Amount for the area.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tadaen sylverma, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. tadaen sylverma

    tadaen sylverma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2014
    I just joined the site, have been looking at pictures of coops and such. I am thinking of getting 20-30 birds for meat / eggs. Due to the dogs and coyotes about out here they will not be free range. I have a footer already in the ground that we just put there for some random reason. It is about 12 foot by 12 foot square give or take a few inches. I will be building a structure similar to our greenhouse out of steel tube and covered with 1/2" squared metal mesh. Heavy stuff we use on the greenhouse as well, keeps out everything we don't want.

    This is my first time doing this myself, I have helped my mom with the 4 birds we have now for some time but am looking at a sustainability type of thing as I have had enough of "the meat machine" that we buy from (commercial producers that treat their animals like garbage.) How many birds would be comfortable in that 12 x 12 space. Again primary goal is meat / eggs. I don't want to stuff them in like sardines. They would regularly get clean feed, thinking about a worm garden to give them worms occasionally, they would have a covered place out of the wind and rain for roosts. As well as vegetable cuttings weekly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’m not going to give you any magic numbers for how many chickens you can handle in that. Commercial operations have proven they don’t need a lot of space, but you have to take certain management steps for that to work. It sounds like you are not ready to take those steps, such as trimming beaks to keep them from eating each other. Check the link in my signature for my thoughts on space requirements.

    There are a lot of different ways you could approach what you are talking about. It sounds like all the space they will have is that 12’ x 12’ area, which means you will be providing all their food, either buying it or growing it. You’re not going to be anywhere as cost-efficient as the commercial industry, eggs or meat. Not many of us are even with a lot of free ranging involved but knowing where your food comes from has value for many of us.

    Especially since you are providing all the food, you can’t beat the efficiency of the specialist chickens. The commercial egg layers are hybrids with small bodies that don’t require a lot of food to maintain a big body. They are really good at converting food to eggs. The broilers are the same related to converting feed to meat. There is nothing GMO about them, they have been developed by selective breeding to really be efficient in being productive.

    The dual purpose breeds are what I use for meat and eggs. They are not nearly as efficient in converting feed to meat or eggs, but do a pretty good job of both. They certainly cannot touch the specialty breeds as far as efficiency however.

    Without knowing a lot more detail in your specific goals, desires, restrictions, and proposed management methods I can’t get much more specific than this. I’m not sure what you mean by sustainable either. If you are talking about being self-sufficient, you won’t be. You’re going to be spending too much money buying food and too many hours working to really be self-sufficient. If you are talking about hatching your own chicks, that means you can’t use the specialty breeds. The ideal is not always easy to put into practice.

    And welcome. Glad you joined.
     
  3. tadaen sylverma

    tadaen sylverma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2014
    The cost I'm not to worried about. Beak clipping I hadn't thought of but we never had to do that many years ago where we used to live. I was going to buy pullets exclusively as none of us want to be woken up by a crow. I don't want to mistreat them by stuffing x amount of chickens into to small a space. I was looking at some barred rocks, white wyandottes, buff orpingtons. No I will not be self sufficient you are correct as I wasn't going to breed them. I guess my goal is knowing where my food is coming from, hobby chickens to an extent, and I have a number of friends who love fresh eggs. Figure as far as meat is concerned I would need only 1 a week tops. Maybe another depending on if anyone I know wants one. I would be buying hatchlings most likely online and going from there.

    Maybe I will look more into this before going ahead. Thank you for advice / reply. Gives much to think about.


    *EDIT* Have done some reading here on the site. Also talked to a good friend who has been around and raising farm type animals most of his life. Plans must change. With the space I have and factoring in that I need to build a proper coop... What we have now for the 4 is not proper I have learned today after reading and looking at some of the other things here. 10 or 12 tops in the 12ft by 8ft space. the other 12ft by 4ft will be a coop big enough for me at 6foot 4inch to be able to get into somewhat comfortably. I will begin preparations in the next month or so. Thank you to all the views I got. And again to the direct pointed advice. It has been received and taken to heart. Hopefully I will be able to post some pictures in the near future.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014

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