help!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by txmel, Sep 22, 2010.

1. txmelChillin' With My Peeps

Jan 8, 2010
boerne, tx
my girls want to do meat birds for 4H and i have no idea what size of enclosure they will need. what size brooder then what size coop and run, ect... for 25 birds! we only have a small flock of layers and i want to keep these separate so the girls get the pleasure of taking care of them
so how big of a space do i need for them? thanks all also if anyone has pics of what they use that would be most helpful. not sure how long i have to get this all put together but hopefully it will quit raining long enough for me to do it.

2. TigerLillyI failed Chicken Math

Jul 18, 2010
Central Florida
I basically had to ask the same question recently about how much space chickens need. I'm new, too...I was told that for inside the coop you need 4 sq ft per chicken & for the run it would be 10 sq ft per chicken. So for 25 birds you'd need a coop that is 100 sq ft & the run would be 250 sq ft. Sorry I cant figure out the actual measurements--math isn't my best subject.
And I hope I got that right!
There are threads on here showing all kinds of coops & runs, just do a search or check under "Coop & Run" in the index.
Or you could check out this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=394207 you will get a lot of ideas for your basic, no frills set-ups!

3. Dora'smomChillin' With My Peeps

Dec 14, 2009
Oregon
The coop would be about 10 x 10 feet, and the run would be about 16x16 or some combination of measurements that would approximate that. These are the minimum suggested space requirements for any large fowl.

4. txmelChillin' With My Peeps

Jan 8, 2010
boerne, tx
is that even for meat birds that are processed at 8 to 10 weeks?

5. bigredfeatherChillin' With My Peeps

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Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
I give mine 1.5-2 sqft per bird. Might sound a little tight, but for a bird that only lives for 8 weeks and are as inactive the CX, it's plenty of room. I would suggest using a tractor (movable pen), if possible, instead of a coop or space in the barn. If you build a tractor or pen 6'x10', that would be more than big enough.

6. JudymaeChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 22, 2007
Merit, Tx
Okay...we do broilers every year for the Hunt County Fair. The kids have been doing this through their FFA...so I'll tell you what we do. Just to note we got 6th place this year and sold at auction for over \$1200. Our coop for 25 meat chickens is 10x10. You don't need a chicken yard because you don't want your chickens exposed to sunlight or rain. They can't be on regular dirt...The shavings have to be between 5 and 6 inches deep. Twice a day go out and turn the shavings to keep the top dry. At about 4 wks old add a large (feed store size bag) every week. We have taken plastic rain gutters and run them down 2 sides of our totally enclosed coop. We attached it by chains so we can raise and lower the feeders as the chickens grow. You are graded on their breasts. If you allow them on the regular ground their breasts will bruise and if you have a bruise you are disqualified. You want large breasts that are even on both sides...which means you want them to stand and walk to their food. They tend to be very lazy and only get up for food and water. So make the most of that. We hang the waterers down the center of the coop. Refill all waterers every 8 hours. In the beginning we put vitamins and electrolytes in their water for 2 weeks. For each pen of 25 chickens you need one bag of turkey starter....once the turkey starter is gone then you start on Purina Show Chow. When we go to show we can point out all the chickens that weren't fed this way. They are soo much smaller. Our chickens at show (8wks old) are right at 11 lbs. We do have to keep a/c on them because we show in June and when we show it is sooo hot. But our coop is enclosed and insulated so we just cut a hole in the side and attached a window unit a/c. We monitor the temp and keep it around 70* once they get big. My 10 yr old is the one that shows and he LOVES it. He does all the feeding, watering, and raking the shavings. First thing every morning, before he gets dressed, he waters and feeds and rakes....before he heads to school he checks the temp. While at school I check on them a couple of times...when he gets home he drops his backpack on the porch and heads out to do his duties!! Before bed he goes out again. I was very proud of him....he did great!!! He placed higher than anyone else in his school and we have people who have showed chickens for lots of years!!!

7. dsqardCrazy "L" Farms

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Jun 11, 2010
York PA
A lot of people will build the tractor out of PVC pipe and wire with just a tarp over one end for shade. This makes it very light and easy to move. If you do a search on it I am sure there are lots of pictures on here. You wouldn't even have to glue the parts together so that you could take it apart and store it after the birds are processed.

8. JudymaeChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 22, 2007
Merit, Tx
I forgot...for our brooder I section off part of the coop with pieces of old plywood and hang a heat lamp over them....so when they are big enough I just remove the plywood.

I wouldn't do a tractor because they will bruside their breasts on the ground...you have to have the shavings VERY deep...especially when they get big. They don't just sit down...they plop down and will bruise their breasts. We had one (our largest!!) with a bruised breast. She bruised it by bumping into the feeder...so we ran that insulation like tape ....weather stripping I think is what it's called...down the length of the feeders to keep that from happening next yr.

Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
9. KatyTheChickenLadyBird of A Different Feather

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Dec 20, 2008
Boise, Idaho
this is mine, it holds 25 CX very comfortably, I move it daily usually twice daily. you really have to get at least a 5 gallon waterer for 25 CX though, my 25 went through 5 gallons a day and they can't tolerate going without. No the white stuff is not feathers, it's from the cotton wood trees

10. txmelChillin' With My Peeps

Jan 8, 2010
boerne, tx
thank you all for the responses that helps a lot, gives me a lot of ideas on how i'm gonna do this.