Flooring for Meaties in pen that can't be moved

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by mcdaid36, May 12, 2009.

  1. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    152
    0
    129
    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    I have my first batch of meat chickens that are 6 weeks old now. The pen they are in now I made by enclosing a trampoline frame with hardware cloth, then put chicken wire and a tarp over the top. I also put in an old wooden dog house that I outfitted with a 75 watt bulb for some heat when they first went out and the temp were in the low 40's. We ended up having to line the sides of the pen with logs cut 18 inches long, because of a fox and pack of coyotes that has started to come around. Now that the pen has about 40 logs around it, it obviously can't be moved. It's been very rainy here, creating a lot of mud. To keep the chickens cleaner both because of the mud and their droppings, I've been putting down layers of hay. It works fairly well, but they are still muddy on their undersides. I'm wondering if there's anything better that I could be using, or if this is just normal for meat birds? I know most of you have movable tractors, but that's not an option for us. For those of you who don't move them around, what do you do for flooring? Thanks for any suggestions/advice!!!!
     
  2. mommahento5

    mommahento5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    129
    Jul 6, 2007
    South East Indiana
    Before we made our tractor, we raised our meat birds in one-half of our coop. The floor in there is concreate though so we had bedding down. We used pine shavings. By the time they were ready to butcher we were changing the bedding almost daily! Talk about expensive! They are just disgustingly dirty chickens! We were really trying to keep them clean for fair and no matter what we did, they were still dirty on their tummies. Needless to say we quickly decided we would NEVER keep meat chickens indoors again. I think what you are doing is about all that you CAN do. Good luck!
     
  3. Riparian

    Riparian Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    3
    131
    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    meaties put out alot of really wet poo. this soaks their bedding really fast. I use straw, not hay because its more absorbant and if they eat too much dried hay they can get impacted crops.

    I usually give my birds a half of a slab of straw twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. this keeps them pretty dry.
     
  4. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:Heres a thought... wood pellets..would that not be a good option for meaties? It eventually soaks up the poop and whatever, and you just scoop it out. It would last longer than shavings..probably not practical for the OPs situation, but it just came to mind haha.
     
  5. Riparian

    Riparian Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    3
    131
    Apr 21, 2008
    Ontario Canada
    my problem with wood pelets and shavings is price. I use it in my brooders and in my laying boxes, but for bedding for my layers and meaties i use straw.

    I have to add fresh bedding to the meatbird pen twice daily, but my laying birds only needed fresh straw a few times when they were penned up in the winter. the difference in the amount of daily poo is incredible. shavings are just too expensive to use on my meatbirds.
     
  6. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    We use shavings in the layer house scoop weekly, and change monthly. Brooders have shavings, but then again we can get cheap shavings from the mill and for the length of which you can use pellets with a meatie I suppose it would be cost effective if you can't get your hands on straw, which we can't unless its in huge super bales right now.
     
  7. mommahento5

    mommahento5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    129
    Jul 6, 2007
    South East Indiana
    Quote:Do you mean the kind that you can use for rabbit litter? They are kinda in pellets? I have some of those laying around from a rabbit we had, but I never used them because I was worried the chickens would see them as food. I have seen the way they expand when they are wet, and didn't think I would want my chickies to eat them and then "blow up" from eatting them! Maybe you are talking about something else though? I definately recommend keeping these little poop machines on pasture!!
     
  8. Big George

    Big George Out Of The Brooder

    92
    0
    29
    Apr 19, 2009
    I just raised 20 in a 6 x 8 plywood box in the garage. I used corn cob bedding from Rural King it was $3.99 a bag. Much absorbant than chips or hay that I started out with. I shoveled it all out last night and it was not as bad as I thought it was gong to be. The birds under feathers looked good and they made 10 lbs. Good luck
     
  9. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:Do you mean the kind that you can use for rabbit litter? They are kinda in pellets? I have some of those laying around from a rabbit we had, but I never used them because I was worried the chickens would see them as food. I have seen the way they expand when they are wet, and didn't think I would want my chickies to eat them and then "blow up" from eatting them! Maybe you are talking about something else though? I definately recommend keeping these little poop machines on pasture!!

    Like the stuff for horse stalls, the size of pellet you put in a pellet stove. They're pretty big, and you'd leave them unexpanded or maybe add a bit of water. I figured they would soak up the poo and water and whatever, and expand until they needed changing. I can't see, with the size of the horse stall ones, chickens eating them and the poster below used the corn cob pellets was it? and had no problem so I assume they'd produce the same sort of effect.
     
  10. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    I'm not sure about your area, but pine straw is cheap here, though I don't have to buy it because I have a more than a few pines on the property. Pine straw is also slightly acidic to so also balances the ammonia. Besides little critters that the chickens love to eat make homes in it. It is the first place my chickens head when free ranging. A bail of pine straw around here goes for $3 which is surprising because it is everywhere. I have seen some people put up signs offering it for free but it is not bailed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by