Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BNChicks, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. BNChicks

    BNChicks In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2013
    I just finished a 8x8x2 ft pen for meat birds. I was wondering how many I could put in this size of a pen since this will be the first time doing this. Any help or comments r welcome. My oldest son who is 3 had cancer so we r taking a different approch to what he eats to stay healthy
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I built a similar size coop for free range freedom rangers. I had 50 that had pretty much outgrown it by 3 weeks. I processed half at 4 weeks that gave me enough room to take them to 7/8 weeks. I had to continue to add a lot of bedding throughout as some of the time we had snow cover so they didn't range that much. That's about as tight as I would ever want to go. CornishX may need more space as they'll grow faster and don't forage as much.
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I have 25 Colored Rangers in a coop that's 6'x8'. They have a run that's 25'x40'.....but won't go out in the snow! They're terrified of the snow - crazy boys!

    Because of the unusual winter conditions, they're NOT interested in hanging out outdoors. Which means bedding costs have tripled for this batch vs. the batches I've grown in the spring/summer/fall. I'm out of room to put composting litter and snow - we'll see what the next round of weather brings us. Ugh.

    This batch is now 9wks and what I consider small for their breed. Not sure if the cold is slowing their growth, the lack of extra forage or what's going on - but they're about 3# per bird, not the almost 5#'s their summertime counterparts have been.

    I built a PVC tractor that was 10'x10' - and for 25 birds it worked well until this sort of point - where the birds were about 3# to 4#'s each. Then, they simply did not have enough room to turn around in and pecking issues started becoming a problem. I put a 10' piece of plastic gutter for the feeder (cut into a 6' section and a 4' section) which allowed almost all the birds to eat simultaneously - that cut down on fights. But after 4#'s, I ended up using one of their 4' metal feeders also (so a total of 14' of feeders) so everyone could have space at the feeder.

    So for your size tractor, I'd recommend getting 25 birds, but culling some at about 3#'s - makes good Cornish hens! Then, you'll have good meals that are worth the effort - and give others room to grow larger for more meat per bird.

    Good luck! We've found the meat absolutely wonderful and haven't looked back at buying meat at the market (doesn't matter the market). It's not hard to raise extra birds especially when you factor in the total cost. This batch of Rangers will be (in feed) about $12/bird. Can't beat that price anywhere! However, add in bedding, my time, etc., well, I do it to feed my family REALLY good food. The downside is no one wants to go out to eat anymore, as the food at home is TOO good. So I've asked my teenagers to take over dinner planning/prep/execution on 1 night a week so I get a day 'off'! I do the dishes, but they cook that night.
  4. BNChicks

    BNChicks In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2013
    And thats what we r striving for. Im not really worried about the cost of the feed or the total time involved. Im looking at better meat and I know what they eat and not full of junk. Since my son got sick we have been lookinng to better his outcome by giving him better foods that either we have grown or know where they come from. Thanks for all yalls help. Im finishing out my pen today and gonna get my birds on order

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