Cornish X... just HOW stinky?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mditt8671, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. mditt8671

    mditt8671 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Dec 2, 2008
    Butler County, PA
    I am planning on getting some chickens this spring... a half dozen or so layers.

    I am considering ordering them rather than buying from my local farm center so I can get what I want rather than what the store carries that spring, and have considered getting the rest of the minimum 25 chick order as Cornish X meaties.

    I live on a 1 acre lot... if I go with the Cornish, I would likely make a large tractor and keep them in it when they're old enough to be outside.

    Is this an OK way to raise them?

    Also, everyone says they stink and poo a lot. If the tractor is moved every day, how bad would it be? With 12-14 birds, are we talking about a smell that my neighbors would smell? Does the poo break down quickly? Should I expect to have squares of 1" deep crap in my yard wherever the tractor was?

    I like the idea of raising my own meat chickens but don't want to render my entire backyard as a stinky, unusable mess either.
     
  2. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I hope someone answers this. I have an acre too and am going to get some cornish X this spring as well. I am still trying to figure out what the best way to keep them is. I do have some large pens but I too am wondering if a tractor would be better. Mine would have to be in the front yard so more cause for concern than even if it was the backyard, lol.
    Becky
     
  3. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,152
    24
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Mine did poo a lot. They ate a LOT too.
    It was freezing temps, so for the last 3 weeks I put them in the barn to stay warm and I had to put down a new 2-inch layer of hay every other day. they basically sit next to the feeders much of the time -- they don't walk around large distances at all like my Buffs do. It took one or two days for it to get poo-ey. My friends move theirs daily on pasture. They have a little 10 x 8 mini-greenhouse-tractor that they can pull. Hope this helps.
     
  4. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    12-14 birds moved daily will be okay.

    the poop factor is incredible. if you are a one acre lot, i doubt it will affect your neighbor, except that they may want some too! [​IMG]

    i usually rinsed down the area the tractor was in each day to break down the poop and then put down lime and sprinkled with water again to break the lime down into the grass. no stink. all gone.

    i did 100 at time doing this, and there was no stink. i have five acres, but only 2 acres away from my neighbor on that side. you couldn't even smell poop across the yard.

    go for it! you'll love the results!
     
  5. mditt8671

    mditt8671 New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Dec 2, 2008
    Butler County, PA
    I guess it would be a good thing to move them all over my back yard for 7 weeks or so, then after processing I could replant my back yard (it's pretty thinly grassed) and have great fertilizer...

    We also have a well for our water supply. It's about 100 feet deep. Should I be concerned about ground water contamination, or is it a non-issue for a small scale operation like this?
     
  6. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    small scale, not a biggie. if you decide to do more, just have the local Agriculture Extension come over. it's free. they can tell you what works, doesn't work, what is safe etc.

    blessings for yummy, healthy chickens! [​IMG]
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You have enough space. How often you move them changes as they grow larger. Initially, the tractor may only move every few days. Towards the end, it'll probably move twice a day.

    Yes, there is a layer of 'film' left behind wehre the tractor was. However, within two weeks it'll all be gone and the grass will be dark, rich green.

    How stinky are they? Well, it's not they stink, it's that they eat so much so quickly. Your hens would smell identically if they were to eat an identical ammount of food. The difference being your hens may take a week to eat hte volume a broiler does in a day.

    I see this as an advantage, rather than a problem. Run the broilers where you want to grow your potatoes and corn the following season and you'll have supreme results. Broilers can really lay down a concentrated load of nutrients for your plants. Make the most of it.
     
  8. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are gross birds, there's no doubt about it, but that's mostly in comparison to layers. If you move your pen daily (twice daily towards the end or whenever practical,) you will not notice smell AT ALL. I have a two acre yard, and I move my tractors so that they circle my house. Sometimes they are quite close to the house and the only time I smell them is when I'm moving the tractors. It only stinks when moist, so keeping it moved lets it dry out and it doesn't build up. If you don't move it for a couple of days, you'll have a thick, stinky cake of poo and the grass will die, but if you keep moving it as much as possible, your grass will be better than it's ever been. My wife grew up on a farm, and for that reason, didn't want me to get chickens, but she was forced to admit that there's no smell. Pastured poultry in moveable pens is the way to go with meat birds, just DON'T GET LAZY!
     
  9. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    Ok, if you get say 25 of them, how large a tractor would you need or how many tractors?
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    A 4' by 8' tractor will be a bit on the small side, but that's an easy dimension for using lumber.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by