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New chick owners from Southern Ohio - Page 2

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
As a newbie and someone who lives in a small town, I wanted something functional, yet fit in my backyard.
I've seen a couple of different outhouse style coops, but none with the two floors.

Would it be more suitable, being as I live in Ohio, to just have the single floor? I plan to use a couple skids to keep it off of the ground and plywood to cover the open slats of the skids..
post #12 of 29
As long as you have fresh air, sunlight, (hens need 14 hrs of light to lay well), remember a place for nest boxes (1 per every 7 hens), a place to roost and critter proof. It doesn't have to take up a lot of room but does need to be functional. If a hen gets broody, you may want to add another nest box. Are your hens going to be roaming outside during the day?
post #13 of 29
Where is the water and food source going to be? Fenced?
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yep. I'm uncertain as to if I should keep the feeder inside the coop or out in the run. I figure it'll be easier to clean up after them without having food in their coop.
My run is will be 6ft tall, 8ft wide and 20ft long in an L shape (basically the back corner of my wood shop).
post #15 of 29
The feeder will need to stay dry which is the reason I kept mine indoors. The waterer was also indoors due to the fact that our hens didn't like going out if it was raining and if they don't drink, they don't lay well. If the waterer is outside, you need to have a "winter plan". I purchased rolled roofing (like one big shingle) and covered the floor and years later the floor was still in excellent condition. Shoveling the hen house manure into my garden plot in the winter, grew fantastic beans and tomatoes the following year after it was disced in. Dont put fresh chicken manure on plants cuz it will burn em up. Sounds like the run is more than ample space. Just remember ya don't want em freezing in winter or burning up in the summer, fresh air but being able to roost where there is no drafty air and you ought to be good to go. Happy Easter!
post #16 of 29
If you have easy access to the feeder and can keep the feed dry, outside is good. Sorry , I ramble. Lol. You don't want the water getting too hot either.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
I don't think you're rambling at all. I appreciate the amount of knowledge that you have. I'm completely new to all of this, so being able to come here and be filled with input from other more experienced folks is a blessing.

When I built the coop, I put a few different roosts at different heights throughout.
I scratched some doodles on a notepad, but I had no real blueprints other than the mental pictures in my head and coops that I'd seen here.

I plan to have an overhang on the door leading from the coop to the run and I'll probably keep their feed and water there so it'll stay dry.

As far as bedding goes, what do you recommend? Most comments that I've read are against straw/hay due to the amount of moisture and mold production.
post #18 of 29
No bedding due to louse and mite infestation. As liners for nest boxes we, my son and I, used rubber drawer liners purchased at LOWES. It keeps eggs from breaking if cut to fit the nest box and they are easy to remove, clean with warm soapy water, dry and replace. No haven for bugs....sweet. lol. In your watered, it helps to add vitamins and minerals for poultry. These packets can be purchased at your local feed store. Make sure you read and follow directions on the packet as to how much to add to so many gallons of water. This will help them stay healthy especially when stressed out during hot/cold weather. Make sure you have some kind of grit for them to eat such as very small rocks. Not pebbles. Chickens have to have grit to grind the food up in their crop. If they're running loose in the yard, they'll find their own but if not, you'll have to provide it. A five gallon bucket of lime fines from a quarry will work. Also keep some oyster shell free choice as this provides calcium for the egg shells so they won't break easy. Didn't realize there was so much to it did you? Lol. Its fun and they are quite entertaining. When they're happy and healthy and laying, its quite satisfying. The eggs are really good! By the way, they love fresh green grass and the bugs that hide in them.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Haha definitely didn't realize there was so much to know! We'll let them free range while we're outside but they'll be in the run when we're not and obviously the coop at night.
I appreciate you helping me out so much!
post #20 of 29



I also have been googling and pinning chicken coop plans. That is actually how I found this site! They have a good list of ideas on here and I love seeing all the creative designs that members come up with on their own from scratch! Sad to say I am not that talented, yet anyways. I haven't raised chickens before to know all the pros and cons of each coop design. But I do wish you good luck!



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