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New coop & concerns

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I added 3 more hens to my flock, making a total of 9.  Now that the 3 new girls are about 3/4 the size of what they will be, their coop has become a bit crowded and the poo mess in the yard has increased a great deal. The hens and their current coop are in the back yard.   We are updating an old chicken coop situated on the middle 1/3 acre pasture that's right behind the back yard. Anytime we change anything they are extremely cautious. I know this is normal but I'm a bit concerned about the transition especially since we now have 6" of snow on the ground and they have a much larger area to roam and hide.  New coop + new area = scary!!!  My hubby feels we should move their old coop and attach it to the side of the new coop for extra space and familiarity. They don't really need the extra space but this is a rental property so we don't want to get rid of the coop in case we need it in a couple years when we are ready to buy our own land. I also thought it would be nice to keep the smaller coop if the need arises to separate a hen for some reason or for a broody and new chicks. If we leave it in the back yard the chickens will keep trying to fly over to it since it has been their home since early summer.  The chain link fencing is old and the pipes that run across the top between the back yard and the pasture are mostly gone.  I worry they will get their legs stuck in the fence trying to get to their old coop and end up breaking a toe, foot or leg. We could just fix the fence but don't really want to spend anymore time and money than we absolutely have to since we don't own the property.  

 

I figure it will take us 2 - 3 weeks to have the new coop ready.

 

Any thoughts or advice on the situation?

 

 

Current coop 4' x 5' still needs to be painted. 

 

 

 

Soon to be new coop.  Chicken area 7.75'  x  7.75' and much taller than the above structure.  The back half of the structure with the open door is our goat shelter.  Only the front half will be used for the chickens.  We are considering matching the high roof line of the old coop with the low roof line of the new coop when we attach the two, but attaching it in such a way that we can easily detach it when we are ready to move to a new place.    

 

 

 


Edited by Raggedyroad - 12/14/15 at 7:28pm
post #2 of 5

http://blog.mypetchicken.com/2012/11/16/cold-weather-chickens-8-things-not-to-do/

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the link.  There is a lot of good information.  I already knew about 95% but there were a couple things that were new to me.  My hens are free to roam or be in their coop during the day, no heat in the coop (bad idea for many reasons).  All my hens are cold hearty breeds.  I do the deep litter method but I'm still new to it.  Seems to work very well though.  We made a water heater that works well.  I'm pretty sure I have addressed all the safety issues.  Mice have been problem but I figure there's not a ton that can be done about them.  

post #4 of 5

Your instincts are very good. Trust them.

 

Your husband is correct in believing it would be a good idea to incorporate the old coop with the new. Including something familiar always makes a transition easier on chickens. And you will find it will come in handy for something. Chickens always are presenting us with surprises, and having plenty of housing is a good way to stay ahead of the game.

 

Plastic deer netting is an inexpensive way of upgrading the chain-link fence. Just tack it up anywhere you feel there could be a problem.

 

As far as mice, I suggest getting one of those battery operated electric rat traps. They are a bit pricey, but work really well. I bought one for my run, and I find an electrocuted mouse almost every morning. They're safe to use around chickens.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
 

Your instincts are very good. Trust them.

 

Your husband is correct in believing it would be a good idea to incorporate the old coop with the new. Including something familiar always makes a transition easier on chickens. And you will find it will come in handy for something. Chickens always are presenting us with surprises, and having plenty of housing is a good way to stay ahead of the game.

 

Plastic deer netting is an inexpensive way of upgrading the chain-link fence. Just tack it up anywhere you feel there could be a problem.

 

As far as mice, I suggest getting one of those battery operated electric rat traps. They are a bit pricey, but work really well. I bought one for my run, and I find an electrocuted mouse almost every morning. They're safe to use around chickens.

 

Thank you for your response.  I guess we all need to hear we are doing the right things when we are new at something.  I didn't know about electric rat traps.  I will see what I can find. When I went out to clean the nest boxes today and lifted the roof to see if any cleaning or stirring was needed in the main part of the coop to my surprise there were two dead mice at the top corner ledge where the roof is hinged.  I lift the roof at night to count heads when I secure my girls.  The mice must have been on the ledge and scurried up to the corner just in time for me to lower the roof and mash them. Gross to scrape off and throw away, but I'm happy to have 2 fewer mice in the coop.

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