50 Chickens in an 8ftX10ft tractor?

Wolf-Kim

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Jan 25, 2008
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I was just googling chicken tractors out of boredom and found a farm that raises pastured poultry in tractors. On their website they say they raise 50 chickens in an 8X10 tractor. I don't know about you, but 50 birds in an 8X10 tractor seems a bit pushing it. Since these are for meat products, I assume they are Cornish Cross or some other broiler breed.

Maybe I just need to hear it from other people. Can 50 birds live comfortable in a 10ftX8ft tractor?

Personally I never looked into the tractors myself because I thought to accomodate a "flock" they would have to be pretty big. Now I'm reconsidering!

-Kim
 
I think that is really cramped if they do not allow them to range. I just did a batch in 12'x12' tractors with 20 per and they needed to be moved at least twice a day. At that density I would think it would only take a matter of hours for a thick layer of manure to build up.
 
Now, see that's what I thought. I've seen those meaties and they get pretty big, and fast!

Just thought that seemed to be too crowded, you'd have to move it just about every hour for the tractor to be effective. LOL

I don't think they are allowed to free-range, I think they are simply pastured, meaning they don't leave the tractor.
http://www.naturesharmonyfarm.com/georgia-pastured-poultry/

-Kim
 
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8x10 is fine for 50 meaties. I do 50+ in a 10x10, and there is plenty of room to spare. I move my tractor twice per day, which I think is about average. The four sq. foot/bird is for LAYERS. Broilers require much less space, but you need to keep the tractor moved as much as practical or the poo definitely builds up. That's why pastured pens are effective four broilers- if you gave them 4 sq. ft/bird, you'd either need giant pens or a bunch of smaller ones. They don't need space, but they do need fresh ground.
 
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Gotcha. I wasn't sure. I don't have personal experience with meaties or tractors.
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-Kim
 
My grandparents do 50 in a 8x8, but you gotta move it (they do 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner. They wheel the pen (it's about 1 cm off the ground), into the next spot in a 1-20 pattern (rather like a Chutes & Ladders board). Once it hits 20 it goes back to 1.

20 1 2 3 4
19 8 7 6 5
18 9 10 11 12
17 16 15 14 13
 
Joel Salatin at Polyface farm tractors 75 in a 12X10 tractor and they seem to be very successful at raising meat birds. Course, they are very conscientious about moving it twice daily.

I won't be doing anything near that dense (we are at the experimental stage right now, with just a few meaties in each tractor), but it has been done successfully.
 

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