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New to the crew of chickens - summary of my plan - open to suggestions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GreenClucker, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. GreenClucker

    GreenClucker Hatching

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    Dec 10, 2012
    Greetings all, Our family has decided to build a coop and have some laying hens to start and then we will also be getting some meat birds once or twice a year. the following is a summary of my plan.

    Coop - 4 x 8 wood frame style - non insulated coop which will stay in the same spot all the time. The Run will be fully enclosed and be around 10 x 10. I wasn't planning on insulating the coop - we live in Ontario

    I will be getting some store bought feeders given to me prior to getting the birds

    We will be buying full size birds from the local co op when ready

    Questions???

    Can you have layers and meat birds together?

    Any comments are welcome, thanks
     

  2. mdbtalon

    mdbtalon In the Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2013
    You mention getting full sized birds from the co-op so I assume that is the layers only (otherwise you do not need a coop for "full-size" meat birds... only a knife). So assuming the meat birds you will be getting a couple times a year will be chicks I think the only problem is introducing these chicks to the adult layers they will likely pick on the chicks and when the chicks are small they can kill them. In general though yes you can keep layers and meat birds together.

    Make sure you have plenty of ventilation without it being drafty and they should be ok in an non-insulated coop.
     
  3. GreenClucker

    GreenClucker Hatching

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    Sorry rookie mistake - the laying birds will be full sized and the meat birds will come in the 3 lb range from an organic chicken farm after they cull as they are too small to send to market and then I will keep them 3-4 weeks only then off to the butcher shop they go.
     
  4. maryhysong

    maryhysong Songster

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    the real problem with raising broilers with layers is difference in feed. You feed meat birds a higher protein grower feed while layers need lower protein and extra calcium
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I’d separate the two operations. The difference in feed is a good point, but you will also have a big difference in age. You’d have to go through an integration. By the time you do that and get them settled, it’s time to process. Plus anytime you merge chickens you take the chance of introducing a disease. I just don’t see any advantage in combining the two operations and some possible pitfalls.
     
  6. GreenClucker

    GreenClucker Hatching

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    Dec 10, 2012
    Well I might just have to build two pens but I hate having one empty 80% of the time when I don't have meat birds on site. Would the meat birds be fine in just a covered pen for the short time I have them or is a coop mandatory?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    You don't need much of a coop. They are not going to be roosting or laying eggs. You'll need to consider predators.

    They need to be able to get out of the worst of the weather. Shade may be real important depending on where you live.

    I suggest you look at a shelter with a roof for rain and shade, and three sides so they are out of the worst of the wind. As long as you pick the time iof hte year you don't have to worry too much about winter weather.
     

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