Post pics of your meat bird facilities

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chicken crazy, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. chicken crazy

    chicken crazy In the Brooder

    I'm getting my very first batch of meat birds, Cornish Cross, and wanted to see what people keep them in for their very short life. I was thinking a chicken tractor but how big does it need to be for 30 birds??
  2. chicken crazy

    chicken crazy In the Brooder

  3. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    You may have to wait until later in the day, most of the people currently on don't keep meat birds. I think SilkieChicken keeps hers in tractors, but I'm not positive. I personally haven't raised any CornishXs.
  4. hoosierhen

    hoosierhen Songster

    Sep 26, 2007
    I only raise chickens for eggs at this point, and my chickens are still young and haven't started laying yet.
    I would advise you to give them as much space as you can afford to, and make their short lives as pleasant as you can. Plenty of food and fresh water to drink.
    I love to eat chicken and may raise meat birds in the future. I would give them everything that I give my layers, except I don't think I would sit and talk to them and learn their individual personalities. It would make "harvesting" too hard.
    And, yes, I think I would process my own, just so I know it was done in a respectful, humane manner.
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    so far,i have just picked and chosen from the ones running around the yard. i am starting to kind of like those, though, so i am considering getting a seperate batch for meat. since those would probably be roosters, i was thinking of making a long pen along one fence. for me, i would make it big, but that is my personality. my others just run around but i don't know that i really want a bunch of roosters or pre roosters running around. lol.

    i would probably get twenty five myself, one of those frypan specials. the space i'm thinking of would be approximately eight by twenty five.

    i know that is above the minimum but i have chickens who in other locations from previous owners really picked on each other and now with more space they never do it. so i think it benefits the raiser as much as the animals to get as much space as possible. less conflicts and things to sort out or make changes to later.
  6. urbanagrarian

    urbanagrarian Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    How many are you doing?

    Last fall I built a tractor/pen that measured 4 ft by 8ft by 2 ft high from 2x4s ripped into 2x2s. I covered it in 1/2 inch hardware cloth so raccoons couldn't reach through the wire and to make it more predator proof than chicken wire. For protection from the sun or cold I used a tarp that I adjusted depending on the weather. I also let them out of it to forage. It was inexpensive to build and worked out well for me. You can see a picture of it on my blog. To see it a little better you can click on the photo to enlarge it.
  7. chicken crazy

    chicken crazy In the Brooder

    urbanagrarian nice pics. I will be getting 30 birds and wanted to build something very similar to what you have but now I called the hatchery that I will be getting them from and they told me that I need to keep the birds at a 21 C / 70 F temperatue. I am worried now because where I live it gets to 35 C during the day at times but to 15 C at night. They told me that I need to put them inside at night and have a heat lamp. O'boy I better get building again if this is the case. What temps do you have where you are? Do you have any suggestions?
  8. Ang

    Ang Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    We raised 50 of them last spring and we just built a large enclosed pen in the barn. Cornish X's are not very mobile and spend a lot of time sitting. The only downside to our setup is that they don't have access to grass and weeds but it worked well for the time they lived there.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I keep up to 8 meat birds in this tractor from day one till butcher at 8 weeks. I confine them in the 2x4 hutch in the back for the first 2 weeks and then open the door. The run is 4x8. Even 4 make a HUGE stinking mess.

    30 is ALOT to start with. Small.jpg

    You will need to start all 30 at 95 deg and slowly drop temps 5 deg each week till butcher. They are baby chicks and will outgrow their coops in no time. Each of my birds eats about 12 lbs of feed from day one till butcher. 30 x 12 = 360 lbs of feed all gone in 8 weeks, and about 250 lbs of pure cornish x wastes under the tractor. I'd expect you'd go though a few bags of shavings there easily as they are eating pooping machines. I only raise them in the summer when it is easier to keep a large area warm. I also only raise in small numbers as they die easily if you can't inspect each bird.
  10. jacque

    jacque In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2007
    Duncan, B.C. Canada
    Yup, warmth is one of the biggest things to have.....I also tend to add some vitamin B to the water supply, this seems to help stop the leg problems...I believe that when they are shipped, especially this time of year, it depleats the B levels....

    Originally, I had 100 birds in one of my foaling stalls, but, since then I converted one of the smaller hay barns into a growing is approx. 14 X 14.....I installed an electric heater, 1500 watts and I also have heat lamps for when I bring in the chicks....We have insulated the walls and ceiling....I will be adding windows fairly soon for natural light and ventilation, there is only a small area that they can have outside....but, as mentioned above, the Cornish Crosses, pretty much eat, sleep and poop.....

    When I got the last batch the heat was set at 30 degrees C., with 3 heat lamps, and at week 3, I have them at 20 degrees C. and they are really warm and toasty....

    Happy to say, I'm not having mortality problems, like we did with the first 2 batches.....So fingers crossed that we are on track....[​IMG]

    Good luck with your building...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: