last of the chickens then.

By that time, they will have consumed a total of $300 worth of feed.

We'll provide a final count on the chicken meat yield after we've processed the last seven birds.

Gary

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Nice birds Gary, we started with layers a couple yrs ago, many good eggs, gone over to "local chicken", acceptable compromise between meat/eggs, family won't eat meat. Lost many to, dogs, possums, lizards, few to ignorance... Hoping I can get them to eat Tilapia. Pete

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Hi,

We processed the remaining birds from this batch. After carefully calculating the average weights of the birds (and the feed that they had consumed) we promptly lost the numbers......so we'll have to wait until next batch to revisit the cost per kg of the chicken meat that we had produced.

One thing is clear, meat quality was the best we've ever seen. This batch was fed on organic feeds....and the meat carried much less fat than the meat that we've grown on commercial rations. The meat is firm in texture and has a slightly different taste to regular chicken......probably because it contains less fat.

Gary

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Hi,

Last monday, we took delivery of our latest batch of meat birds. We started with 20 but lost a couple of them. It's not uncommon to lose one in a batch.

Like our previous batch, this lot will be reared on organic feed......and will free range.

Gary

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Hi John,

The use of antibiotics in connection with broiler chicken meat is not something most chicken producers would care to discuss.

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation, however, admits.......

Antibiotic use is important in chicken meat production to ensure the overall health and well being of chickens. Only antibiotics approved by Australia’s regulatory authorities and administered in accordance with strict regulatory guidelines are used. The Australian Chicken Meat Federation recommends the use of antibiotics in farm animals in two important ways:

  • therapeutic agents (used to treat the symptoms of a bacterial infection)
  • prophylactic (preventative) agents (used to prevent disease occurring in healthy animals).

This quaintly worded spin means that broiler producers are advised to use antibiotics on chickens that are sick.......or on healthy chickens to stop them from becoming sick.

The ACMF is also at pains to point out that growth hormones have not been used in the Australian chicken industry for 40 years.

The FAO is a bit less coy in their wording......they refer to "prophylactic" use of antibiotics as antibiotic growth promoters.

In 2008, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation stated.....

Increased consumer pressure has forced the livestock industry to reduce the amount of antibiotic growth promoters used in animal feed. Following the European lead, the Australian Government appointed a Committee (The Joint Expert Technical Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance) in April 1998 to review the scientific evidence on the link between the use of antibiotics in the livestock industries and the emergence and selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their spread to humans. The Committee has presented evidence of such a link and outlined 22 recommendations, highlighting the need to have programs in place to reduce the overall use of antibiotics.

The Australian Chicken Meat Federation acknowledges that, even with preventive use of antibiotics, chicken mortality averages 4%.

From my reading of it, antibiotics are used by chicken producers largely because the conditions in which the chickens are kept are such that many of them would otherwise die from necrotic enteritis.

Gary

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Hi John,

The use of antibiotics is only one issue associated with the consumption of factory-farmed chicken.

Researchers in the UK have confirmed that, as a foodstuff, chicken has diminished since the inception of intensive production.....having more fat and less of the vitamin and mineral content that the meat had prior to factory farming.

Factory-made chicken meat can also make you sick.

Check out this thread......Why we grow our own chicken meat.

Gary

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In the Philippines they don't use a lot of antibiotics in chicken production, but they also have a high mortality rate too. People are always trying to go into the chicken business and fail they seem to lose there entire flock to illness. The hot tropical warn does take it toll on the chickens.

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