City Meat Birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jamesramsay, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. jamesramsay

    jamesramsay New Egg

    Sep 30, 2012
    My wife and I would like to get some meat birds. We are living in a small city and the hens would be penned in roughly 65sf. I'd like some advice from how many meat chickens I can fit and how much noose do they make? In a seperate pen I have 3 barred rock and are really quite. I notice the different ways everyone is feeding there animals. Is there a set standards for meat birds?

    Thanks for all your help.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I really never considered whether or not meat birds have the same space requirements as hens. The meat birds I know about - Cornish X, certainly SEEM like they use less space - they usually camp out by the feeders and don't move around in the space they have all that much. A lot of folks raise meat birds for various of them is that they dislike the conditions in which commercially raised birds are that I mean in cages. So, there is no really great precise to answer your question. The other major meat bird is the Freedom Ranger - I assume it needs all the room a hen would require (about 8-10 sq. ft./bird in the run, about 4 sq. ft./bird in the coop). The same would be true of the heritage breeds some raise for meat. Again, with Cornish X it appears they use less space. Theoretically, you could really pack more in than you would other breeds...but then you are left with where you stand on the dilemma of chickens raised in cramped conditions. Plus, it is fair to warn you, what goes in must come out...and a lot comes out of a Cornish. Too many birds in a small space and they become very soiled with all that output. So, is it all clear as mud now?
  3. cool2Bweird

    cool2Bweird Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2013
    South Texas
    Plus, it is fair to warn you, what goes in must come out...and a lot comes out of a Cornish. Too many birds in a small space and they become very soiled with all that output. So, is it all clear as mud now?

  4. hydroswiftrob

    hydroswiftrob Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2011
    N. Texas
    My Coop
    I raised 40 meaties (CornishX) last year (in town) in a tractor that gave them about 3 sq ft per bird. Mine were very quite and our neighbors who lived relatively close never knew we had chickens until I brought them some fresh cut up chicken thanking them for not ratting me out to the city. They were puzzled that chickens had been raised so close to them without them knowing. I also gave each of them a 1/2 dozen eggs for letting my hens exist; this also puzzled them. Before I knew it, I had them over asking to buy eggs from me and asking how exactly I kept everything so quite and under the radar so they could also raise a few.

    Raising chickens this way can be a bit more costly than in the country because I used 3 times as many pine shaving as most to keep the smell down. I also used tarps and insulation to cut down on the noise; in the country I wouldn't worry about this. I had one neighbor who saw the red heat light shining against the back of the house when the chicks were young, so she took a peek and saw my contraption I had set up but saw no birds. She told me when I brought her the fresh eggs and chicken, she assumed I was growing marijuana, but she didn't care. lol Needless to say, I had really good neighbors. One call to the authorities for some illegal plant growing could have disclosed my illegal chicken growing. lol
  5. Mingming

    Mingming Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
  6. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    It basically depends on if you want to raise Cornish X or dual purpose breeds. Cornish X aren't going to be around as long and you can start processing them after 4 weeks (game hen) or later for a larger bird.

    I raised 17 Cornish X in about a 10'x10' pen in my backyard in the suburbs before we moved. I processed 7 at ~4 wks as game hens and then some more at 8 wks, then 10 wks. By the end, they were HUGE.

    I was living in FL and had mostly sandy soil (thanks to my layers) I put down a layer of pine shavings and added some pine pellets (used for horse stalls) they really helped soak up the mess and would clump so it was very easy to clean up. I'd scoop out clumps and throw down more shavings and pellets.

    For cornish: About 3 sq ft per bird is recommended. So you could raise 20. Just make sure you have the freezer space available. I parted out my older cornish x, I couldn't even fit a 1/2 a bird in a 1 gallon ziplock bag.

    For dual purpose you'd probably want more room per bird as they will be around longer and will want to scratch around and act more like a regular chicken.

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