Ok, just getting started after thinking about chickens for about 6 months. Ordinance for my area requires confinement in coop or run at all times (and it just wouldnt be fair to neighbors to free range in subdivision anyway). We have 4 GLW we picked up at 10 weeks of age. We have them in a appx 6x3 (plus encloses roosting/nesting area aka "coop proper" or "inner sanctum") prefab coop. They have been living in this for going on 6 days, and have finally taken to roosting in the coop proper. I got them used to that area by placing food and water in there, but moved them back into the outer coop tonight since they took to staying in the coop all day. ( I think they saw a stray cat, and since I am the "Rooster" apparently, it was safe when I was nearby.)
There has been some pecking at each other, most affected area seems to be just in front of the tail feathers. It seems to be some less since they roost inside where the roosting bars are level, vs the outside bars which are laddered. I have seen a few of the instances and they seem to be short squabbles, so I am assuming it is establishing pecking orders since removal from their flock. We have been keeping a gallon of water and several cups of feed, as well as scratch thrown out in small amounts a couple times during the day to keep them from getting bored.
I just completed a 6x8 run for them. Is 6 days long enough to make them stay in the coop before sending them into the run? Is it generally a good idea to have dirt for the floor of both coop and run? I have a wire apron outside the coop to keep diggers out at night, do i need to have an apron on the daytime run too? How do I know when the pecking has gone too far?
Pics of coop and run to come tomorrow.