Meat birds and tractor advice

UPfamilyfarm

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
9
0
7
HI all!
I have 25 meat birds coming and I want to make a tractor for them. Any guidelines for how much space they need? I plan on moving them every day, but don't want them to be squished :)

Also, from reading dozens of other posts I understand that even if they are eating grass and bugs it is still necessary to give them feed. How much should I give them? Do I feed a little bit a couple of times a day?

Thanks!
 

Mortey

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 9, 2012
27
1
24
I have been told (this is my first time... so no way an expert) to give them continuous food for the first three weeks. Then take away the food for about 6 hours (3 hours at nightish and 3 in the afternoon) after that age.

Tractor size? We are building one with about 4 square feet of space available per chicken. If they get squished in that space we have some fenced in free range space available to them as well :)
 

osbmail

Songster
6 Years
Jul 10, 2013
128
25
116
Go a head and build a 8x8 tractor should be able to house about 40 so 25 will do nicely . You will probably want have more next time so you will have room and easy to build if you buy 8ft lumber less cuts to make . Call around to feed mills to buy your food you will need about 2 lbs of food per pound of gain so if you want 5lb chickens figure 10lbs per chicken x 25 250lbs buy all your food at one time and be done with it .I like to feed 2 times a day once in the morning and once at night .
 

LindaB220

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 23, 2013
6,179
884
341
Portland/Vancouver area
Hey all you newbies
welcome-byc.gif
Glad to have you all with us. Obsmail has the right idea. Feed 2 x daily. (After the first couple of weeks) Put enough for them to be full for a few hours. They are like greedy toddlers and will overeat if they can. Move the tractor daily and try to keep them a little active. Put the water high enough that they have to stand to drink and they same for the food. You might want to check in on the fermented feed threads. This can save you a lot of money and aggravation. The fermentation changes their poo and keeps the smell down. They digest more of the grain. And you don't have to keep watering quite so much. I use a rain gutter cut in half (5') and you can slide it in the tractor. Fill a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of grain or feed. Add a couple of gallons of water. Check a few min later and may need more water. You want the consistancy of peanut butter or thick oatmeal. Stir good and cover with a towel. Leave 4-5 days stirring daily. It will be ready. Take a 5-6 cups of feed and start another bucket. It will be ready in a day or 2. Keep going. The extra time it takes usually evens out by not having to keep filling the water buckets so much. Put as much as they can eat in 1/2 hr. am and pm and you are set. It's great and saves all the thrown out food they waste. Good luck guys
 

UPfamilyfarm

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 24, 2014
9
0
7
Thanks! I've read a lot about fermenting foods for people (I do a lot of soaking and sprouting for my family) but using it for chickens was new to me. Makes perfect sense!
8x8 for 40 birds sounds great also. If the 25 go well this year we will definitely do 40 next year. I'm so excited!!
 

osbmail

Songster
6 Years
Jul 10, 2013
128
25
116
I always like to feed at night when I worked 2nd shift bring the dog outside with me kind of letting all the night time critters I was around . I am raising red broiler this time they seem to eat a lot more grass than Cornish ,have not really weighed any lately . I think they will take a little longer and use more feed but they are pleasant to look at and don't seem to smell as bad . They really dethatch the lawn good I have also been feed them directly on the ground since they don't seem to have near as much poop.
 

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