Meat chickens and trying to keep coop clean.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by harleyjo, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2010
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    I am new to chickens and I am doing my first batch of meaties. We have a coop divided in half and have the meat chickens on one side and my pullets on the other side. My pullets side is so much cleaner than my meaties. I have already taken some of the bedding out and started composting on the meaties side. I have been throwing down new bedding every day the last few days. July 6th will be 56 days. I don't know if I can make it the rest of the time they have without totally taking out all the shavings but I know as soon I put down new they are going to be exactly the same way.

    How do you all handle this with the meaties? They are so much dirtier than the pullets but all they do is sit and eat.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Yes, they do that [​IMG]

    You might get more responses if you get the mods to move this to the "Meat Birds Etc" section, but:

    Most people either tractor their meaties (moving them every day so the poo doesn't build up too badly anywhere); or use deep litter, where you fork out any matted areas every day or two and topdress with clean shavings daily. Then it is a big ol' mess to clean out once the batch of chickens is gone, of course [​IMG] You do need EXCELLENT ventilation. Really it usually works a lot better to have meaties somewhere entirely else from layers, rather than in one divided coop - something to think about for next time anyhow.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. angelique_redhead

    angelique_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally tractor my meat birds and move every day. They love the fresh grass and don't stink nearly as badly if you tractor them. Good luck! *HUGS* [​IMG]: Angelique
     
  4. keetsms

    keetsms Out Of The Brooder

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    Tractors are the way to go if you can. Otherwise they will require alot of clean up.
     
  5. lakeontariochicks

    lakeontariochicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Lake Ontario, NY
    We had meaties too up until a week ago......yuck! Hubby wants to do it again, but we have to come up with something different.
    I did not like that they really had no way to get away from all their poop!
    By the time we had 5 left, every night I would try to skim off the top layer of shavings, then throw down at least 2 more inches of fresh shavings. I really felt like they were thanking me, and seemed to be so much happier and more comfortable. I would completely pull everything out and clean at least 2 times a week.
    My hens in the coop are so much cleaner and drier, and they pretty much stir everything up themselves.
     
  6. Lalaith

    Lalaith Out Of The Brooder

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    Agreed that they need to be in a tractor. They kind of loll around and if it's lolling around in their own mess they get really dirty and gross. You'd want them to have access to nice pasture if you're eating them too.
     
  7. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live in a small rural town with only 2 city lots that aren't that big. I think my total property is 110 x 115. So I honestly don't know if I have enough room to tractor them. We ordered 25, they sent 28 and I haven't lost any of them. We are talking about doing another batch of them in Sept. but I would really like another way to deal with them.
     
  8. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2010
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    I would love to see a design of one of these tractors a size suitable for 25 to 30 birds that could be easily moved, not super expensive to move and that is going to be preditor proof. I am assuming they sleep out in them too. How do you keep all the night time preditors away from them?
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:People commonly put 50-100 broilers in a single tractor (10x10 or 10x12)-- 25-30 is *nuthin* [​IMG] It's a totally different situation from a tractor for layers or pets.

    As far as predatorproofing, the main strategy is generally to put the whole tractor inside a larger enclosure that is ITSELF fairly predatorproof (wire mesh and electric fencing, sometimes also LGD, etc)

    Check out the "meat birds etc" section of the BYC forum for lots and lots of threads about peoples' meat-bird tractors.

    Pat
     
  10. patimekiller

    patimekiller Out Of The Brooder

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    Here is the first grazing pen I built it is 4x8 and it was a little small for 20 meat birds I had about that many in it.
    [​IMG]
    here is the big one I built for 50 chicks it is 8x14
    [​IMG]
    if you are doing around 30 birds you could do like 4x 12 or14 or 8x8 and have enought sq ft for your 30 birds
    I also put wheels on mine to move it easyer
     

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