So I think I might be going about this all wrong????


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 19, 2012
I am planning to put together an area run/coop for some meat birds. From what I am seeing and reading you do not need to build a coop or roosts for them at all.

Just an enclosure that will provide safety and prtection from rain and excessive sun.

Is this correct? Really just bare bones is sufficient?

I was thinking along the lines of what I did for my layers. Sorry I am new to this. I just really like the idea of providing real food for my family.
Any suggestions/pics for just 10 birds? I am in the city and no roos are allowed and I am also wondering when the young ones start crowing?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 6, 2012
I'm almost to the end of my first meaties experiment. I have a pen with a little shelter area attached. I move it whenever the ground seems stinky and not enough grass for them. I have a heat lamp in the shelter box, for nights that get below 40--I just feel nervous that they'll get cold.

I have 1 rooster who just started crowing--mine are 7 1/2 weeks old. He doesn't do it loudly; it's more cute than anything. I'm going to be processing him and 2 other big roosters tomorrow. I have 12 total and figure I'll process 3-4 at a time. I'm definitely doing it again.


8 Years
Jun 12, 2011
Metcalfe, Ontario, Canada
This will be my 2nd year doing meaties so I'm no expert but here's my two cents :) Most folks (with a few exceptions) say they're too heavy to roost, and they don't need a permanent coop. That being said, if you build an enclosure/tractor of some type, make sure they have shelter from rain and sun and that the enclosure is predator proof. No flimsy chicken wire or chain link fence. Coons can reach through the chain link, and chicken wire keeps in chickens but doesn't keep predators out. I like dace316's idea of a shelter box within the enclosure for added protection from the elements. But basically bare bones is all you need, they're really very easy and cheap to raise if you keep it simple. Good luck and post some pics so we can see how things turn out!


12 Years
Feb 12, 2009
My tractor is 8x8. It has chicken wire all around and on the top half of a tarp. I've always free ranged into the woods, I move their food and water farther and farther away until it is about 50-75 feet away from the tractor. Really I love watching the saddle over to their food. For the most part they love the shade and dirt to dust and just lay in. If it gets too hot I hose down the dirt and they lay in the puddles. A coop will get nasty fast and you will be cleaning it a lot.

Life is Good!

9 Years
Apr 14, 2011
suburbia Chicagoland
Interesting - our Freedom Rangers adore their roosts and the whole idea of flying. I've even caught them trying to get on TOP of the chair back that I move into the tractor when I weigh them! (Almost made it to the top - just a few inches short!). I've placed a roost bar about 22" off the ground that they consisently sleep on and fight over during the day when not pecking around. They've had the bar since 22days old, now 31 days old....


Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 14, 2008
This world is not my home.
My CX LOVE their roosts and they also roost on top of my hanging water and feed buckets...about 3 ft. in the air. Fly up to them with ease. The roosts for CX need to be very wide to support their breasts...or else they cannot balance on it enough to sleep. My roosts are 10 in. to 12 in. wide and this seems to be comfortable for them.


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 25, 2011
my meatie i raised last year roosted and beleive me chicken wire DIDNT keep them in... i ended up having to put them in the chain link run of my layers and let the layers free range all summer and the meaties range 4/7 days a week due to they ruining their run...and enclosure.. my advice Use something heavier than chicken wire..

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