Cornish cross question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SandraMort, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    If I put the birds in a tractor and move it a few feet every day, how long do I have to wait before I can put the tractor back onto a spot that it's been already? I've got an area that can have at least one tractor in the yard, but I don't know how many I can put there without that knowledge.

    Thanks!
    Sandra... thinking ahead to spring...
     
  2. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    Sorry about this answer, but it depends on a lot of things.

    The short answer is when the grass needs to be mowed again.

    When the grass grows fast you can move them back fairly soon provided you didn't have too many birds there for too long the first time, and the grass roots haven't been all torn up.

    Hot and dry, or cold and dry season maybe only once.

    My experience is limited to a 5' x 7' tractor in a small backyard with just a few chicks which I feed twice a day. Once to get them into the tractor and once to get them into the coop.
     
  3. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Quote:It's not somewhere that will be mowed. Does that help?
     
  4. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    How long do you leave the tractor in place before moving it? I was thinking that if I moved it a little every day, it would prevent the roots from getting torn up too badly?


    Quote:
     
  5. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Fowlerville,MI
    Generally it is a few weeks. As long as the manure is not a thick blanket on the ground...then it takes a lot longer!

    Our laying hens scratch where the pen has been and I think that helps it. Rain is also a big factor on cleaning up the mess.

    As you can see there is a lot variables, so this upcoming year will be your trial year. Good luck!
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    28 days tends to be long enough to break many parasite cycles and lets the grass grow back, too
     
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    so, if it's as long as a month, how many fdays do you leave it in one place before moving it? I can't imagine that working without serious acreage.
     
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Generally you move the tractor daily. Then towards the end you may have to do it twice daily.

    The point is to keep the birds on clean ground off their own droppings, which lessens their exposure to pathogens.
     
  9. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    When my chicks are young and the grass grows well I have put them back in as little as a week. But then it would take about two weeks before I could use the same spot again.

    I am very pressed for green space so I probably push the limits. I also let them free range a bit when I am around to watch them. I am not your typical chicken tractor farmer.

    I move my tractor daily for fresh grass and to let the wet poop dry. Generally I have observed that the chicks will poop shortly after getting out of the coop so I let them run around a bit prior to putting the feed in the tractor to draw them in. The chicks only spend daylight time in the tractor then it is back to the coop. This helps spread the poop and keep the chicks cleaner.

    If you have plenty of room go with Greyfields. I've learned a lot from him. I'm still puttering around.
     
  10. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2007
    Ohio
    Your best bet is to look at the grass itself. If it is tore up or covered in manure you need to let it sit for a longer period. If it's green with all of the manure absorbed into the ground without an dirt spots it's good to go!

    If you don't get a lot of rain, water the area right after the chickens are done using it, this is if you can. This promotes the grass to grow and absorb the high nitrogen from the chicken manure. If you do not water the lawn or have enough rain you must wait at least a month before the pasture absorbs the "shot" of chicken manure or it will "burn out" and turn brown.

    If you have healthy grass or pasture with plenty of water 2 weeks is enough. But do not use the same ground for more than 1 year at a time if you wait only 2 weeks. The pasture needs a break.... along with your chickens. The parasites will build up over a period of time and your grass or pasture will become weak if given too much of the chicken manure. The more you move your pen in a day the faster your can put chickens back on that same piece of land.

    I move mine.... two sometimes three times daily. This ensures that the pasture stays fresh and it's equally distributes the manure. Again your own eyes will be the judge if the pasture is ready. Look at our pasture in this pic on our home page and you will see what I mean.

    www.bruntyfarms.com


    Jeff
     

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