Miss Prissy, when can I put these stinky meat birds outside?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by LoneCowboy, May 2, 2008.

  1. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I have 50 stinky meat birds in my back room in commercial brooders. They are a little over a week old. I have a big chicken tractor outside waiting for them, but I need to know when I can put them outside. I was thinking at 3 weeks old, but thought I'd better get expert opinion. [​IMG]

    Night-time lows are in the low 40's right now. Daytime highs can get as low as low 50 and as high as upper 80's
  2. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I'm not miss prissy, but I put my meat birds out at 2 weeks with a light-- I know it was early, but we couldn't stand the stink! I would think with those temps, they would be fine with a little heat at night.
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I know with regular chickens they need to be kept at 95 degrees the first week, then drop the temp down (either 5 or 10 degrees; can't remember) each week until they are fully feathered. I did the same with my meat birds until I couldn't stand the stink anymore. They went out at 3 or 4 weeks but with a heat lamp. Once our temps hit 70-80 days and then started dropping back down into the 40's for a high, I figured they were on their own. So far so good. They are 7 weeks today.

    Whatever you do, don't make the same mistake I did and put them in the basement. When the furnace kicked on, I nearly keeled over [​IMG] The smell went through the whole house and took a while to get rid of. Never again.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Mine went out a lot sooner than my other chicks. And this fall when I do it again they may not come in the house at all! A secure brooder box with a lamp in the barn is in the works!

    Put them out in a draft free brood area with heat. Give them plenty of clean water, continue to monitor their feed and enough shavings you can mix it up and keep it semi fresh before having to clean it all out.

    The stink is so different from the other chicks, isn't?

    As the days get warmer you can put them in a secure tractor in a sunny place and not have to clean the brooder out so much.
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I have put them out at 2 weeks, but added a heat lamp to the tractor to be safe. In general, I like to see the night time temperature no lower than 45 and no precipitation.
  6. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    Mine go out at 2 weeks if real cold at night with a light.
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I've been keeping them at about 75 or so degrees. I think I read somewhere that you don't have to keep them as warm, because they eat so much that they create their own heat. I might be wrong, but I haven't been worrying about the extra heat so much. Maybe I should be. [​IMG]

    They really don't stink all that much more than regular birds, but I've never brooded 50 in the house before and I'm just covering the tray with newspaper rather than pine shavings. That's why they smell so much worse. I do change it everyday, but they sure do poop A LOT more than regular layers. [​IMG]
  8. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    In "Pastured Poultry Profits", Joel Salatin has a chart that, in a nutshell, shows the birds at 90 degrees for the first week, then after about 10 days, you can drop the temperature by about 5 degrees per day down to around 40. At 2 weeks, they should be able to handle around 55 degrees, and at 3 weeks, they can handle freezing (32 degrees).

    However, I don't try to push the limit, AND this assumes that you're actively managing the temperatures, and not simply moving them from a 90 degree brooder to 35 degree pen.
  9. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    I think I read somewhere that you don't have to keep them as warm, because they eat so much that they create their own heat.

    that's something I noticed, when you pick them up they are quite warm.​
  10. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Are meat chicks more smelly then layer chicks??

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