Leaving them overnight in the chicken tractor

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by trulyblessed, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. trulyblessed

    trulyblessed Out Of The Brooder

    56
    0
    39
    Jun 4, 2011
    We just built a chicken tractor for our meaties. This is our first batch ever. They are almost 3 weeks old and mostly feathered. We have been taking them outside in the chicken tractor during the day so they can forage around and get fresh air then bringing them back into the house to their brooder at night. We are going to build a little hut inside their tractor for them to get shelter and a cozy spot to sleep in. When do you think we can keep them in there all day/night? We would turn on a heat light if it was going to be cold at night.
     
  2. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    26
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    I would say it depends on how cold it gets. Ours always go out into the tractor at 3wks but it doesn't get very cold here.
     
  3. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,790
    13
    163
    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the forum [​IMG]

    Where do you live? What are your temps?
     
  4. geekgurl

    geekgurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    0
    99
    Apr 15, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
    Melissa
     
  5. trulyblessed

    trulyblessed Out Of The Brooder

    56
    0
    39
    Jun 4, 2011
    Thanks for the welcome! I love this forum so far, so much information. I live in Michigan. It's been pretty hot during the days now (around 75-85 degrees) and a little cooler at night.
     
  6. rivers2011

    rivers2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    272
    1
    111
    May 12, 2011
    Port Perry, ON
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    22
    134
    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Quote:It's a nice chart for layers, but doesn't come close for meaties. They are butchered by the time the chart says they can be outside full time. The growth rate of meaties (Cornish X's) is much faster than that of layers. I put my meaties out to stay at between 3 and 5 weeks depending on weather.
     
  8. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    1,922
    11
    161
    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    We moved our meaties into tractors at three weeks, and that was 7 weeks ago. At that time we had a number of mornings in the mid twenties. If your lows are in the high 30's+, move them out. You will be amazed at how they thrive once you get them outside day and night.

    You don't say how many, but all they need is a secure place to get out of the wind and rain, plus food and water. That's it. For my 8x8 tractors, a full half on the tractor is covered, top and sides. They don't need a coop, or anything with a floor. They need to be on grass, and somewhat exposed to the elements.

    These are not pet birds. Treat them well, but rememeber what the goal is. They don't give you food as a byproduct. They are the food.
     
  9. quercus21

    quercus21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    981
    1
    154
    Jul 21, 2008
    Tivoli, NY
    Ours went out when they were ~12 days old (Tuesday 5/31/2011). This morning I woke up to 54 degrees. Everyone was happy and healthy and waiting for the food. I have 49 of the in our tractor. At night when I close up the layers, I throw a tarp over the tractor.
     
  10. trulyblessed

    trulyblessed Out Of The Brooder

    56
    0
    39
    Jun 4, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I have 20 of them. DH built the tractor 6X12 and is going to put shrink wrap on 1/2 of the top to protect them from the sun. I wish I could post a picture, but I guess you can't when you're new for a bit.

    Oh, I do have another question.....do mosquitos bother them? They are really bad around here and I was worried about them being bitten alive out there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by