Meat chicken question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Medic, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Medic

    Medic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an established flock of 7 chickens 2 ducks, they free range during the day. This spring I am planning on getting 50 meat chickens. I would also like them to free range during the day, is there any problem with them interacting with each other? I also have not figured out how the coop situation at night would work.
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    That's a lot of meat birds. Do you have a lot of predators? If so you may want to invest in an electric fence to keep out ground predators and some bird netting to stop the aerial ones. If it were me I would keep them separate from your resident birds for a couple of reasons. They have different feeding requirements and the older birds won't be harassing them. I also wouldn't want them in my main coop at night because of the large amount of fertilizer they produce in a short time. For that many meaties you will want a large amount of space for them at night.

    Others may have different opinions or experiences. You may want to ask this over in the Meat Bird forum.
     
  3. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd keep them separated, as 1) they have different feed requirements, and 2) the young meat birds will be killed or harassed by the older birds, at least for the first 4-8 weeks (depending on type of meat bird).
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You would need to manage them just like you do with layer chicks. Start them on starter. They'll need to be brooded until they're fully feathered. If I was raising meat birds, I'd switch the whole flock over to multi-flock 20% protein, or grower. When the meat birds are big enough that they can safely free range, you'll need to supervise until you're sure that the bigs won't hurt them. There's safety in numbers, so your bigs will probably make a half concerted effort to put them in their place, then give up. Where will you be housing them after the brooder? You'll definitely have to figure out housing before you get them. What kind are you getting? CXR, or RANGERS, DIXIE RAINBOWS alias PIONEERS? If you get CXR, they'll be butchered before you have to deal with rooster drama. If you get any of the other breeds, you're going to have cockrel war-fare on your hands. Definitely read up on how to manage CXR. They DO require special feed protocols to avoid the many issues they are prone to.
     
  5. Medic

    Medic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure I was thinking of getting the cornish x, i am planning on using a large round horse trough as a brooder, i haven't figured out housing after that. I do have a 10x10 dog kennel, but i would really like them to free range and enjoy the grass and stuff in their short lives. My only concern is will they join my other flock or will they keep themselves separated?
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    That remains to be seen! They may free range separately, or they may find increased security in numbers. When I raised layer and meat chicks together last spring, I integrated them with my flock of 5 layers when the newbies were about 9 weeks old, and they all did fine together. It depends on what you have for housing space.
     
  7. Medic

    Medic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is my latest development, I now have access to a hay wagon I am thinking of building a large chicken tractor for their coop, and using portable chicken fencing for their free ranging. Then I should be able to move them around every couple of days. I assume that due to their weight they do not fly high enough to go over the fence.
     

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