Outdoor meaties

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by booker81, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Apr 18, 2010
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    So the meatie chicks will be here in two weeks or so. That will put them at the beginning of November for processing. The plan is to fence part of my garden off to start (where I didn't bother planting this year), and expand the fence as I harvest. I will putting fencing over the top of the garden as I expand the meatie land.

    I have the parts to put together a simple shelter for them (3 sided "shed"). My silly conundrum is where to put the feed and water. When I had them in the coop, I placed feed and water on separate sides of their pen to encourage walking. I don't know how to deal with them in the garden - put the feed and water in their shed? On the opposing side with a cover so the feed doesn't get wet and spoil? Will they be smart enough to go to the shed for shelter, and get food and water when they need it?

    Hopefully we won't have too much snow flying by the time it's processing.

    How do other people have things set up when they keep their meaties outdoors? I don't want to build a tractor - I don't have the physical ability to carry things well (shoulders dislocate too easily), and a lawn tractor would not get into my garden well. I have sealed drums to keep feed in near the pen outdoors, and hubby is kind enough to haul feed wherever I need it (I'm sure to feed him well in exchange [​IMG] )

    I'd run them in the coop again, but I'm getting a lot more, and I'd rather they poop in the garden, which is where all the chicken litter goes anyway. We have a good handle on predators here.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:This one I have an answer/experience with. Mine get to range around the yard at about 3 weeks when I open the door to their shelter. Rain, wind, even snow one spring... they are smart enough to go back inside for food and shelter.
     
  3. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    How do you plan on cleaning up the poop? They make so much daily I'm just curious what your plan is for that. Will you shoe them to one side and water it in? We have only raised one batch in a tractor and ended up using straw the last few weeks to make clean up easier. I never dreamed that they would poop as much as they do. How many are you getting?
     
  4. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    I'll have 40 coming, the garden is 30'x40' total, they'll be allowed to take over a 30'x30' area. Last time I did them, I only did 12, and they were sectioned to a 8'x4' area of the coop. They did well. Their shelter will start with 8x4 (sheet of plywood) with sides, and if needed, will expand to either two shelters or one 8'x8'.

    I'll do what I did with them in the coop - put down shavings as they poo and mess. Last batch, we just wheeled it out to the garden and flung, and then tilled it down after it rested for two months. I loved it. This time I'll skip the shoveling and wheeling.

    Our fall weather is usually pretty dry, but even in the event of rain, my garden does drain well. The neighbors are chicken lovers, and besides, they'll be getting a chicken dinner anyway [​IMG] They like to give scraps to my laying hens (with permission), and love my rooster.
     
  5. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a nice sized area you will have for them - that is awesome!! I have 30 coming on 9/7 and we finished 25 this past weekend. Hubby and I really like how quick they grow and how well they fill the freezer!! [​IMG] Good luck with yours!
     

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