First timer-from start to finish

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Kaitie09, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    I have been reading up on meat birds for a while, and have finally broken down and ordered some. What I got really confused about most times what the cost of everything. There is a lot of different prices floating around on the threads and I just wanted to add my experience to it. I'll be adding posts to this each time something happens, and keeping track of my cost.

    Since this is my family's first time, we decided to start out small. We ordered 28 Cornish Rock Cross, straight run. I really wanted to see the difference males and females make, so straight run is the best way right now. There are 4 families pitching in on cost, and each will get 7 birds at the end. My family is the one with chickens, so we volunteered to keep them here.

    To cut back on costs, we have already planned to do the butchering by ourselves. My uncle, cousin, stepfather, and brother will be butchering, while myself, my mom, and my aunt will be plucking and finishing.
    We will also be feeding them scraps, and allowing them to free range for a couple hours each day.

    The beginning:
    Found a 10x10 chain link dog kennel on CL for $75. It is less than a year old and the man was just trying to get rid of it. We opened it up, and ran it along side the goat's fence. The total size is now 10x20. This allows 200 sq ft, and 7sq ft per bird. We covered it with a heavy netted tarp that we found in garage, and covered the bottom foot with chicken wire that we had. We will also be able to use this as and extension to the chicken coop when it is not in use.

    [​IMG]

    This is the inside where the coop will go
    [​IMG]



    I ordered 28 chicks today from Meyer Hatchery. With shipping, they totaled to $49.49, or $1.76 per chick (this was the cheapest place that I could find that would ship to me). They will be arriving sometime this week.

    I started planning out the coop and this is the basic sketch so far. My stepfather will be going to HD today to get the materials. We already have the heat lamps, along with the chick feeder and waterer. The coop will be directly on the ground so that when they are allowed outside, it will not cut away from their space.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]






    Total:
    49.49
    75
    = 124. 49
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  2. RWD

    RWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing you should do is make your size 4X8 instead of 4X9 because of how material sizes run. Also it is better to raise it atleast 24" off the ground with 4 legs. Then place a small ramp to go up. They will be more comfortable elevated and they are able to get 32 more sq. feet under the house.
    And also the chicken you buy in the store is straight run. Once processed you cant tell a difference. Good luck on your new endevour.
     
  3. navasima

    navasima Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Mexico
    This is an idea I've been toying with so I really appreciate that you started this thread! [​IMG]
     
  4. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    Its already been changed to 4x10, because it fits more snugly into the end of the kennel. The way we are building it is pretty simple. The plywood is going to be cut to 5x3ft to fit inside of the kennel framing. It is going to be on the ground for the easiest cleaning. Since I am the one going to be doing it, and I'm only 5ft tall, it gets kind of tough unless I can completely get into it. The roof if going to be able to be lifted up so I can completely get in there and just shovel everything out. We are also building a "moat" to deter water around it.

    So far, we picked up some materials, We bought 4 landscaping timers at $2.00 a piece for now. We also picked up 4x8 standard pine plywood for $19.84 a sheet. We only got 2 sheets for right now.

    Total
    124.29
    39.68
    8
    =171.97
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  5. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I wouldn't give them the entire 4 X 10 area as chicks and you wouldn't really need two lamps unless one is the backup in case the other goes out.

    If you don't have dogs to keep away the foxes, coons, etc.. then I would also use the timbers or folded hardware cloth...

    http://www.plamondon.com/faq_chickcare.html
     
  6. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    The two lamps are just to give even coverage to the whole coop. I wanted the heat source in the middle, and then allowing the temp to slowly go down as they ranged farther from it. I will only be checking on them once or twice a day, so I really don't want to worry about them crowding under one lamp and not getting enough heat.

    In 10 years, we have never had a predator attack our chickens, or even get near them. However, we may just be lucky. The goats are good about keeping the hawks away during the day, and we are the only ones with dogs or cats. The goats freak out at anything and I have personally watched them "chase" a flock of wild turkeys out of their area. I'm sure if a predator was trying to slaughter a bunch of animals that live within the same space as the goats, they would be at least be screaming like they do at every other animal. The foxes live in the 20 acres across the 10 acre cornfield, and we have never actually seen one. We also keep cat food out about 200ft from the coop 24/7, and we see possums there all the time on the game cam. I would rather be feeding them some cheap cat food then having to start over with a flock.

    Just for some security, we will probably be skirting around the kennel to deter digging. This chain link is more secure than our actual chicken run. Half of the layer's run is welded wire on the goats side so they can't rub and break it. The other side is all chicken wire. I go out there routinely to look for any attempts or even if the wire got pushed in a little, but there has never been any.
     
  7. jetskier506

    jetskier506 Out Of The Brooder

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    No heat lamp they'll eat out thier feathers. Go to lowes buy what's called one outlet out door timer 9.84 and use a splitter .99 if your using two bulbs try 60 watt so it'll be easier on the timer and not blow the bulbs. Normally out door timers run $60+ but for chicken lovers they're on sell this month as well as solar lights and they make great perches for mine
     
  8. jetskier506

    jetskier506 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 15, 2011
    Actually a heat bulb might be ok. I saw how tall it was. But mine hated it and stayed away from it and mine was as high as my front door is. But it's also south georgia
     
  9. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The only reason I even thought to mention the skirting is that your setup was in the edge of a wooded area. We have a dog that keeps predators away from all the animals. Better safe then sorry.
     
  10. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    Quote:We will probably skirt two sides. My neighbors house is actually only about 30 ft from the edge of the right side, and there is only about 10ft of woods there that has been cleared about 5ft up and down. The far end is in the goats territory, and there is about 1 acre from there to the road.
     

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