BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › Want to raise chickens for the first time
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Want to raise chickens for the first time

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

  My girlfriend and I just got a small house on .4 acres out in Apopka, FL.  The house came with a chicken coop.  It clearly needs some work, but we have both decided we would like to fix it up and get a couple chickens for eggs and, not going to lie, probably as pets.  We do have two Siberian Huskies, so I'll want to finish enclosing it and maybe an area around it so the dogs won't be able to get to them.  I would love any advice you could give on fixing this coop up.  Here are two pictures of the way it looks currently.

 

 

post #2 of 8

  It looks like a nice enough set up. What are the dimensions of the enclosed area, and the coop? Are there two coops, or a coop and separate nest boxes? What condition is the roof in (is it in good repair, water tight, etc.)? Is the inside of the coop easy to get to and clean? Where is the ventilation in the coop?

   I would give the whole place a scrub down with some soap and water. Then assess the structure for weakness, rot, leaks, or things you would want to change/improve. Take some measurements and more photos so we can have more information to go on, but it already looks like an awesome start! :)

  The only thing I would worry about is diseases the previous flock might have had that young pullets would be vulnerable to. Can you ask the previous owner if their flock suffered from something, or might have been carriers? Or how long it has been since the coop housed chickens? 

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'll try to get some measurements and better pictures soon.  Don't have any info on the previous occupants unfortunately, not sure how long it's been chickenless.  We've been here since September.  We were originally going to remove it, but little by little the idea of raising a few chickens has really grown on us.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, I work until it gets dark so I had to have my girlfriend take some more pictures, I don't have any measurements yet because she said there were spiders :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeod22 View Post
 

Ok, I work until it gets dark so I had to have my girlfriend take some more pictures, I don't have any measurements yet because she said there were spiders :)

 

Is the screen door the only clean out door (and does it open)? How easy is it to open the pop door?

 

 

These look like separate nest boxes... but I noticed there is also one below the coop and there is a partial fence between them and the coop. Maybe the were for food storage or another animal?

 

The hardware cloth is good. The chicken wire should be covered in welded wire- it is not predator proof. Racoons can shred it.

 

 

 

 

   Looks nice! What is the roof? The coop looks like it hasn't seen any chickens for a while, so it should be safe. Give it a scrub down, some new paint (look through the oops paints at your local Home Depot). If the screen door doesn't open, or if it is the only clean out door, I suggest making some double doors on the back of the coop so you can clean it without being inside the run. Give it a four inch lip to keep in bedding if you are only opening the door for a moment, checking on your girls, looking for stray eggs. If the lip is removable, you can sweep the shavings into your bucket lickety -split. I also would add some more effective ventilation at the top of the coop, Under the roofs' peak. Warm, moist air rises and is sucked out of the coop that way. The pop door looks a little short- maybe they kept bantams?  If you get standard hens, I would make it taller.

  Chickens are wonderful, inquisitive pets. I live somewhere cold (Colorado) so I can't really pick out the calmer, friendlier breeds that would do well in your climate- since they would freeze here- but good hot-weather breeds are small, slim, and often have large combs and bare legs. Leghorns are great layers, do well in the heat, but are known to be flighty. Andalusian, Sumatra, Polish, Legbar, Campine, and Hamburgs all do well in the heat. Sex links, Delaware, and Naked Necks also do fine. To make caring for them easier, do not over stock your coop (4sq feet indoor space each, minimum, and 10 outside), use a waterer that keeps the water clean (like a nipple waterer), a feeder the reduces feed waste (like an Elbow or PVC feeder), and clean the coop often, about once a month.

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

Reply
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeod22 View Post
 

Ok, I work until it gets dark so I had to have my girlfriend take some more pictures, I don't have any measurements yet because she said there were spiders :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


:welcome  It looks like you will have a good start for a small flock. Just about any breed would be OK. I agree as a first time chicken owner, Leghorns would not be a good choice. They are very flighty birds and not very friendly, they would rather be left alone. I have mine in a small pen and coop and when I go into their pen to get their eggs out of their nest box they run all around like I'm going to kill them. There are a lot of very friendly breeds and if you raise the birds from chicks then they will imprint on you. I can handle my birds but other people can't, but they are used to me as I hatched out all of my birds. I think most any breed will do fine in Florida but they do need good shade and plenty of water available. Summer is harder on the birds but with good shade and plenty of water, again any breed should do fine. Hardware cloth or welded wire is good to use especially on a small coop like you have in your pictures. My pens are all made of chicken wire but I also have electrical wire around them too so if anything tries to get to my birds they will get a good shock when they touch my fence. I also have my pens all covered so hawks and owls can't get in from the top. Two of my coops are open on one side and before I covered the pens an owl was getting in and killing my birds. I finally found out because I couldn't find anywhere a predator could get into my pens so figured whatever it was, it had to be going over the fence so I put up my game camera and that is how I discovered an owl was killing my birds. Here are a couple of good websites. You may have already visited them but they have good information on the different breed. Good luck and have fun.

 

http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html#Chickens


Edited by cmom - 12/22/15 at 7:42pm

HEY LOOK!!!
UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events - Georgia Too
Click Here --->  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!  (BYC Florida Members Page)
Pure Single Comb & Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & Leghorns.

Member of the American Poultry Association, the Rhode Island Red Club of America, &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

Reply

HEY LOOK!!!
UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events - Georgia Too
Click Here --->  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!  (BYC Florida Members Page)
Pure Single Comb & Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & Leghorns.

Member of the American Poultry Association, the Rhode Island Red Club of America, &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys for the help!  I'll have to wait until Friday to get a better look in the daylight myself, I'm not sure how the screen opens or if there is a door in the back.  I know it's hard without measurements, the coop is probably a little over 6' tall if it helps.  As a first timer, how many chickens should I start with once I fix this coop up?  And should I start with full grown chickens or with chicks, having eggs right away isn't a concern, but both my girlfriend and I work during the week so no one would be home with the chicks for like 6 hours or so every day of the week.  Also should we get all the same type chickens or should we mix up our flock?  Sorry, like I said so many questions.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLeod22 View Post
 

Thank you guys for the help!  I'll have to wait until Friday to get a better look in the daylight myself, I'm not sure how the screen opens or if there is a door in the back.  I know it's hard without measurements, the coop is probably a little over 6' tall if it helps.  As a first timer, how many chickens should I start with once I fix this coop up?  And should I start with full grown chickens or with chicks, having eggs right away isn't a concern, but both my girlfriend and I work during the week so no one would be home with the chicks for like 6 hours or so every day of the week.  Also should we get all the same type chickens or should we mix up our flock?  Sorry, like I said so many questions.

It really depends on what you want. Production Rhode Island Reds and Sex-Links like the Red Sex-Links in the photos below are excellent layers of large brown eggs. Some different breeds lay different colored eggs, so maybe you would like a colorful basket of eggs. With most breeds a bird will lay around 5 eggs a week, some may lay more and some less but that is a good average. For the space in your picture, I would suggest maybe 4 birds. If you add a run maybe 6 birds. There is a rule of thumb for how much space a large fowl bird needs per bird,  coop: around 4 sq. ft., run: 10 sq. ft., Bantams: coop: 3 sq. ft, .run: 8 sq. ft.  More is always better because birds are active. Also, where ever you put them they will scratch the ground bare. I started with chicks because it was fun to watch them grow. I was working (now retired) and as long as they have plenty of food and water and protected from predators they are fine in their coop area during the days when you are working. When I was working I would let the birds out to roam the yard when I was home on my days off and evenings for a short while. There would be times when I couldn't let them out to free range so I put a flock block (a seed and grain block) in each of their pens so they would have something they could peck at and occupy themselves with. Again good luck and have fun.

 

http://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee237/aliedaw1/IMG_2481.jpghttp://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee237/aliedaw1/IMG_2483.jpghttp://i234.photobucket.com/albums/ee237/aliedaw1/IMG_2484.jpg 


Edited by cmom - 12/23/15 at 9:47am

HEY LOOK!!!
UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events - Georgia Too
Click Here --->  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!  (BYC Florida Members Page)
Pure Single Comb & Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & Leghorns.

Member of the American Poultry Association, the Rhode Island Red Club of America, &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

Reply

HEY LOOK!!!
UPCOMING FLORIDA Swaps/Sales/Shows/Events - Georgia Too
Click Here --->  FLORIDA!!!!!ALWAYS SUNNY SIDE UP!!!  (BYC Florida Members Page)
Pure Single Comb & Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds, Rose Comb Rhode Island Whites & Leghorns.

Member of the American Poultry Association, the Rhode Island Red Club of America, &

Central Florida Poultry Breeders Association. NPIP Certified Participant

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › Want to raise chickens for the first time