A broiler chicken is a chicken raised specifically to be eaten. Broiler chickens grow faster than other types of chicken and are often a cross between white Cornish and white Plymouth Rock birds. Broiler chickens have a relatively short lifespan, with most birds being marketed between four and 10 weeks of age. Putting weight on broiler chickens is necessary to fetch optimal market price for your birds.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Feed and water pans
- High-protein chicken scratch
- Cracked corn
- Measuring cup
- Corn oil
Contain your broiler house chickens in a small coop. Chickens are active birds and will quickly lose weight if allowed to roam and explore at will. Chickens typically require at least 4 square feet of space per bird, so make sure your coop is the correct size for the number of birds you need to house.
Place feed and water pans at opposite sides of your coop to prevent your chickens from getting their feed wet. Fill each feeder daily with high-protein chicken scratch and allow your chickens to eat as much as they like. Protein helps to add extra muscle to your chickens, and they will increase in weight as they build more muscle tone.
Add a pan of cracked corn to the pen two weeks before your chickens are due to go to market. Cracked corn is high in calories, adding extra bulk to your broilers in a relatively short time. Refill the pan only once per day to prevent your chickens from eating just the corn.
Pour 5 cups chicken scratch in a clean feed pan, adding 2 cups milk and 1 cup corn oil to produce a thick mash. Offer this to your chickens a week before market. The fats from the milk and corn oil will give your broiler house chickens the weight boost they need to bring in the highest prices on market day.
Tips and warnings
- Clean your feed pans thoroughly between feedings. Chickens can be messy eaters and any moisture introduced to the feed pan can cause you feed to mould.
- Don't leave the milk and oil mash out for more than an hour at a time. The mixture will go rancid quickly in the heat of the day and can sicken the broiler chickens.
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