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Corish Cross Housing? Help on size requirement!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by preacher1, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. preacher1

    preacher1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2007
    I just ordered 12 cornish cross from Ideal poultry. They are scheduled to ship on 10/31/07. Once they are big enough to take from the brooder how much space do they require per bird? I was planning on building a cage (I'm thinking approx. 3' wide by 8' or 10' long, 2' tall) in my current run which is 20' x 20' to keep them in. I plan to put a wire floor in it and keep them up off the ground. Will I need to put a roost in there? Is 2' tall enough? If not, how tall should I make the cage? Should I keep them in the cage with food all the time or allow them access to the run? Once they are feathered out how do they tolerate cold weather?

    This will be my first try with meat birds any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    My 10-pence:

    2.0 SF per bird will be enough.

    2' will be tall enough.

    Meat birds are generally not allowed to roost to avoid leg issues.

    If you put wire on the floor, they will create an ungodly mess of it pretty quick. They simply crap too much for to get down through the cracks; so it will just cake on there and they'll be wallowing in their own crap.

    You'll need to move the cage often enough so they stay on relatively clean ground. You could put straw in it and just keep adding layers of it, but you may need to go up to 30" in height.

    I let mine out into a run at around 6 weeks to finish.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They are meat birds and by the time they are off their brooder light, you take two more weeks and eat them. Wire floor is bad for especially heavy foot breeds and they won't really every roost because of their age and size combo.

    I basically raise them in the "brooder" their whole life. My "brooder" is a 2x4 hutch with a lamp that is open to a 4x8 run. I keep up to 6 large birds in there for the max of 8 weeks with two layer pullets. You'll be amazed at how fast they grow and how ugly they will get quick. Don't worry if their breasts start to grow bald because their feathers can't keep up and be prepared with that shovel to get all the poo out. They are truely eating, pooing, meat adding machines. Some of the sweetest birds I've ever dealt with. Look at you and smilie I swear.
     
  4. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    I agree, wire floor is a really bad idea for these ones, they need really soft ground. They are pooping machines so a tractor that can be moved to clean ground or a easy to fork out arangement is best. They don't need huge space but having about 10 feet between the water and the feed seems to help with leg issues as does being sure to raise the feeders up to always their standing back height so they can't just lay there eating all day. Walking back and forth to water gives them leg work and all equal oportunity too, or the dominent ones will set up camp and not allow others into an small area that has both feed and water.

    THey don't need much beyond a brooder as stated. They can just have some turn out to a bigger area. They will not really 'range' like a layer hen anyway.
     
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2007
    and honestly, you dont want them to range alot. if they get a lot of excercise, then they are going to drop weight, the opposite of what you want.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, they wont naturally range alot but I do have to say that the opportunity to range allows them to live healthier lives, which is the important part about raising them yourself. It may take a few extra days to gain the "lost" lb's but they will have less chance of dying on you.
     
  7. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    After reading the posts above, whatever level of poop you think you might have? Multiply it times 3!!!!

    I have 19 Cornishes and 9 black broilers from Ideal and I am completely blown away by the smell and the amount of poop. I moved them from an indoor brooder (I don't think I'd ever do that for Cornishes again) to a 6'x6' outdoor shed with nice fluffy pine chips, and had to add 1/2-1" of pine chips twice a day to keep them from wallowing in their own poop. In fact, one day when I ran out and didn't refresh the night before or morning of, by the time I got home from work, they looked a little raw on the bottom, from sitting in their own poop. The guilt I felt was overwhelming.

    Saturday, I turned them out in a tractor which is 5'x 8'. I should have moved the tractor last night, but thought I could go one extra day in that spot; I was wrong.

    Tonight, as I was putting them into the "caboose" of the trailer (a closed, protected, but raised area they don't seem to be able to walk up the gangplank to get into) I noticed that some of the Cornishes had crops which were so full, they looked like they were going to explode! I have seen wild turkeys gorge themselves on grain and grasshoppers, and their crop never got so big.

    I've been looking for an affordable postal scale so I can weigh them; it looks to me like the black broilers are less than half the size of the cornish. I think it might take an extra month to finish them, and by then it's going to be VERY cold some nights; not sure what I'll have to do.
     
  8. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    i've bought a baby scale (the ones with the cupped surface) for about $20 on ebay before. you might look into that as a cheap alternative.
     

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