new chicken raiser questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by coldchiken, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. coldchiken

    coldchiken New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2008
    I'm a new member to this site and new to raising chickens so please excuse the questions that are very obvious to all you experienced chicken raisers. I have 6 acres in the middle of nowhere,which I absolutely love, and after three years of cleaning up this old farm site I'm finally ready to raise some chickens and pigs.
    Pigs,I have some past experience, chickens not. I would like to have 25-30 chickens in the freezer by this fall. Do I need a coop to raise meat birds or just a suitable shelter to protect from the weather? I have a new 8' by 12' garden shed I just built on an old 20' by 15' cement slab that I could use for a shelter. I could fence in 1-3 acres next to the shed which would be all grass. What breed would you suggest for meat. As much as I would like to have eggs, I don't think I could afford to heat a henhouse.Any thoughts?
    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Where do you live? That will determine how you need to make your set up.

    For meat birds, a big suitable shelter is fine. The shed you speak of sounds great. Just have to clean it a lot as meat birds poo alot and make a big mess. The cement floor should make it easier. They take 8 weeks to reach bucher weight and when they do, get it done fast. One thing to watch out for is the meat birds over heating in the summer if it get's hot where you are. Else, temp wise, go according to regular chickens.

    A fenced in area would be good for layers but meat birds won't range much. Keeping hens is easy, just use a part of your shed or go though our coop design pages to see what others are doing for their birds. I don't heat my coops and many don't. Only in the coldest coldest areas do people heat their coops really. A draft free place is the best.

    As a new chicken-er, maybe the following links will give you a heads up!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-howto.html

    Welcome to the board!
     
  3. coldchiken

    coldchiken New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2008
    Thanks for such a quick reply! Yes, I forgot to mention where I live which is in SW Minnesota. As of today we have had our 30th sub-zero day(-15 this morning) this winter. Because of astronomical LP prices I'm just barely able to afford to keep my "Little Outhouse on the Prairie" at 65 degrees. I'm not far from where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up! So is it still possible to keep a coop unheated or possibly some insulation in the hen house or should I jjust forget the eggs and just work on the meat?
    Thanks,
    John
    By the , Awesome car. What year?
     
  4. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    you don't need to insulate or heat a building for eggs.just a good study shed that is well ventilated,give them 14 hours of light in the winter.(daylight + light bulb)
    for meat you only want to raise them during warm weather,get a cornish breed that will grow in 6-10 weeks check out "my page" for some ideas of my portable coops. any questions just holler
    will
     

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