Chicken coop Prodject for labar day weekend....Help and in-put + parts list

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by smokinj, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. smokinj

    smokinj
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    I fugure if your birds are around the 8lb mark and up you should do well. Much under you would be losing. Around here whole bird go for at best .99 cents a lb.(thats not often 2x a year) 1.49 is more like it.
    What was your ave. weight of the birds?
     
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  2. JDC1

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    Last years "freedom rangers"(qty 25) were on average 5lbs butchered at 10 weeks. This year I did cornish crosses and butchered 54 at 6 weeks average of 3lbs which is the size that we prefer. Both batches ate 500lbs of custom milled feed. I have about $6.50/ bird including feed, butchering, fuel, and wood shavings for the brooder. $2.00/ pound and a bit of elbow grease is worth it to us especially w/ young kids. I sold 10 birds for $3.50/lb and a few for $4.50 to cover some costs. If you market them as naturally raised on pasture there are people that will pay a premium. I like the flavor and texture of the cornish crosses better than the freedom rangers. The rangers are less work and act more like a chicken than the cornish x. They are also a prettier bird.
     
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  3. smokinj

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    Very interesting to say the least. if I can find butcher around here I will do at-least 25 in the spring. Coustom milled feed? You make it yourself?
     
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  4. JDC1

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    Right now would be a great time to do them as we get close to fall. The older that the birds get the less they can tolerate heat. But the chicks need a heat lamp for a few weeks. If you call some feed stores, they should be able to point you towards a processor.
     
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  5. smokinj

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    You make your own feed?
     
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  6. JDC1

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    I have a mill make it but with the cost increase of corn and soy, I think I found a better feed for the same cost. Kalmbach feeds in western OH, has a broiler ration that looks pretty good and I can save about $10/ 500 lbs
     
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  7. smokinj

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    I can get corn or soy beans at market price. Thought about grinding my own. I will have at-least 400lbs of corn still on the cob for free. Just walking the fields around my house after harvest.
     
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  8. JDC1

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    There has to be a certain amount of protein and minerals to maximize the genetic growth potential of broiler birds in the most humane way. They are prone to outgrowing their bone structure, heart, lung and other problems if not fed properly. My problem with mixing my own was not being able to buy the additives to the feed in a cost efficient scale. Things like probiotics, kelp meal, vitamins etc. The cornish crosses are sensitive to temperature too hot or too cold, to much rain, space requirements, stress brooder conditions. They are pretty fragile but if you meet these requirements then they produce alot of great meat in a short amount of time. There are people that are getting 7 and 8lb birds at 8-9 weeks.
     
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  9. smokinj

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    Thats the #'s I am looking for...I was thinking just tossing in the corn cobs with the regular feed, or I can even crack it if need be. (but would rather not if there isnt a big pay back)
     
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  10. JDC1

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    I was aiming for and was on track for the bigger birds but we got that heat wave the same week that I would have had to place another feed order and decided that a bird in hand... If you walked by the pasture pen you could hear them panting from 20 yards away.
     
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  11. smokinj

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    Where you Running fans? Iam also going to insulate the roof and bottom. Egg lyer will be here the 23rd of this month, so meat will need to be on hold until I can get another coop built. With the extra stuff lying around may happen quick enough.
     
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  12. lukem

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    There's an Amish guy that dresses them pretty cheap here too...if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't be up for it. I don't mind the blood and guts, just don't have the skills/equipment/patience/time to process them myself.

    I'm looking at doing some meat birds next spring. My FIL did the math (don't know the specifics) but I'd have about $1/lb in them from chick to freezer. Way better quality than what you can buy at K-rogers...for half the price.

    I have about 6 too many projects right now, so I need to wait a bit before starting my chicken ranching career.
     
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  13. smokinj

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    Yea me too...The Gf loves this kinda of stuff and when the math is 1.00 a lb I am all in......Mill will be rolling Sunday so 2- 4x8 coops not a big strech when a long weekend coming up!
     
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  14. JDC1

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    I use a movable chicken "tractor" from three weeks till slaughter they are in an 8x10x2' movable pen. I move it a few times a day and they have access to fresh clover/grass/bugs. The meat birds are nothing like a laying hen. They produce massive amounts of manure in a short amount of time. It gets pretty gross if they are allowed to stay in one area for a more than a few hours. They dont really range like a hen will but lay by the feeder and waterer. The advantage of the tractor is that you dont have to clean up the mess, it gets them on fresh forage and it fertilizes the area that you use.
     
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  15. lukem

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    I was going to mention earlier, mill up a set of skids/skis and build the rest of the coop on them. If you taper each end 45* facing up ========/ then you can drag them into position with your lawn mower or pickup.
     
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  16. JDC1

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    For a meat bird pen, if you make it light enough to drag by hand it will make it alot easier to move a few times a day. I tried using my 4wheeler winch and ended up running over a chicken with the back side of the pen. 2"x2"s work pretty well
     
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  17. smokinj

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    Even better!
     
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  18. cptoneleg

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    Or get some Texas chickens just got back from trip their, something like 70 days above 100*
     
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  19. Mrs. Krabappel

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    This was true for the freedom rangers? I've been thinking about running a dozen of them. Maybe next spring if I can get my act together.
     
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  20. JDC1

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    The rangers still poop a ton. I kept them in the same pasture pen as the cornish xs so I cannot comment on how far they will forage. They took about 10 weeks to get to a 5lb finished weight.
     
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  21. Mrs. Krabappel

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    What did you think of the rangers vs. the cornish X?
     
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  22. JDC1

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    The rangers were more enjoyable while alive. The cornish cross more enjoyable after processing. The x's have more of a grocery store chicken shape and plump breast. The rangers are a longer leaner bird.
     
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  23. smokinj

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    Ok I am on board I think 25 would be a good number to start with for me...What would you buy if you where me?
     
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  24. JDC1

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    I would say try them both. Going into this fall, the cornish crosses will give you a bigger bird in a shorter amount of time. We are not going to have to worry too much about extreme heat, they can take the cold surprisingly well. My wife likes the cornish crosses better for eating as the they seem to pluck out better. If you like raising your own meat birds, then try some rangers next spring. Meyer Hatchery in ohio is a great place to order from and they carry both types of birds (the rangers are drop shipped out of PA).
     
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  25. smokinj

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    I have gotten better info in this thread then I could have hope for! BIG THANK YOU TO EVERONE!
     
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