Question on Broiler Housing

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by nivtup, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    So, I am new to this site and have recently started in chickens. It has been many years since we raised them when I was a teenager.

    We have 33 RIR in a brooder right now that have been here for two weeks. We do plan on keeping a flock for eggs etc.

    The coop is nearly complete, just needs the run completed, some paint, nest boxes etc.

    I am considering ordering up a group of broilers.

    Knowing I spent quite a bit on the coop for the RIRs I was wondering what would the best way to go about housing broilers for their short lives. I assume I need basically the same quarters as for the RIRs, but was hoping due to the fact that we will probably do a batch or two per year that I could manage to pull this off inexpensively.

    Any thoughts or advice on this?

    From what I have read on this site, it would not be a good idea to mix them in with the flock. BTW we have a coop that is 8 X 12 ft, and the outside run will be about 12 X 25.

    The plan with the RIRs is to keep all of the hens (can't tell yet how many that might be) and a couple of roosters for the future.

    So, in short, to do this on the cheap (relative term) and raise 25 to 50 broilers once or twice a year, what do I need to do?

    BTW, this site has been a large help in getting me on the right track, and thanks go out to all of those that contribute.

    Thanks in advance.


    Don
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Permanent coops are often not ideal for broilers. Google "chicken tractor" for images of how broilers are more commonly housed on open pasture. If you rotate them in a tractor, she greatly diminish the chance of them catching disease from droppings and it could also possible diminish your feed bill.

    Quote:Broilers will need a different food from your RIR's. A broiler starter/finisher is what they should be given from day one to the day you process. Any "run" of any size will very quickly get overwhelmed by the ammount of manure that broilers produce. You need a mobile solution. Take advantage of the fact that they make droppings densely and get them over the ground you'd like to grow corn, tomatoes or potatoes on.

    Also, if you combine your flocks, you'd be feeding your layers far too rich food in protein for no benefit to them.

    Quote:I do crops of 50. I could always get chicken cheaper at some chain grocery store. There is no way I could sell broilers for $0.99 per pound, I would lose my shirt. So if all you care about is price, then no you should not raise your own broilers.

    If you care about the quality of food you eat and give to your family, then you should by all means raise your own broilers. I think everyone on this forum raises their own meat birds because they want to ensure that the birds they use for meat are given a reasonable quality of life and are not mistreated. Birds which are mass produced are treated horendously, by my standards, and I do not buy chicken from the grocery store since it condones that system of production.
     
  3. Fearlessphil

    Fearlessphil Out Of The Brooder

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    Vilonia, Arkansas
    I housed mine in a fairly cheap hoop coop made from cattle panels and 2x4s.

    [​IMG]

    This coop is 8x10. There was a thread a while back on constructing a hoop coop. This coop is extremely cheap and easy to build. I had 15 in mine but I think you could put 25 in there with no problem. I moved the coop once a day. They are pooping machines.
     
  4. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's ours,just throw a tarp over the top with a piece of pvc or wood underneith to give the roof a pitch and your ready to go.This is 8x8 and 4 ft high.Move it each day just enough to get it on fresh grass. Will
    [​IMG]
     
  5. chcknrs

    chcknrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will, those feeders look like rain gutters. Are they? Cuz I have a section of that......
     
  6. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes,they are.I like using them alot.Keeps the birds farther from the wire from critters and kinda bumps them along while moving them.Also washes out real easy snaps in and out,And best of all they are cheap. Will
     
  7. chcknrs

    chcknrs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kelso, WA
    Great idea! I will have to try that!
     
  8. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    The rain gutters are a GREAT idea. Makes me mad that I already bought a trough feeder! What size wood did you use? That thing looks heavy! Very sturdy though, I'm sure.
     
  9. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    Thanks all for the suggestions, I somehow never thought to go mobile.

    Those are some good thought provoking examples for me to stew on.

    How long do you need to keep them in a brooder? Or can you incorporate a brooder into the mobile pen?


    Thanks again
     
  10. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Washington State
    It really depends on the night time temperature, how much rain you're getting and how much wind. In good weather, I transfer mine into the tractor as soon as possible... probably as quickly as 2.5 weeks. But, that's on the young side compared with the normally recommended 4 weeks. So, I do provide a heat lamp at night until they're 3-4 weeks of age.

    Wind and wet will kill them very quickly, so make sure your tractors have a roof and at least 2 sides covered in plywood to keep them out of the wind. I give that recommendation knowing you're from Shelton and not Texas.
     

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