Advice for meaty housing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by EricaD, May 7, 2013.

  1. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

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    Mar 28, 2012
    Hi there!

    We LOVE our laying flock! Got them last spring and have really enjoyed them, so now we're looking to venture into meat birds this summer.

    We have a couple of great flat areas on our property, which are perfect for the meaties. I have a spare 100' roll of electric poultry netting already, so I was thinking that I'd fence off a large electrified free range area for them, with a 12 on/12 off feeding schedule using fermented feed, and I'd like to go with the cornish x for our first batch (also considering trying a mix of SandG's various meat types to see what we like best, since they're all fairly fast growing, unless you think that those other breeds would fly over the netting?) Beekissed's set up is my inspiration :)

    The electric poultry fencing works very effectively for our laying flock in a high predator area. So I feel confident that the meaties will be safe too (no way will their fat butts be able to fly over the netting like the layers did, especially if we stick with cornish x.)

    My question is what to do for nighttime housing? We can keep the electric netting charged 24/7, no problem, so would a straw bale structure (with a tarp roof) work as a nighttime shelter? I wouldn't consider it for layers, or as a long term solution, but since the meaties will only be with us for a short time, would that be sufficient? We have very mild summers here, so temps would be fine. If it goes well and we want to get meaties again, then we could work on something more permanent, like a cattle panel hoop house to use inside of the netting for future batches.

    We use lots of straw around the property, so it's a great reusable item that we could recycle once the meaties are gone.

    Crazy? Smart? I have no clue, lol.
     
  2. Mikedero

    Mikedero Songster

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    Sounds pretty cool idea I know they do not need a coop just something with a roof to keep weather off them. if the bales were inside the fence then I can not see why it would not work out. In fact my next batch I might try something like that cheaper then building a chicken tractor like I did
     
  3. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

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    That's kind of what I was thinking too! The bales would keep them cozy and warm at night and would make perfect bedding that they can scratch up, the tarp would keep them totally dry, and they can go in and out as they please to eat grass and bugs and free range. Oh, and I'm thinking of doing maybe 25 at a time. Not a huge quantity of birds. The area I have is a level "baby" orchard (young cider apple trees) with lots of large old growth tree cover for shade and hawk/eagle protection.
     
  4. EricaD

    EricaD Songster

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    Mar 28, 2012
    No one else has any feedback on this idea?

    :(
     
  5. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Songster

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    I think it sounds like a great idea. They can huddle against the bales if they get cool at night and have shade ( VERY important ) during the day.

    I use cattle panel hoop coops for mine when I get them out to pasture. I really like them, but they are not as light weight and easily movable as some I have seen on here. However, I do like the ability to lock them at night just in case. I am a bit compulsive when it comes to the safety of my birds. I have a lot of predators in my area too, I live pretty close to the river.
     

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