Chicken Tractor and the yard.....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by booker81, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    After my fun having Mr. Roo for dinnner, I really want to get some meaties. However, the coop I have right now is fairly full and I don't want to pack it even more (16 birds, 10x10 coop, 10x30 run). Nor do I wish to deal with squabbles....
    I was thinking of making a tractor up to put say, 25 meaties in, and moving it around the yard.

    How fast do these guys destroy the footprint of the tractor? We have a one acre yard, but I don't really want to kill ALL of the grass LOL!

    I might have to come up with a different plan.

    Input and ideas would be fantastic. Cost is a factor, predation doesn't seem to be too bad here thus far. I plan on just doing the Cornish X due to fast growing, eventually would like to do something like the Freedom Rangers if I can talk DH into doing more [​IMG]
     
  2. ourflockof4

    ourflockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our tractors are 8x8, and 7x10, we can but 25 cx in each. How bad they destroy the yard will depend. it seems the earlier you put them out the better the forage, and the more grass they eat. They will also destroy the yard though by their large amount of poo [​IMG] The last couple weeks you will need to move the tractor 1 or 2 times a day or it will burn the grass.

    If you haven't done meaties before I would start out with a batch of 5 or 10 though instead of 25. Better to see what you are in for on a smaller scale.
     
  3. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    The last time I did meaties was in FFA (15 years ago) - and we did 200, in a small coop. Talk about STINK!!!! That's what I don't really want to do.
     
  4. jdc

    jdc Out Of The Brooder

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    We just did 25 rangers in an 8x10 tractor located in our pasture. They were in the tractor for 6 weeks and I moved 1-2 times daily. I only burnt one spot in the grass because I went a long day in between moving the tractor. I used about 1/3 of an acre. The birds were processed in late June and the only way that I can tell where they were is because the grass is alot greener than the rest of the pasture. It would probably help to rake the areas that the poo is the thickest. Go for it, I have never tasted chicken so good. Good Luck.
     
  5. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 55 - 60 in 8 x 10 ft tractors. That is about 1.3 sqft per bird for cornish x. So you could make yours 4 x 8 or 6 x 6 to get them between 32 & 36 sqft.

    My rangers and turkeys I let free range within my electric netting. I have 125 rangers and 25 turkeys. They range on about 3/4 acre and share 4 hoop style tractors for sleeping at night. They are 8 x 10 as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  6. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I have to move mine every day. We have ours at the back of our 2 acre lot. It gets poopie fast. [​IMG]
     
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Kinda dumb question.....if you tractor, do you have their "coop" in the tractor?

    My layers (and spare roos that will eventually be dinner) have a nice coop and run.

    I was eyeballing my garden - I've let some weed over, and am contemplating covering the strawberries and my baby trees, and potentially getting meat birds and putting in there this fall, with some sort of temp shelter. Put the poop where I really want it! I figure they can keep the weeds down and fertilize this fall, and next spring I could possibly do another batch early before planting time, so I could till the fresher poo in....

    That way I don't have a poopy yard. However, I'm thinking I might want to make a portable "coop" so I can make them move around (it's a big garden).
     
  8. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    oooh question-can you put them on wire mesh? So their poop drops to the ground? I can easily hose those area down everyday after they have been moved so nothing gets burned? Im satring at my 1/2 built tractor that I want to finish today but I am seriuosly thinking about wire floors-this way they can still eat the grass-ahh it sounded good in my fruity mind but then now that Im podering..whats the difference if I move the tractor? poop is poop I guess? It too early!
     
  9. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    I'm so with you on the early!!

    I think somehow if you tractor them, and move the tractor, you can just spray the poop down after moving.

    Dumb early morning question too...does one move it with the birds in it?

    Ideally, what I'm wanting to do is get something like the Freedom Rangers or like, and keep many for us, but "market" some of them for free range, tasty birds that are different than the store, knowing they might take a few extra weeks.

    I don't want to deal with birds like we did in FFA. Big time broiler growing methods, small scale (light on all the time, small space, a few dead each day).

    I already have folks at work that want "healthy" chicken.

    Ramble ramble ramble....
     
  10. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:you can sell up to 1000 with having to go through all the garbage they put small town farmers in-so you are safe there-check your state law though:) I move the tractor with the birds in it. Now, I will test the waters to see how far the free range and if they come back. Only on weekend though when Im home--If they do well I just might free range them the last 4 weeks:) we'll see I guess huh?? I so want to do free rangers but I dont want to wait 4-5 months so thats why Im going the broiler route. This way when Oct3rd hits-they will all be process and I get get downt o business and concentrate on getting ready for winter with all the birds I chose to keep:)
     

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