Brunty -- How Many

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by anthonyjames, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jeff,

    How large are your tractors and how many birds do you put in them?


    I have been doing 1.5 - 2 sqft per bird in my tractors.
     
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I have 2 New Holland TD 5000's , but I won't put my birds in them, they'll poop on the seat & steering wheel. [​IMG] [​IMG] Sorry, couldn't resist. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have done 8 x 16 these past few years and the number that I have found to work out best is 70 birds / tractor.

    I started out the year putting 100 in there, but that was way too many... dropped it 10 birds each time until I have found what worked best. Pasture was still good, feed and water still left between moves, ect.
     
  4. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jeff,

    Thanks for the update.. so you are averaging about 1.8 sqft per bird. I was not far off.

    Seems some people on this board still think this is the same treatment as Commercial Conditions.

    On another not if you get a chance I would not mind talking to you about dog food and some other items. You can IM me or would be happy to chat via phone if you have the time.
     
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ya, anytime. Just PM me and I can send you my number... or just go to my website. I have put the dog food piece down for a bit, but not from lack of customers, but from lack of keeping up with demand!
     
  6. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i agree (about some claiming that is commercial conditions).. on another thread someone was working w/ 16 sq ft and moving the tractor twice daily. i recommended 8 birds but everyone else shot that down and told the person to only do 4. i dont think people realize that they are only going to have the 1.5-2 sq ft of space for a couple of weeks once the birds are almost full sized..

    i've been selling my extra antelope/deer (ground) for $2/lb and i wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand even if i tried
     
  7. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hang on a second. I'm not sure I understand the commercial conditions comment. I put 50 birds in an 8x12. My birds are on grass, in the sunshine with a fresh breeze. All they can eat grasshoppers, spiders, crickets and worms. They race to eat the clover leaves then move on to dandelions. They are fully-beaked, healthy, happy birds. I have yet to see any picking. Commercial conditions? Surely we count more than birds/sq. ft. before applying a "Commercial" label. How about mortality rate? After the first week (we always lose a chick or three) my chickens don't know what mortality is until it happens suddenly and deliberately. They are carefully lifted and placed, not thrown, into transport crates only hours before butchering. The crates are carefully moved distances of up to 100 yards. Commercial conditions indeed! I make sure my knives are sharp, the birds are placed carefully in the cones and killed quickly. No bruising, no broken wings, no damaged birds. One second they are in a box, the next they are in a cone, then it goes dark. I stand in defiance of any comparisons to commercial conditions. My birds are healthy, happy, well nourished, and safe from predation. They get the space they get because it gives me a wonderful, healthy, fresh bird in a minimum of scarce space, not because my vertically integrated supplier dictated to me how many birds I must shove in. Next they are scalded, plucked then eviscerated by hand in the sunshine and fresh air all within 5 minutes from kill to ice water bath. No bleach. The bird is picked up by the customer same day and often cooked before the sun has gone down. There's just no way to substantiate any comparison to a commercial operation. Those commercial guys can't compete.
     
  8. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:precisely!! you put perfectly into words what i was talking about

    the thread i was referring to is one titled something like how many in a 4x4 tractor
     
  9. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sundown,

    I second, thrid, fourth and to infinity on that. I read the post about may as well xxxxx and I just had to throw the question out there. I know what I use per sqft and was pretty sure everyone else is in that ballpark as well.

    Thanks
     
  10. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The thing with tractors is that most people tend to forget is that they are moved daily. Unlike commercial settings, they are not raised in the same spot their whole life. The pens are moved two sometimes three times a day giving them fresh ground.

    Not to mention that the birds don't really take up any space at all until they hit the 7 week mark. 70 2 week old chicks in a tractor look like about 25 to the eye. When they are young they forage extremely well since there is plenty of grass and bugs to go round. So from 2 weeks until about 5 weeks these broilers develop strong healthy skeletal structures along with healthy organs. The weight really isn't packed on until week 7 and 8. My birds grow about 8 days slower than if they were in confinement because of this.

    Basically there are a lot of factors that go into raising broilers in tractors than just sq. feet alone. The thing is, if the stocking density is too low, they take about 10 weeks... same goes if they are too crowded.
     

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