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First timer with questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MOChickenz, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. MOChickenz

    MOChickenz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2010
    Missouri
    Hi all!

    We have had layers for over a year and want to do a bunch
    Of meaties before winter. I have read a lot of the info here
    And it is wonderful! Very detailed and easy to understand.

    I am a city girl by background and I dont understand the concept of a chicken tractor. We plan on doing about 50 meaties. I want to ensure at least 3 sq ft per chicken, or more if you guys think so. I don't want my meat birds
    To be miserable. My chicken tractor would have to be at least 10 by 5 in that case, plus the covered area. This is going to be heavy. We actually have a real tractor that we can use to pull the chicken tractor around the pasture. How do we make sure the chickens don't get hurt when we move it?
     
  2. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Hello!

    If you want to ensure 3 square feet per bird, and want 50 birds, you will need a tractor/pen that is 150 square feet (15 x 10, which is a very large tractor). A 10 x 5 is only 50 square feet. You might consider doing two smaller tractors, though I am sure others on here have made large ones, and can be a lot of help to you, if that's what you decide to do!

    My tractor for 25 birds is only 5 x5, but they only sleep in there. They free range all day. If they were going to LIVE in there, 24 hours a day, oh my, I wouldn't be willing to put very many birds in at all.

    My chickens are never inside when we move the tractor...but I've always wondered that myself. How DO people move theirs, with chickens inside, and no one gets hurt?!?! Interested to hear the answer!!
     
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yorkshire, Ohio
    They will be just fine if given 1.5 sqft each. With that being the case, your tractor needs to have 75 sqft. If you make a tractor that is 8'X10", you'll be all set.

    They figure out that the tractor is moving and move with it. I just moved some 2 week olds out to the tractor. The first time I moved it, they did just fine. Mine are usually anxious to get to the new ground and press the front of the tractor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  4. MOChickenz

    MOChickenz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ugh, dropped the 1. I swear I can do math. Lol

    Yeah, I was thinking that I might have to build 2. That's why I am throwing it out there. I cannot free range them right now. We have a subdivision at the front of our property and this dog thinks our chickens are a nice snack.
     
  5. MOChickenz

    MOChickenz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2010
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    So, 1.5 sq ft per bird is ok? Had no idea. But how
    Do I move it without killing them or having to drag 50 birds out once a day?
     
  6. MOChickenz

    MOChickenz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2010
    Missouri
    Obviously I cannot read or type today. Will they move with it when they get fat?
     
  7. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    If you place a feeder at the front, they will follow the feed while you move it forward.
     
  8. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It does tend to get a little more challenging as they get older, but the feeder in the front of the tractor is a good way to get them motivated. I will sometimes have my daughter watch the back when moving. I recently built a hoop house tractor. i like it much better, as you can see all the birds while moving it, and stop if you have a stubborn one.
     
  9. Edwards' East of Eden

    Edwards' East of Eden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2011
    Biloxi, MS
    I've also read somewhere - I would attribute it if I could - about mounting a couple of straw broom heads at the back inside end of the tractor, just brushing the ground, so they make that sweeping noise when you pull it forward and the chickens move forward away from the noise.

    Of course, if the direction you would have them moving has the noise of an actual real tractor, that might not work so well - probably only applicable for hand-pulled tractors.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 19, 2011
  10. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Quote:Yes 1.5 sq ft per bird is okay, as in, the birds will be fine, and a lot of people do this but I think its a personal choice, as I could never raise a bird with only 1.5 square feet of living space. What works for one, doesn't always work for another. . . and again, my own personal feelings aside, many people raise their meaties in 1-1.5sq feet/bird pens/tractors, with no problem whatsoever!
     

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