What is the new minimum space required for keeping chickens in CA?

9SpiceyChickens

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Jul 24, 2018
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What is the new minimum space required for keeping chickens in CA?
I'm wondering about meat birds, so I've heard they have to have at least 8 available hours of free range per day, but I honestly don't know!!!
Do any of you know? :oops:
 

9SpiceyChickens

Free Ranging
Jul 24, 2018
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I'm not in CA, but I would advise you to not try to squeeze as many into as small a space as possible. Overcrowding can cause all kinds of problems like feather picking and cannibalism. Not to mention unhealthy, unhappy birds.

I know that :)
I'm only getting four and the coop I'm looking at is 6x6 with an attached run. they will also have free range access!
 

DobieLover

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Jul 23, 2018
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I know that :)
I'm only getting four and the coop I'm looking at is 6x6 with an attached run. they will also have free range access!
What breed did you get for meat birds? Cornish crosses are the breed the vast majority raises but do not free range well. They are big and slow and would be vulnerable to predation. I think a lot of people keep them in chicken tractors and carefully move the tractors to fresh ground every other day or so.
I think the coop/run size you have will be large enough to get them to butcher age if they are cornish crosses. You will have to clean the run regularly to keep them healthy. If they are a heritage or dual purpose breed, you will be good free ranging them and using your current setup.
Good luck.
 

bobbi-j

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Have you looked into Red Rangers or something similar? It takes them a bit longer to get to butchering size, but they are easier to raise. Most are good at free ranging and don’t develop the leg and heart problems a Cornish X can have.
 

cholland

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Jan 17, 2017
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I don't know the law exactly, so I could be a little off. I think the space requirement is meant to apply to large producers that confine a lot of animals in small spaces. That being said just because you are not subject to inspection doesn't mean you should overly confine your animals.
I believe the free range requirement just means they can touch the ground and have access to outside. They are still in a pen. If you follow basic guidance of 4 sq. ft., of coup space and 10 sq. ft., of run space per bird, you should be okay.
Meat birds are going to grow out in 7-8 weeks and be ready to go. You don't really want to keep them longer than that. They also don't move around much, and you actually don't want them roosting and getting too much activity, it can affect the meat. They just need to get up and walk around a bit and have their own space if they want.
 

MANNA-PRO

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