Housing meat birds?

quiltnchik

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
1,006
13
161
Virginia
Where does everyone prefer to house their meat birds? I'll be ordering 25 in the fall and want to make sure we have everything in place to house them properly. I don't, however, want to spend a ton of $$ on birds we're going to end up butchering at 7-8 weeks of age.

Thanks!
 

bigredfeather

Songster
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
2,194
43
211
Yorkshire, Ohio
IMOP a tractor is the best way to go. If you do a search, you will find a ton of design ideas. You may have to spend some money intially, but if you're going to do more meaties, it will be worth it in the long run.

Here's mine.

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There are 33 of them in this picture. I think I could fit a few more if I needed to. It is 6'Wx10'Lx2'H. I had less than $100 invested in it.
 

Freebird

In the Brooder
12 Years
Aug 29, 2007
67
1
31
Springdale, AR
I agree, I think a tractor has got to be the best way. When you see how much poop they generate, you'll understand! I spent about $65, not counting the poultry wire (which I had laying around). Mine is smallish, only 8'x6'. I've just got 4 birds in it doing a test run:


 

quiltnchik

Songster
10 Years
May 19, 2009
1,006
13
161
Virginia
With the tractors like that (which I think are a great idea, BTW), do you not have a problem with predators at night? I'd be scared that something might get in and get them before I do!


I do like the tractors, however, 'cause they are much more inexpensive to make than a coop. Thanks for the info!
 

Freebird

In the Brooder
12 Years
Aug 29, 2007
67
1
31
Springdale, AR
bigredfeather's looks much more predator proof than mine. Looks like they used some type of hardware cloth - much stronger than the poultry wire I used. Also looks like they have an apron of the same material around the base to prevent things from digging under. I used poultry wire because I had it laying around. I'd suggest using the stronger stuff if you're worried about predators. There are a lot of predators in my area, but I've been eliminating as many as possible over the past several years. Plus, the tractor is in my yard, and I have a blue heeler that alerts me to anything that comes into the yard - he's tree'd at least 6 coons and stopped at least 4 possums over the last two years, and I won't even list the number of times he's been sprayed by skunks. So far, so good.

My predator proofing:
 
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simplyscrambled

Songster
10 Years
Mar 29, 2009
307
1
153
I wanted to try some meaties, but I have no grass! Part being in a drought that has spanned years and years, and being on a small suburban lot where I mostly have vegetables and fruit trees in the backyard. Dirt and gravel, mostly. Darn.
 

Peruvian

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
294
5
154
Vermont
I like my cattle panel hoop tractor. It's heavier (more predator proof) but I can walk in and out and hang the waterer and feeder.

 

ohiofarmgirl

Songster
11 Years
Jan 22, 2009
1,420
5
161
freebird - thats a nice lookin' dog
:)

Peruvian - will you briefly explain how the internal structure of your hoophouse works? aside from the door and the footings along the bottom is there any other framing?

my meaties are getting' mighty big.. yikes! we need to do something and soon

thanks!
 

Peruvian

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
294
5
154
Vermont
Mine is based on Robert Plamondon's design - http://www.plamondon.com/hoop-coop.html

Scroll
down below 'Cover it with tarps' section and click on the link for the .pdf document. It shows it very well.

I'd recommend using 2 8 foot lengths (for front and back) and 2 10 foot lengths (for sides) but bolt the cross pieces at 8 feet so there are 2 foot lengths to attach wheels in the rear for easier moving. I bolted boards on later but it's not as clean looking or strong.
 

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