Too late to do broilers outside this year?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ondreeuh, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. ondreeuh

    ondreeuh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2010
    I'd like to do a batch of broilers this fall, if possible. As of now I do not have a coop or tractor set up for them, so I'd like some suggestions on what would work for moderately cold, wet weather. I live in Portland, Oregon, and in late fall we tend to get a lot of rain, but it doesn't usually dip below freezing until later in winter. In fact, the average temps in December are between 35 and 45 degrees.

    I don't think using a portable tractor would make a lot of sense, because our ground gets quite soft and muddy in our lawn area, plus I don't want to have to get drenched twice a day to move it. I can make a chain link dog run up by our house where the ground is firmer, and cover the top with a camping canopy. I can give the broilers grass cuttings, weeds and alfalfa since they won't be on pasture. I can put sand in the run, or dri-stall and pine shavings, and try to keep up with the poop.

    My big question is what to do about a coop. I know a lot of people keep their meaties in a pen/run without shelter, but I'm looking at Freedom Rangers or Red Broilers and I don't know if they require more shelter, especially as it gets in the thirties. I really don't want to put a lot of money into a temp. shelter, so I'm wondering if I could make a frame out of PVC (filling the PVC with water to weight it down) and tie tarps to the top and sides? Or even make a little hoop coop and cover it in tarps?

    I'd love to do broilers now rather than wait until spring, I just want to do it right! Thank you for any input & suggestions.

    Andrea
     
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    how many do you consider a batch? Do you have predators?
    the weather in Portland will be fine.
     
  3. ondreeuh

    ondreeuh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2010
    I want to raise a batch of 25. The only predators I'm aware of here are raccoons and hawks, and raccoons seem to only be an occasional problem here. The coop will be within the chain link dog run, which will be pretty secure. If I can't get the canopy tied tightly over the top I will attach field fencing to the top and put the canopy over that. So the coop itself doesn't have to do much but keep them warm and dry enough.
     
  4. Misty Oak Ranch

    Misty Oak Ranch Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 17, 2009
    Bluefield
    I ordered some red broilers from Ideal, and they are now a week and a half old. They are very active, and are jsut as alert as my white rock and DC chicks that I ordered with them. They are in a heated brooder coop now, and I plan on putting them on pasture at 4 weeks, they seem to be feathering fast now. They are starting to roost on a bar a foot off the ground, much more active than Cx.
     
  5. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast Texas
    Look on the bright side, you can always eat the mistakes.[​IMG]
     
  6. frozen1

    frozen1 Out Of The Brooder

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    sounds like you will be fine with the weather. try to keep them dry. i have a batch of 25 CX outside in a tractor, they are now 6 weeks old, an we have got down in the low 20 at night here they are ok, but not growing as fast, because of the cold i think? hope that helps.
     
  7. averytds

    averytds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2008
    KS
    I hope it's not too late because I just ordered 25 cx. I'm going to use some of that foil bubble wrap insulation stuff in the tractor. Orscheln's sells a plastic dog house looking outdoor brooder with a place for a heat lamp. I seem to remember it says something on the outside about using it to brood chicks outside year round, so somebody somewhere is doing it. Our days are in the 70s-80s right now with nights 40s-60s.
     
  8. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    You should be fine if you don't have a freaky fall , they take cool temps better than hot in my limited experience . The advantage of the tractor is it moves them off their waste , and CX create a lot of it [​IMG] . You may find yourself having to move the kennel run daily unless you invest in wood shavings by the ton [​IMG] ; but moving it is doable if it comes to that . A nylon canopy covering the top and sides on a portion of the run will serve well as their coop once they're ready to be outside ; but if raccoons want to they'll tear through it . [ I've had them tear through a tent wall and open the tight lid on a Thermos brand cooler . ] Hopefully they will leave you alone . If the ground is soggy you could use any kind of ground roost to offer them a dry perch ; an old pallet would even work .
     
  9. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definetly not too late. I have found they actually do better in cooler/cold weather. I have a batch of 150 ready to process this weekend. They will likely average 5 1/2-6 pounds (dresses) @ 8 weeks. The ones I did in Spring/Summer averaged less than 4 pounds (dressed). I have more chicks (50) coming in a week, and it's likely to get pretty cold before they're ready (end of November), but I am not concerned. If you wait another few weeks, hatcheries will likely start running specials on their chicks, at least they usually do.
     
  10. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We'll have broilers until November 20th. That's going to be some cold processing in central Illinois.

    I say go for it. I promise you'll have problems to solve even in the best weather. Figure out what you have to figure out and report in when you succeed. The deep water is right over there. Dive in.
     

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