The meat chicks have left the brooder (the heat has been off for a few days now) and they're in a their pasture pen.
|The boy giving up his play pen...|
The children helped me set the pen up and open and shut the gates as I moved the birds one by one.
I have 19 left out of the 20 as one died in the first few days of having them. I've also got one that is much smaller than the others and not as active so I wouldn't sell it life insurance just yet.
The chicks took to it straight away, they were eating the grass and just moving around within minutes.
This is the third pen of this type that I've built and I really like using them and I love the idea (and practice of) moving chickens onto fresh grass everyday. No need to muck out, manure spread evenly on the field to improve my pasture and the birds get fresh grass and bugs everyday reducing the need for worming.
|They are helping really...|
I spread some straw at the back of the pen for the first few nights and I have no intention of moving it for a few days, just to let them settle in and get used to a colder environment.
When I went out to check tonight they'd all huddled together but outside! I moved them all to the straw area and they soon settled down again, using each other for warmth to start with. I've added a couple of perches and during the day there are already a few that like to hang out there.
The growth of these birds has been eye opening! They've gained weight like mad, but there is a real difference between them all some are much bigger than others.
Who else has used pasture pens (chicken tractors) to help fatten meat birds?