Meat chickens problem

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by TheHenHen, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. TheHenHen

    TheHenHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2012
    Canada Amaranth
    Hi, we have a farmer that is going to build a chicken barn right behind our house. We are cautious about the smell of the chickens in the summer, the farmer is going to raise 20,000 meat birds. Do you know how bad the smell might be?

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I can only tell you how bad 25 CX stunk in the fall - didn't raise them in the heat of summer. The smell was noticeable and potent. I can tell you they were fairly quiet chickens. The FR's were noisier, as are my layers. I raised them on grass, in a moveable tractor, with fermented feed as well as commercial feed. While the grass did absorb a fair amount of stink, when it rained, whew, smelled nearly as bad as if a pig lived there!

    Truly, that many chickens is quite a commercial operation. Depending on where the air handling system is placed, vented and inputted - that might be a bigger noise nuisance than the chickens themselves. The other consideration for you is how much dust is put out by these critters. If you have a hen house yourself, you need to make sure your family and your birds are protected from airborne diseases, mites and other such nuisances of life.

    If you have a cordial relationship with this neighbor, ask to see his building plans and how he's planning on keeping these birds (on concrete with a more commercial feed or free range with a more organic situation). Knowledge is power! Perhaps a well-placed question like, "did you realize you've placed that air handler in straight line with my home system?" might break some ice. Good luck.
  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    Good luck because operations that size stink! Is it for laying hens or slaughter chickens?
    They don't clean out and change the bedding untill the chickens are grown and gone.
    Check with the local zoning office and express your concerns.
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    If you purchase in an agricultural zone, you have a very good chance that one of your neighbors will farm. That's the risk you take when you buy in a farming area.

    Meat birds are almost certain to be Cornish Cross and those get butchered before they start to crow. They are very quiet birds, but 20,000 of them will make some noise. At least it won't be 20,000 birds crowing or singing the egg song.

    Some of the chicken ranches are mechanized and kept very clean. If you are lucky, the smell won't be eye watering, but that is a lot of birds, so you will get some smell. If the farmer isn't sanitary with his birds, they are going to smell. Or rather, their manure is going to smell. The actual birds have no odor.

    I sure hope this works out OK for you. Maybe he will change his plans. It's going to be unfortunate for you if he goes through with it.
  5. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    They'll stink. I grew up across from 2 of those size, and I remember some stinky days. The good news is, they don't constantly stink. It's mostly on wet, hot days. Or on days when they clean them out. On those days, it's awful.

  6. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    Oh, and, I wouldn't count on them just building one. Around here, if you have 1, you usually have a couple more.
  7. TamTurkey

    TamTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2012
    Hmmm 20,000? Yeah you will definitely smell that!
  8. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    I agree with the comments of Life is good, check building plans, agri building codes, besides the air handling equiptment, what arrangements for waste processing, ground water?

    (20,000 chickens) X (25 pounds of manure) = 500,000 pounds, or 250 tons of manure per batch and that is a whole lot of stink!
  9. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2009
    20,000 is a small operation. 20+ years ago I approached Sanderson Farms, interested in raising broiler chickens for them.

    Minimum operation they were looking to deal with was (let's see if I can remember the particulars) 4 houses, each 70' wide 1000' long, holding something like 70 or 80,000 birds each.

    Strange as it seems I visited several broiler farms, the chickens were raised on a deep litter consisting of rice hulls. I don't remember any oppressive smell.

    Funny thing about Sanderson Farms. I asked them for specifications, they required for their broiler houses. The best they could come up with was a very over copied crude drawing of a chicken house. When I asked for specifications they required on waterers and feeders, I was told to equip the house, they would send an agent out to inspect the house to see if it meet their requirements. So I then asked to speek to an agent, I was told none were available. So near as I could figure out, Sanderson Farms wanted me to invest more than $250K up front, with no commitment on their part. Didn't take me but a few calls to the La. Dept of Agriculture to find out Sanderson Farms was rumored to have decided to allow the La. chicken growers to decline. Never allowing a new one and never replacing an old one that went out of business. My understanding was that the only reason they maintained the ones that were in La is because they had just built a multi million $ processing plant in Hammond, and the La Dept of Ag commissioner told them that if the farmers in La didn't get the chickens they wanted, not one live or dead chicken would ever cross La state lines.
  10. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    Yes, I don't think they smell constantly. It's only under the circumstances I mentioned.

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