How many more can I get?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Quadog, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. Quadog

    Quadog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 4x8 coup with 6 nest boxes, attached 8x 16 enclosed run, 45x 85 attached fenced in area, & sometimes let them free range on 10 acres. I now have 10 layers & would like to get some meat birds in the spring. Will I have enough room to keep some CornishX birds "temporarily" ??? If so, How many? When? How long? Should I add on?? Etc...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Preservation Acres

    Preservation Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 31, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    THOUSANDS!!!! GET THOUSANDS!!!!!

    Just kidding. There are people who follow formulas of anywhere from 2 to 4 square feet or more per chicken. What I've found is it all depends on your hens. Mine all love to crowd together in the coop at night so much, I could probably fit 2 per square foot if I wanted to.

    With that being said, my hens only spend the night in the coop. At the crack of dawn they're up and either free ranging or in the run.
     
  3. thecochincoop

    thecochincoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thats a lot of chickens in the coop unless they are free ranging. Sounds like you've been bitten by the bird bug and the only cure is to get a bigger coop [​IMG] I would think maybe 5 more birds in that small of a coop, but I could be wrong and it also depends on how often you want to clean it out
     
  4. Quadog

    Quadog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would like to harvest some homegrown chicken but not any of my original 10 " babies".

    I just won't get to know the new birds . [​IMG]
     
  5. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Plan on a separate enclosure as they will be eating higher protien food than you layers and the also poop like nothing you have ever seen before. We actually made cardboard enclosures in the garage. When they went to freezer camp we cleaned out the litter, sent the cardboard out to the curb for the trash man and dusted everything. It worked well. We did 25 birds in an area about 5x8. It sounds small, but all they do is lay around and eat and poop.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:On your 10 acres, yes.

    In that coop, no.

    You really, seriously wanna house your meat birds separately.

    If so, How many? When? How long? Should I add on?? Etc...

    A dozen is a nice number to try, the work and stink are not too unreasonable and if you have to process them all yourself it can be done pretty easily. But of course, pick whatever number you want [​IMG]

    You don't want to be growing meat birds in real hot weather, as they have even more problems dealing with heat than 'normal' chickens do. Also if you have a wet season, avoiding that would be good.

    With CornishX, you will get birds that dress out at 3+ lbs by 6 wks,
    5-6+ lbs at 8 wks, and beyond that you get excessively large chickens but also a higher death rate. From the standpoint of cost per lb of usable meat, it is more economical to process them earlier/smaller, as their feed conversion efficiency gets worse as they get bigger. OTOH if you have a family of 6 and need a 6+ lb roasting chicken for everyone to get their share, then obvioulsy it would be worth growing them out larger.

    You could also consider red broiler / "freedom ranger" types. They do not grow as fast but they also eat less. FWIW the red broilers I raised this past year ended up at *exactly the same* $/lb of meat as the previous year's CornishX, because the lesser growth rate was matched by lesser feed consumption. They still have a lot of breast meat and are pretty comparable to the CornishX carcass, only you can grow them up a bit *older* (not larger) and thus get more flavor, and they are a bit hardier and less prone to heart/leg problems.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  7. Quadog

    Quadog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is just the wife & I. We moved out here in the country a couple years ago & all the farms around us have horses & cows & such. I am starting with chickens. I got the layers set up so I guess meat birds are next. I hunt & can process my own kills so I am ready to try my hand at butchering a couple chickens. It sounds like I will have to set up a seperate area for the meat birds by spring . I'm glad to have the wealth of information you guys provide. I'm sure I will have alot more questions for ya!! The neighbors think I know what I'm doing.


    SHHHHH...It'll be our secret!![​IMG]
     

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