Salatin Pastured Poultry-type pen QUESTIONS-

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MikeG, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. MikeG

    MikeG Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Roanoke, Va
    Have raised a few batches using hoop-house style pens but decided to make two 8x10 Salatinesque pens for the 75 Cornish Xs this year. I found a how-to on Youtube and followed precisely. We're on week 4.5 and are seeing broken legs. 4 to date. I finished one and figured I had some time before finishing the 2nd. Almost done... So, there's 75 in one 8x10 pen. They're still pretty small, but they're laying down some serious fertilizer...

    So, for those that have built them, the first question is the horizontal tension wire; its a huge trip hazard/obstacle as its about 1.5" off the ground. Understand it lends some structural integrity, but is it necessary? Figure that may be a cause of leg injuries?

    Second is moving the pens. I ran over one before deciding to do a dolly. Grabbed a drum dolly and it lifts the back about 3". Invariably, 80% of the chicks take off out the back while moving it. Pretty frustrating trying to wrangle all those buggers back up.

    Third is feeders/feeding- we're not on the farm full-time yet so are only making one trip up there a day. The feeder is empty and when its refilled, they go gangbusters stepping all over each other to get to the feed.

    Appreciate any feedback-
    Thanks.
     
  2. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The tension wire is probably supposed to be right on the floor not off of it. You need bigger feeders and waterers if you can only get there once a day.
     
  3. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my birds once daily, but make sure I have enough feed for the number of birds being fed. I have found the trough type feeders work best for broilers as opposed to the standard round feeders. You should have about four inches of feeder space per bird right now and up to eight inches by the last week of feeding. I use two 4' troughs and a 3' trough for 50 birds and can get about 25 lbs. of feed in them. For 75 broilers I would be feeding a minimum of 40 lbs. of feed a day right now.

    While once a day might be enough to feed the birds, it's probably not enough to water them once a day. 75 birds will go through about 5 gallons quickly especially if the temps get much above 70. Even more when they are getting to the end, and on exceptionally hot days. I would check your area and see if you can get 10 or 15 gallon buckets or even use a tote (this would spread out the weight a little more over the roof of the pen) to hold water as opposed to the standard 5 gallon bucket. The birds will eat better with more water. Dehydrating your birds, even a little could kill them. My last batch of 50 birds per pen drank about 8 to 10 gallons of water a day and that was with temps mainly in the 80's.
     
  4. MikeG

    MikeG Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2009
    Roanoke, Va
    Wow! thanks for the info and insight. Great idea on the troughs. I can build a few of those. Have any good plans? All I've seen are the PVC variety. Would like to use some reclaimed wood instead of buying anything.

    I finished the second tractor and omitted the wire. It seemed sturdy enough as I drug it across the pasture. They have alot more room now and won't be crowding each other so much to get to the food (existing round feeder).

    I've been concerned about feeding rates. You suggest 40lbs a day now at 4+ weeks? I've been using a spreadsheet a friend compiled/copied from some 'authority' on feeding rates. Per the spreadsheet, at 4+ weeks, they should be getting 28lbs a day now. I've attempted to put a link to it below-
    [=http://db.tt/fzBcmSpz][/]


    Thanks again for your insight. Beyond helpful!!!!!
     
  5. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Minnesota
    At four weeks and on feed them as much as they want. Some people feed restrict but it slows growth. For each batch of fifty I raise I have two feeders that will hold about 35 lbs each. I fill them up and refill as needed. I never feed restrict, which I don't need to with the feed I give them. My birds get feed 24/7 from the day I get them until 12 hours before slaughter.
     
  6. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    It's been quite some time since reading Salitin's Polyface Farms, but his tractors were based on 10' X 12' and started with 100 birds. Not sure but believe he processed for a 4# finished product. Taken a step further 600 pounds live wieght to 120 sq ft or 5 pounds per foot. My personal experience was 50 birds to live wieght 10-11 pounds in a 10' X 12' tractor, so similar wieght distribution. I thought it too crowded.
    No bracing wire.
    For feed we picked up a 10' aluminum rain gutter with 4 end pieces to make 5' hanging troughs for the lineal feeding space.
    On different batches we did feed 24/7 and also 12 on, 12 off. The 24/7 definetly finished bigger. Also as mentioned previously don't run short of water!
     
  7. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Loving, NM
    Have you ever had pecking problems with so many in such a confined space? Does anyone else have pecking problems using the Salatin method for that matter? When our chicks get too big in our brooder they'll start pecking. 50 chicks in 8' diameter water trough. BTW, our brooder is outdoors in the yard and has no bottom, similar to a tractor.
     
  8. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    We run 10x10 tractors with no wires or anything across the floor, just small braces in the corners. We like to have about 50 birds to a tractor. We solved our feeding space problem by designing feeders that run along the side of the tractor with hinges along the bottom. We just open the feeder door, fill them and close them back up. They don't take up floor space and are much easier to fill. We have found that four feeders per tractor is just about right, it gives about 32ft of feeder space. We have bell waterers that are attached to three 5 gallon buckets and that works fine through our hot summers. Here are some pictures of our tractors. You can see the feeder doors along the side.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  9. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    We didn't have any pecking problems. Though as mentioned above I thought that by the end of project they were too crowded. Your trough is only 50 square feet, less the space for feeders and waterers, so your under one foot per bird, and that surely sounds like troubles coming when they reach 2 pounds. Get those tractors ready pretty quick.
     
  10. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Can you show the connections between the buckets? I thought of hooking them up in series but couldn't picture the connections.
     

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