Housing Meat Birds ect.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by coffeemama, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Oregono
    I couldn't decide if I should post this here or in the coops forum-I seriously went back and forth for 15 minutes [​IMG]
    Anyway, I have a friend who may go in on some meat birds with me next year. I really want colored bros, but the short time that cornish x have to grow appeals to her (and me really). If it were my house though, I'd have red bros or something similar.
    How much space does a cornish x need? What could we use for a inexpensive temporary shelter/safe zone in her pasture? What would a free ranger need? Could they be out during the day and locked up at night, or will that be too much movement and make for tough meat?
    It's going to be 3-5 years before I can move and have my own meat birds, so I really want to try to make this arrangement work in the mean time.
     
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    This is what worked for me.

    I started with 50 Cornish Cross, brooded them in the house in a brooder a little larger than 2' X 4'. It got cramped fast and when they started jumping out of the brooder it was time to make some changes. This brooder was about 3' X 7'. I lost 13 up to this point. When they were feathered and the weather had warmed up I moved them outside to the coop and run. The coop is about 9' X 12 and the run is about 12' X 16'. (Now all this is from memory. I am not at home so I can't measure anything.) I let them range during the day and put them up at night. They shared the coop with a bunch of other birds so the coop was mostly for sleeping. Back up. When I moved them outside half of the birds went to someone else to live so I only had about 18 at that time.

    When I butchered them the meat was fine. It had more texture than the store bought birds but the taste was great.

    They tend to want to sit by the food but by taking the food away from them for most of the day you can get them to move around and eat bugs and weeds. They will grow a little slower but the problems associated with fast growth should be lessened.

    I can't really say how much space they need since I didn't raise them in confined quarters.

    Safety zone: Can't say. My land is not fenced and I live in the country with my nearest neighbor being a quarter mile away.

    I think letting them roam during the day and locking them up at night is fine.
     
  3. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Look into a chicken tractor or two.Nothing is as portable or temporary as a tractor.Move them to fresh ground each day with lots of fresh water.Keep their feed at 20+%. I don't like to freerange meatbirds only layers.You can put 20-25 in a 8'x8' tractor(no more though). Will
     
  4. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    A tractor is probably the best way to go as it will allow you to move them to fresh ground every day. And, yes, you will NEED to move them to fresh ground every day. They produce an incredible amount of manure that seems to have a distinctive odor compared to regular chicken manure. This will make raising them a lot easier. By the time they are ready to butcher I really can't wait to see them go. I have never lost any from not restricting feed. If I did not enjoy their meat so much I would never deal with them again.
     
  5. TexasJoe

    TexasJoe Taking a break

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Quote:Best Advice. Make sure you give the JCxRs atleast 4-5 square feet EACH and butcher at 7-8 weeks or the poop/urine builds up super fast and becomes utterly disgusting. If you were to build an 8x8 tractor, it would be suitable for about 11 JCxRs.
     
  6. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Oregono
    Thanks for the responses. I think I also want to know about housing the free rangers like red bros. Maybe I'll ask greyfields [​IMG]
     

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