critique my plans please?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by patandchickens, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have 10 CornishX broiler chicks coming next Friday (will be my first try at broiler chicks), so I need to get off my butt and get organized, here [​IMG]

    So here are my plans. Would you please tell me what's a bad idea or what you'd do differently?

    For the first few days, put them in a cardboard-box incubator w/heatlamp, in the building my other chickens are in (it's a 15x40 building, they won't be immediately next to the other chickens, but I really don't have any other good indoors space for them).

    After first few days, get rid of cardboard box, move them to rearmost 4x6 pen in same building, and use a 2x4' plywood hover (a la Plamondon) since it worked so well for this spring's batch of layer chicks. (Would it be beneficial to predator-proof the chainlink run attached to this pen so they could have outdoors access, although it is on concrete not grass? Or would it be a waste of time cuz they won't use it? )

    After first couple weeks or whenever they get too stinky for indoors, put them in 6x10 tractor (not yet made [​IMG]) just behind that building, so I can leave a lamp (not heatlamp) plugged in via extension cord to ensure night warmth (by then, our nights will probably be getting well into the 50s on a regular basis). Electronet around tractor to predatorproof it (although, we also have weasels... [​IMG]). When they get big/feathered enough not to need heatlamp (when will this be?) move the tractor further away, into horses' currently unused east paddock, and grow them out til they're eatin' size.

    What do you think?

    Thanks very much,

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  2. Poler

    Poler Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 1, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    Sounds like a good plan, the only thing that I would do different, is that I wouldnt use chain-link for the perimeter fencing, until chickens are older, they can still put their heads through, and my dogs have managed to snatch a few chickens from my coops through chainlink, so I wouldnt suggest it.
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    The last time I had CR x's, I put them in a separated 5x10 area in the coop, (whatever size area you have would be fine) with feeder hung just high enough they'd have to stand to eat, (not stretch, just stand. they don't have as many leg problems/early deaths if they aren't allowed to lay down to eat) a good waterer, a heat lamp hanging just a couple feet off the floor in the center. You can use a thermometer to check floor temp under the lamp, so you don't have any "too hot" spots. They scatter to where they're comfortable. Mine did fine. After a few days, I opened a small door to a ramp that goes into an enclosed-with-chicken-wire pen that is covered with wire on top as well, and has a tin roof area for shade, so they could be out on dirt. They soon began sleeping both indoors and out, so I shut off the lamp.

    The X's produce a great deal of body heat, they don't need a lamp very long, unless it's very cool. In a cardboard box, they can't escape the heat if it's too much.

    Your plan will probably work just fine, though. There's plenty of room for variation.

    And I agree with the previous poster, chainlnk's too big, you could lose a few.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  4. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I would keep them in the cardboard box for a bit longer, it doesn't really matter though.

    As long as the box is big enough, they will have plenty of space to get away from the heat if they need to.

    I used to raise 25 chicks in a cardboard box, but then I would put two boxes together, a 'hot' box and a feed and water box, Worked great for the first 4 weeks.
  6. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I neglected to add, that by the time they're about 3 weeks old, I let them out to range with the other birds. But I'm in KY, it's hot here in the summer, it may be too cold where you are. Even in winter here, we have run-around-in-t-shirt days. At 4 weeks, they're half grown.

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