Heritage chicken coop size?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Newchickenguy, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    So I will be growing out various breeds of heritage roosters. I will butcher at 20-22 wks. How big should a coop and run be for them. I here with cx that 1 ft is enough. Is this true also with heritage meat chickens as they will be there 20-22 wks? Or is 1ft fine as you are going to butcher them anyway?
     
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    No way will heritage boys be okay with 1sq ft each... especially not at 20+ weeks. I have gotten away with 2 sq ft per heritage rooster (absolutely NO pullets in the pen) in a pasture pen until about 20 weeks, but they were definitely not happy, and if I had to do it again I would try for 4 sq ft per bird. It also depends on the breed; something like a red sex link cockerel is going to be much more aggressive with his brothers than a Buff Orpington, for instance. Getting them on pasture helps to take down some aggression as they are occupied with foraging part of the time. In the end though, you will have to do some trial and error based on your individual situation and the type of birds you are using.
     
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  3. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    They will be new hamp reds, will that make a difference. Should 4 ft per bird be enough?
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    New Hamps tend to be pretty rowdy cockrels, and they will be ACTIVE by 20 weeks of age. All the space you can manage and pasture too. No bird should only have one sq. ft.!!! Mary
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    IMO, 'heritage' is about more than the breed, it's about the environment in which you raise them.

    Taking a heritage bird and raising them in a confinement type facility, you might as well just buy your chicken at the grocery store.
     
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  6. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Well that was a rude thing to say aart. I mean did it every occur to you that not everyone has enough land to raise chickens out in some lush green field? I would love it if I did but I don't. I would assume your post suggests that if you cant raise chickens on non gmo food in a 5 acre field that you shouldn't even attempt to eat them?
     
  7. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with all of this except the last line. IMO, to raise up extra "heritage" cockerels in a small pen in your backyard is 1000% better than the grocery store. But as with all animal production, it is always better the more room you can give, and it will make you as the farmer feel better about it in the long run.

    Newchickenguy, I don't think aart was meaning to be rude as they stated "IMO" (In My Opinion) at the beginning of their post... just their own words of advice! And it was very good advice. This may be something that, if you sell in local markets, you will have to explain to customers.
     

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