Meatbird or rooster coop or run

jher77

Songster
Nov 19, 2020
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I'm looking at building a coop/run to hold meatbirds or roosters after brooding to slaughter. I've kept laying chickens but never had meatbirds so I really don't know much about keeping them. I just need a place separate to keep them until they go in the freezer. Don't need anything fancy. What kind of setup do you guys use? Pics would be great.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Meat birds(8-12 weeks to slaughter) would be different than layer breed roosters(14-26 weeks to slaughter).
Layer breeds would be same space requirements as layers.
Browse or post in the Meat Bird forum for meat bird housing.
 

iwltfum

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Sep 10, 2018
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Are you talking about where they will spend the day while you're butchering them? Or a place for them to live while you are growing them?
 

jher77

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Nov 19, 2020
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I'm talking about another separate coop for meatbirds or roosters to live in until they get big enough to slaughter. I want them separate from my layers although I could probably fit extra roosters with them if they don't cause alot of trouble.

I didn't know meatbirds would grow that fast so I guess I have to plan on having extra roosters so I would have a good enough coop to house them. Really just looking for ideas on something cheap to build since a $5 2x4 is $10 now.

I'm thinking about hatching my eggs and eating the roosters and maybe getting meatbirds in between hatches or something.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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I didn't know meatbirds would grow that fast
Any chicken can be slaughtered for meat.
I slaughter my extra cockerels form hatching replacement layers at about 14-16 weeks,
not much meat on them but still delicious.

The term 'meat bird' usually means Cornish Cross hybrids that are ready to slaughter as 8 weeks. It's the same kind of bird you'll find in the grocery store.

There are also slower growing meat birds that go to the freezer at about 12 weeks.
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
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I'm talking about another separate coop for meatbirds or roosters to live in until they get big enough to slaughter. I want them separate from my layers although I could probably fit extra roosters with them if they don't cause alot of trouble.

I didn't know meatbirds would grow that fast so I guess I have to plan on having extra roosters so I would have a good enough coop to house them. Really just looking for ideas on something cheap to build since a $5 2x4 is $10 now.

I'm thinking about hatching my eggs and eating the roosters and maybe getting meatbirds in between hatches or something.

On my farm, we grow our meat birds in pasture pens (or "chicken tractors"). We use a hybrid/commercial breed called freedom ranger. I have found that if you plan to feed you and your family (or more) with chickens, you will need to think of your meat birds as a separate entity from your laying flock. We do not combine the two. We raise our meat birds and turkeys and layers all separate. I feed the meat birds a completely different diet than the laying hens and manage them in a very different way. I'm sure you could just raise a couple extra roosters with your flock as long as they have enough space, but you won't get too much meat from that method in most circumstances.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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I'm thinking about hatching my eggs and eating the roosters and maybe getting meatbirds in between hatches or something.

What I think you are planning is to eat your excess dual purpose cockerels and to occasionally raise either Rangers or Cornish X as well. These threads might help some. We sometimes get confused on terminology and there are a lot of different options in how to go about this. A lot of options.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/raising-roosters-for-meat.1430173/

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/what-are-meat-birds.1427714/

I do not raise Cornish X or Rangers. Instead I raise dual purpose with my laying/breeding flock. I don't do anything special for them other than make sure they have a lot of room. They eat the same stuff and are housed together. Some people house and feed their dual purpose "meat birds" differently.

If you read through this forum you'll see a lot of different ways to manage Rangers and Cornish X. They do grow really fast. If your goal is to put a lot of meat in the freezer you can't beat the Cornish X, especially if you manage them that way. There are different ways to feed and house them. Rangers also grow a lot faster than dual purpose but not as fast as the Cornish X but may be a bit more user friendly.

It's hard for me to give a clear answer to your question because there are so many different ways to go about it. I suggest you read threads in this section that sound interesting and never hesitate to ask a question. I also suggest after you do your basic research jump in and get your feet wet. Try something. If it doesn't work out eat your failures and try something different. I'm still going through trial and error to try to improve.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

Matejka

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
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I recently acquired 4 cornish x meat birds. They were excess from ffa/fair project. The other 20 excess birds were slaughtered and processed then sold. They were processed at 8 WEEKS, the smallest processed bird weighed 5 1/2 pounds-at 8 weeks. My 4 are free ranging, I am limiting their feed. They are 13 weeks and average live weight is 9-10 pounds. They DO NOT roost. They stay on the ground. They are different from layers-completely.
If I were to raise cornish x for meat, I would use a 10x10 chain link dog kennel, with shade cloth/tarp top.
Just my 2 cents worth.
 

jher77

Songster
Nov 19, 2020
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Well I didn't know meatbirds won't roost. I guess that makes sense if they are that fat. Ha. Yes these replies do help. I'm going to have to rethink.

If you were to brood cornish x or rangers for 6 weeks, then that is only about 2 weeks in a pen or do they leave the brooder sooner than regular chicks?

Shoot I have an ohio brooder that I use. Will the meatbirds be even be able to fit under it?
 

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