Another First-Timer question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by doublejfarm, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. doublejfarm

    doublejfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Modoc, SC
    Ok so I know a little about layers but not much about meat birds. That being said... I see a lot of folks on here that use tractors for their meat birds. But in them I see no roosts. What do they do just sleep on the ground. And what about square feet per bird? Looking at getting like two dozen or so, what size tractor do I need. I tried to look this stuff up so I didn't have to make a new post but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Please lead me in the right direction... thanks.
  2. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2007
    I can answer one of the questions. If you are going to buy Cornish X then no roost. They will break their legs jumping off. So they pretty much stay on the ground. I'm not sure about the size. I had 36 this spring that where in a 10x20 run and it was hard to keep clean. It was not a tractor. My understanding is that it takes less room with a tractor because you can move it around. They are lazy and really messy birds.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I concur with fresheggs4u. The Cornish X is pretty much a ground dweller - not sure they would roos even if they could. Plus the idea of them breaking a leg. And I think the whole thing about the tractor is that it's a way to keep your birds rounded up and relatively safe and in a moveable enclosure that you can always position in a fresh place. This way you don't have the massive poop build up the Cronish X are notorious for as well as keeping them on fresh grazing.
  4. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Doublej... welcome to the wild world of meaties [​IMG]

    Check out this post . It's part of the stickies in this section. It's VERY helpful as are most of the posts there. BigRed talks about meat tractors and square foot per bird.

    The no roost isn't because the chicken couldn't do it... it's because people worry about the stress on the legs when the bird jumps from the roost or perch like fresh eggs wrote. Not all meat birds are lazy and messy, though. Do they poop a lot? SURE!

    If allowed to free range, many birds are not lazy... but hey, they're meat birds who are bred to get large very quickly. They enjoy eating. They will rest and poop a bunch.

    I have red broilers from Ideal and they are more active than I expected. They would have also likely roosted had I let them, but they're in a tractor. They are not growing as quickly as the cornish x, but I don't mind.

    Good luck! Please post if you have any more questions. I'm fairly new to this myself and the good folks here have been a wealth of information.
  5. doublejfarm

    doublejfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Modoc, SC
    Quote:Yeah I read that post before I posted this thread.... lots of good info but it says he puts 70 birds in a 10x10? Really? That sounds crazy. Not saying its wrong or anything but that seems like way too many birds. Someone concur, is this about right on the square foot ratio for meaties? If so. Could I then put 20 in a 5x5? I know they are just groceries and I could kill and process them no prob, but to me ( being ignorant on the issue) that seems almost inhumane.

    By the way thanks y'all for the no roost info.
  6. doublejfarm

    doublejfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Modoc, SC
    And another thing, I'm saying 20 cause its a round number... if I want 20 in the freezer what % dead loss should I add on average?
  7. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    I'd work on ordering and housing 25, that is the minimum for a lot of hatcheries. I'd also put those 25 in a 10' x 10' pen, no way I'd cram 70 in there! [​IMG] 10' x 10' gives them 4sf each which is reasonable. Some advocate only 1.5sf each but I couldn't keep them like that in good conscious, I'd like them to have room to move.
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:You'd be surprised to see that it really isn't that crowded giving them 1.5 sqft per. In fact, up until the last week or so, the tractor does not look crowded at all. You will find that if you give them too much area, it will slow their growth.

    Do these look crowed?
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  9. newchickmom

    newchickmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    I put 20 meaties in a 10X4 pen in the chicken run, but I let them out to run around with the other chickens during the day. My average processed weight at 9 wks was 6.5 lbs.
  10. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Quote:This is what I see. These aren't lazy birds. Mine free range around the lawn during the day between feedings and have cleared out a lot of slugs. Yes, they rest a LOT but shucks it takes a huge amount of energy to grow as fast as they do so no wonder.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by