Thinking of building a tractor...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by happyhens, May 21, 2007.

  1. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    I am thinking about buying 20 straight run white rocks, keeping the females for eggs and butchering the roosters (except for one, maybe 2) and I need some ideas. I want to be able to leave the pullets in there as layers, planning to butcher the roos at 12 or 14 weeks (I'm not sure how they compare to the cornish crosses, I need to do more research on that...)? What dimensions do I need? How high does it need to be for the chickens only, I don't need to be able to stand inside it. Is 2' high enough for the run? (they would be able to free range quite often, the run is really just a back up for the days they can't free range) And I was thinking 3' or 4' for the housed part that will contain the nestboxes and roosts. I need something fairly simple, I don't have a lot of building experience. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    White rock roosters will be very thin still at that age. Not a lot of meat. Hens are good layers. they grow MUCH slower than cornish crosses.

    About 4 square feet per bird for coop about 6 for run if they are allowed to free range also.

    Check the coop section at the BYC home site. There are some good ideas there.

    Here is a link for another concept. It can be done with flexible pvc or plastic pipe also. Wire mesh and zip straps and your done.
  3. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Thanks! That hoop house looks like just the thing I need... and I already have most of the materials I'll need for it. Now all I need is time [​IMG] I guess I need to do more research on meat breeds. I want a dual purposed breed, so that I can order straight run and keep the pullets for eggs and have the roos for meat. I don't want the Cornish X because I couldn't keep the females for eggs. Any suggestions? (I know I'm getting a little OT here... sorry)
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I think most people ordering chicks, order laying pullets and broilers, rather than a straight run of a dual purpose breed. You can get a st run of a dual purpose breed, but you will spend a lot more time and have to feed the cockerels for a much longer time, using more food, to get them to a decent butchering weight. They are also not as tender, later.

    Now, some people like a less tender bird with more flavor, like you get from a dual purpose bird and that is a fine choice, too. If you incubate eggs, this is also a case where you'd have a st run.

    I just wouldn't go st run to try to save money when ordering chicks, per bird, because you need to calculate in the cost of feed and how long you are feeding them, to see what they really cost you. I hope this kind of makes sense to you. [​IMG] I don't know what your situation or preferences are, obviously.
  5. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    I got some cornish rocks this spring, fed them 22.5% broiler ration from the start. I butchered them at 6 weeks and they dressed out at 5 pounds with out necks or giblets. When I do this again I will probably butcher them at 5 weeks if they grow as fast as this bunch did...they just take SO long to bake. You might consider getting a split order of chicks (still getting the 25 minimum) and being able to concentrate your efforts on your girls once the meat birds are in the freezer. Just a thought...

    Edited to say:
    Not sure if I was clear in meaning to try getting some specifically for meat and some specifically for eggs (don't forget to order a roo too).
    Last edited: May 22, 2007
  6. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Now I have another option. I friend of mine has offered me some eggs for hatching (for free!) She has a good mix of standard layers, such as light brahmas and rir, buff orpingtons and other brown egg layers. Hmmm I just don't know!

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