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Backyard meaties?? - Page 2

post #11 of 18

It should be, but it's one of those things where you'll just have to try it and see how it goes. Lots depends on your lawn.

 

You can also use that tractor parked in the same place a while to make a nice garden bed area. chicken poop and straw bedding left to break down will make a wonderful planting bed.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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post #12 of 18

A ten by ten tractor is very large for 6-10 meat birds. Those dimensions are on line with a fixed run foot print not a meat bird tractor. Maybe you want something larger in case you want to do more birds at a time later but I'd not make it that large for ease of moving and ease of butchering. If you've never butchered before 6 birds is a lot to take on in a day. Once you have practice, set up time to heat water not inculded, you can dispatch, pluck, clean and have a bird in cooler in under 20 minutes per bird. Develop skill and it's around 10 minutes per bird. Your first birds....well that can take all day.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #13 of 18

If you decide to go the route of laying birds and getting straight run for the cockerels to eat they should be be butchered before 14 weeks if you want grill worthy chicken. How a chicken can be cooked is based on age. CX birds are broilers as they are young. If using a dual purpose bird they have the best feed conversion at 12-14 weeks and still broilers to that age. They start to grow in adult plumage and no energy is put to meat after this time for several weeks. Then growth is slow. I don't know a good age to stop frying, might be as old as 20 weeks but think more 18. Then they are roasters and after a year pretty much stew birds. 

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #14 of 18

I have a a hen from a Red Ranger and Dark Cornish cross .She don't look that big until you pick her up. She is a little compact chunk. She lays like crazy. 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonicainAZ View Post

So, my question isn't just about the tractor size per se. Let's say I build a 10X10 tractor for them. My back yard grass area is approximately 60X40. If I move it every day, that means I would hit every spot in 24 days. Is that enough rotation?

Thanks for all the help!

It should be fine unless you live in a really dry area. Or, you could move the tractor twice a day even if the ground does not look bad so you would come back to that spot in twelve days, but it would have half the damage. You could also have a little box or something inside the tractor for them to sleep in at night that you can change the bedding in, that way the night droppings are not in your yard. You would just have to move the box in the daytime too. Free ranging would be much easier though, and while some say it slows down growth, it will still be way faster than a regular chicken, the birds will be healthier, and they will eat a bit less feed. You cannot expect a Cornish x to get much out of forage unless you do not feed them. 

 

   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
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   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
Reply
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Egghead_Jr View Post
 

A ten by ten tractor is very large for 6-10 meat birds. Those dimensions are on line with a fixed run foot print not a meat bird tractor. Maybe you want something larger in case you want to do more birds at a time later but I'd not make it that large for ease of moving and ease of butchering. If you've never butchered before 6 birds is a lot to take on in a day. Once you have practice, set up time to heat water not inculded, you can dispatch, pluck, clean and have a bird in cooler in under 20 minutes per bird. Develop skill and it's around 10 minutes per bird. Your first birds....well that can take all day.

Really, though, ten by ten is pretty small if you look at it as a space they will be living in their whole lives. It is big relative to commercial tractors and ones for people trying to make a business out of selling chickens, but really is not that big. I am sure the birds will not be upset because they have more space...

 

   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
Reply

 

   40 waxing and waning free-range birds.
 I truly love animals, both male and female, large and small, regardless of how important humans may shallowly deem them.
I will always miss my Dovey Love.
 
 
 
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post #17 of 18

Something to keep in mind when planning your dimensions of your tractor is what lengths the lumber comes in. It's much easier to go with pre-cut sizes and will minimize waste.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the input!  Lots of good ideas here.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Free Feather View Post
 

It should be fine unless you live in a really dry area. 

Hmmm.... like for example... Phoenix?  :)  Yes, I do live in such an area.  But on the other hand I would do this in the spring when the grass is growing, which also means we would be watering it every few days, which I assume would mitigate this issue.

 

Quote:
 You could also have a little box or something inside the tractor for them to sleep in at night that you can change the bedding in, that way the night droppings are not in your yard. You would just have to move the box in the daytime too.

This sounds like a very good idea.  I could just collect and add them to my compost like I am doing with the droppings from my hens in the coop.

 

Quote:
 Free ranging would be much easier though, and while some say it slows down growth, it will still be way faster than a regular chicken, the birds will be healthier, and they will eat a bit less feed. You cannot expect a Cornish x to get much out of forage unless you do not feed them. 

Truly free ranging wouldn't work for me - the poor things would get herded to death by my border collies. :)  Also my husband is skeptical enough of this project - if they start hanging out and pooping on the patio they won't make it the whole 6-8 weeks, lol.

2 black australorp pullets, 3 BA babies, and two border collies (one angel and one cute troublemaker chicken licker)
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2 black australorp pullets, 3 BA babies, and two border collies (one angel and one cute troublemaker chicken licker)
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