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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Is this a crazy idea?

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04-13-2014 06:57:27

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I got my meat chicks the other day. They are such a pain (Cornish cross). The bedding has to be hanged every couple of days and they always seem to end up in the chicken house that doesn't have good access for the manure spreader. I have been thinking for a year what to do with them. I have three chicken houses and they are all a pain for raising meat birds for one reason or another.

In the night I had a brain phart. What if I raise them in the stock trailer? It is in the shed so they will be warm enough as chicks. It is my old bumper pull so I am not worried about rust - it is the trailer I use for hogs. I won't need it until after I butcher them. I can pull it in the shed that shuts tight. The slatted floor will help the bedding stay dry. I can power wash it down when they are gone. They NEVER go outside as they are too lazy and I can pull it out on nice days to air the shed.

Is this crazy? What do you guys that raise Cornish cross do with the nasty birds? I only do 30 a year.

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04-15-2014 04:48:10

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 06:57:27  
Once our got feathered out we raised them in an early form of chicken tractor. Moved it around the place once a day. The birds did well and the meat was better than that raised in the coop. Gotta have a big enough rig though.

Last year we raised them in a coop. Pain the the butt and the flavor wasn't there.

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04-13-2014 17:46:20

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 06:57:27  
notjustair- this is my first year raising Cornish X rocks. Yes, they seem to be one crapping machine. I have no suggestions but, your idea sounds like a good one. Please keep us up-to-date on how well it works out.

PS- I just moved mine out to the coop in a wire enclosure at 19 days old. They are huge and look like a molting chicken (lost down and growing pin feathers). Gonna put some extra heat lamps on for the next couple of days...s'posed to get down to 28 Tuesday night.


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Dan T in MO

04-13-2014 11:22:47

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 06:57:27  
I know a woman that raised her daughters 4H show goats in a stock trailer. Ought to work, I don't see why it wouldn't

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04-13-2014 11:07:18

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 06:57:27  
No idea is crazy if it works.

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04-13-2014 10:29:30

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 06:57:27  
Not sure if you have room, but you are thinking in the box to much.(pun intended)
Cornish are not as lazy as you think. If you have room those 30 chickens need a wire fence about 20 ft wide by 60 long. feed them at the far end from the building water in the middle. They will go in every night and they don't cripple up near as much as when they are fed in a building.

The other way I find works well but more work. build a 10X20 fence with no in ground poles and move it every day or two. If you make it right you can pull it with a quad or garden tractor. on 1 end you need only as much roof as they need to get under when raining or night. Square tubing at the bottom and a few uprights and tubing on the top, 1 gate and you have a portable pen.

I had a 4X8 building on skids for 40 with just roosts in it and they all go in at night. They will roost just like any other chicken if you give them the roosts. You can close the door at night when they are all in and drag it before you open the door in the morning. When the get to 7-10 lbs it gets harder to pull around. They don't grow as fast but much healthier that way.

Having a level yard helps. I let mine run all over the yard now as I have a dog (X4) that keep all rodents away and don't touch the chickens.

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04-13-2014 17:22:21

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to cjunrau, 04-13-2014 10:29:30  
Cornish cross? Mine never have enough feathers to fly. I know of folks that had some with broken legs because they tried to come down off of a roost. They only used about half of the house I had them in last year and quit going far from the food and water at about three weeks old. When you have a dressed bird that is 6 pounds at 7 weeks I think they need to stay close to the feed bag.

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04-13-2014 18:22:05

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 17:22:21  
the roosts are in 6 inch steps. You are feeding them to much or the wrong stuff if the can't jump up on the roosts. I bought a rooster to mate with a few other breeds to get a mix. He was so fat he could only waddle. took 2 weeks and he was doing his job and running with the flock. I feed whole or rolled oats and barley 50/50 a bit of whole or cracked wheat. feed them twice a day and not so much that they have left over. Much nicer meat when the bird is able to run around. The only thing I would feed free choice is granulated limestone.

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charlie M

04-13-2014 08:08:41

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 Re: Is this a crazy idea? in reply to Notjustair, 04-13-2014 06:57:27  
Sounds like a good plan to me. I know what you mean about that breed being the way they are. I"ve always bought about a dozen birds each year and I"m thinking this year I will buy some straight roosters of one of the heavy breads like a barred rock. Cornish chickens are great roasting chickens but have no energy for anything other that growing fast and I always seem to loose some of them before they are the size I want for butchering.

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