CX density in tractors

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BackyardAR, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR Out Of The Brooder

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    Malvern
    I know you can find a pretty big range of how many square feet per tractored bird is optimal, minimum, etc. I've found numerous different published values, and lots and lots of opinions, many falling well outside the published ranges.

    Of those of you here doing "meat birds" (CX in particular), what size tractors are you using, and how many birds do you keep in them? Also, do you think you've had any issues due to whatever density you are using?
     
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use 8x16 and depending on weather will put 75-100 in one pen. 2-3 sq. feet is good as long as you move it two-three times a day.... if you can only use it once put less birds in.
     
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I go with the same sqftage/bird as Salatin which is about 1.5 sqft/bird. That may sound crowded, but it really isn't even close to being crowded until they hit 3-4 pounds. From week 5 on I try to move the tractor twice a day to avoid to much build-up on the pasture. I am starting to discover that keeping the sqft/bird lower produces bigger birds. They seem to be well aware that their is more competiion for food, and eat more. The key is to have enough feeder area and keep it full.
     
  4. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR Out Of The Brooder

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    Malvern
    Quote:Jeff,

    Now I'm not calling you out or anything like that, I'm just collecting information about something that I don't yet have an opinion on. But...

    These are the types of numbers that I see in posts that confuse me. 8x16 tractor (128 square feet right?) With your minimum range of birds you are less that 2 sq. feet right off the bat. At your max you're at only 1.28 sq feet per bird, yet you say 2-3 sq feet is good. Again, I'm not trying to say anything about how you do it, I'm just trying to get a real-world grasp on what works. If that works, great! That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

    I am all for maximizing production with minimized space, and frankly I won't be able to move a tractor 2 to 3 times a day. What I don't want is a tractor so full that the birds are soiling each other as much as the ground. With the footprint of one of those birds being 1sq foot or more just standing around, I find it hard to think that 1.5 sq feet per bird up until harvesting is enough. Granted I know I can do it however I want to, and ultimately I will, but again, I'm just asking all the BYCers that tractor their CXs to speak up and list their densities.
     
  5. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an 8x8 (64sq/ft). I run 30 to 40 (64/30=2.133, 64/40=1.6). In the later weeks the ground gets soiled very fast and the pen has to be moved every 24 hours minimum, any less and it caps and kills the grass. These numbers are for Cornish Crosses, my Freedom Rangers soil just a little less and the pens are moved every other day until week 6 (without capping).

    I have noticed you have asked loads of questions, which is great. I would suggest you jump in and try it, you can go into data overload and try to tweak the numbers so much that they become meaningless for your particular situation. Build a pen, get some birds, get your feet wet.
     
  6. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR Out Of The Brooder

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    Malvern
    Quote:I'm waiting for the temps to go down some here first. I'm in the process of building a coop and enclosed run for 4 to 6 laying hens. After that I'll build my tractor(s) and my brooder. My first batch is going to be 6 pearl-white leghorn hens and 19 CXs. That will be my learning batch. I've looked at temperature norms for my area and think that September would be best for me to start my meaties.
     
  7. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Jeff,

    Now I'm not calling you out or anything like that, I'm just collecting information about something that I don't yet have an opinion on. But...

    These are the types of numbers that I see in posts that confuse me. 8x16 tractor (128 square feet right?) With your minimum range of birds you are less that 2 sq. feet right off the bat. At your max you're at only 1.28 sq feet per bird, yet you say 2-3 sq feet is good. Again, I'm not trying to say anything about how you do it, I'm just trying to get a real-world grasp on what works. If that works, great! That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

    I am all for maximizing production with minimized space, and frankly I won't be able to move a tractor 2 to 3 times a day. What I don't want is a tractor so full that the birds are soiling each other as much as the ground. With the footprint of one of those birds being 1sq foot or more just standing around, I find it hard to think that 1.5 sq feet per bird up until harvesting is enough. Granted I know I can do it however I want to, and ultimately I will, but again, I'm just asking all the BYCers that tractor their CXs to speak up and list their densities.

    It's not about maximizing space. It's about giving them enough space to eat, drink, and grow out. If you have birds that are taking up a 1'x1' space, those are some big birds. Even at 6-7 weeks, they don't take up 1 sqft each. You asked about what others do and we told you. If you don't want our suggestions, don't ask. You say you don't have an opinion, but apparently you do if you're implying I don't give mine enough space. If you have never raised any in tractors, you would have no clue as to what 40 6 week old broilers in a 6'x10' tractor looks like. I'm here to tell you it is not at all crowded. Brunty has raised more broilers than most of us will ever do, so in my opinion, he has more of a "real-world grasp" on what works than anybody on this forum.
     
  8. BackyardAR

    BackyardAR Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Malvern
    Quote:Jeff,

    Now I'm not calling you out or anything like that, I'm just collecting information about something that I don't yet have an opinion on. But...

    These are the types of numbers that I see in posts that confuse me. 8x16 tractor (128 square feet right?) With your minimum range of birds you are less that 2 sq. feet right off the bat. At your max you're at only 1.28 sq feet per bird, yet you say 2-3 sq feet is good. Again, I'm not trying to say anything about how you do it, I'm just trying to get a real-world grasp on what works. If that works, great! That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

    I am all for maximizing production with minimized space, and frankly I won't be able to move a tractor 2 to 3 times a day. What I don't want is a tractor so full that the birds are soiling each other as much as the ground. With the footprint of one of those birds being 1sq foot or more just standing around, I find it hard to think that 1.5 sq feet per bird up until harvesting is enough. Granted I know I can do it however I want to, and ultimately I will, but again, I'm just asking all the BYCers that tractor their CXs to speak up and list their densities.

    It's not about maximizing space. It's about giving them enough space to eat, drink, and grow out. If you have birds that are taking up a 1'x1' space, those are some big birds. Even at 6-7 weeks, they don't take up 1 sqft each. You asked about what others do and we told you. If you don't want our suggestions, don't ask. You say you don't have an opinion, but apparently you do if you're implying I don't give mine enough space. If you have never raised any in tractors, you would have no clue as to what 40 6 week old broilers in a 6'x10' tractor looks like. I'm here to tell you it is not at all crowded. Brunty has raised more broilers than most of us will ever do, so in my opinion, he has more of a "real-world grasp" on what works than anybody on this forum.

    And that's why I value what he said. I said as much in my post. I'm not implying anything about anyone. Infact I tried to make sure in my post that no one did feel that way. Sorry if you took it that way. Not having done this, it's hard to get a grasp on some parts of it without ever having seen it. I'm trying to collect this information and use it to my maximum benefit. The only thing I pointed out about Brunty's post is that his suggestion of 2-3 sq feet per bird didn't match what he actually does. The fact that what he does uses LESS room is great. That means my tractors don't have to be as big, which will save me time, money, and space. So what he's told me is exactly what I needed to hear.

    What you said in your post was very straightforward. You use the guidelines that one of the major public figures of pasturing poultry use. I didn't have any issues at all with what you said. Didn't quote you or anything. The only thing I said was it was hard for me to "think" that it was enough space. Perhaps a better term would have been "get my head around". There were no implications, no ulterior motives....nothing like that at all. And you're right. I haven't done this before. That's why I'm asking. Just because it's hard for me to think there's enough room in a tractor doesn't mean there's not. But you people know, and that's why I ask.

    I did my best in my post to NOT be accusatory or put people on the defensive. But you can't make everyone happy all the time.

    Now then, with that handled, I won't be commenting further on it. If people would still be so kind as to post their densities here, that's great. I'd love to see them. The more the merrier.
     
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I appolgize that I misinterpretted your comments. It seemed accusatory, but now I see what you mean after you have explained yourself. Again I apologize. I feel bad about my reply now. I'm usually not so sensitive, but for some reason it got me a bit upset. Please don't refrain from commenting on others comments because of me.

    Goodluck with whatever you decide. After you do a few batches you will gain a wealth of knowlege from your expirience and hopefully have a freezer full of great chicken.
     
  10. EGGTASKTIC

    EGGTASKTIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    10 X 12 with about 50 birds. I let a few around from the previous batch to get huge for roasting.
    I do not move every day., more like every three days and I do get a little "capping" starting at week 6.
    It has been working well. Now that the heat is up I am going to switch to Rangers until sept. The soil under the tractor needs the manure
    and I have room to keep moving the tractors around. It works fro me.

    You might as well jump in. Thought about processing yet?
     

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