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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by first time farmer, Mar 6, 2009.
Do meat birds need the same amount of space as laying hens?
Quote:Nope- much less. Sorry, I can't remember the square footage requirements, but you should be able to find it on here by searching, or read "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens." I keep 25 birds in a 6x10 tractor, and there's plenty of room for more birds.
I actually gave mine more space because I got tired cleaning up after mine 5 times a day. I didn't want them to have burned feet or breasts from the poop. Eventually I sent mine out to the pasture to free range. What a sigh of relief.
Give them as much space as you can spare, but don't stress out too much. As they age, they move less and less. (Tip, have food at one end of their run and feed at the other end, otherwise they will literally lay in one spot stick their head in the feed and lean over and get a drink, seen it with my own eyes.) I get a couple bails of hay and as the run gets fouled up I ad a handlful to the bad spots to cover it and clean out the whole mess when they go to the processor. For my meat bird set up I use an old swing set frame covered in chicken wire. I did have a prblem with opposums last year, they were able to kill a couple birds, but did not get them out of the run. I will am going to double up the wire with welded wire this year.
Again, if you can, go with a tractor- you can keep them in a small space because you move it every day, so they're always on clean pasture. I wouldn't do meat birds any other way.