Meat bird housing - Can I see yours?

Ophelia

Hatching
8 Years
Aug 28, 2011
3
2
7
We're planning to get chickens this coming spring. My friend and I want a mixed flock of dual-purpose birds, partly for eggs and partly because chickens are lovely. The "egg" flock will be Sussex, Wyandottes, Brahmas and Cochins. I'd also like to get some Orpington cockerels for meat. I think I'll have the ability to house the cockerels separately, which would be nice. We'll have a 1:1 ratio, so I don't want them to harass the poor hens. Since they don't need nest boxes, do you have different setups for meat birds? These will be pastured, but it's a rural area with lots of hawks and coyotes, so I want somewhere they can be locked up at night for safety.

I'd love to see photos or gather ideas for something that is easy to build. Since it'll only be in use about six months of the year, it doesn't need to be overly fancy. Any special considerations, like roost spacing, for keeping that many boys together? Thanks!
 

WishboneDawn

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 19, 2011
99
2
31
Nova Scotia, Canada
Honestly, all we did was get a chain link dog run. We covered it with tarps to keep the rain off. For the first couple weeks they were outside at night (started at 4 weeks) we'd wrap it with tarps at night (but keep some ventilation at the top) to keep them warmer. After they were feathered out we just kept the tarps on top and leaned a couple of pieces of cardboard up against the sides where the prevailing wind and rain came from. That was it. We moved the run each morning this year to keep them off their waste but next year we're just going to pick an out of the way spot and layer shavings and dried grass clippings each day. Probably stick in a couple of old pallets too so they can get off the ground.

I should add we didn't tractor them past 4 or 5 weeks. Too much work. We just opened the door and let them free range during the day. Very easy.
 
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happydog

Songster
10 Years
Nov 22, 2009
232
3
111
Western NC
My husband bought some wood to build a house but then we discovered that you can buy kids wooden playhouses really cheap off craigslist. So we did that. We've now got a log cabin, a victorian house, an alpine chateau and a saloon for our birds to live in.
 

chicks4kids

Songster
10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
2,681
16
229
Northern Indiana
Here's mine. It can hold 75 birds. It has 2 brooder lamps inside if needed. It has a cover that goes over the entire top (like in the first pic) or I have the welded mesh without a cover to use in the open area on the second pic if I want them to have more sunlight. I have put hardware cloth around it just for extra precaution.



 

crperdue

Songster
11 Years
Oct 30, 2008
318
3
154
Lake Waccamaw, NC
This is an 8x8 tractor that moves every day. I only use it when the grass is growing.


This is a 10x16 day range shelter that I will move twice a week when grass is growing
and I pile wood shaving in and park during the winter. That should make a nice raised
bed for a garden in the spring.
 

doubleatraining

Songster
8 Years
Jul 25, 2011
1,163
16
164
Franklinton, NC
I will take pictures when I get home. I had them in a tractor but they were just too gross and messy for me to leave on the ground. I now have them in an above the ground pen and they stay really clean and safe.
 

Ophelia

Hatching
8 Years
Aug 28, 2011
3
2
7
Thanks for the suggestions! They're going to have free run of at least an acre during the day, so we don't have to worry about tractoring. Do Orpington cockerels need or want roosts at night? I'd hate to have to chase them down out of trees every evening to get them into a run.
 

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