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Bedding - Page 2

post #11 of 12
Yay for baby chickens! I plan on using the deep litter method in my own coop. It involves a layer of 4-6" deep pine shavings, you rake through them and turn them once or twice a month, adding a bit if needed and clean out a couple times a year. But since you have such a small space in this starter coop, you may try sand. It essentially works similarly to kitty litter. You rake through and scoop the poop every morning, it can be added directly to your compost. Not sure on the depth people use but you might do some research to see if that works for you.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaBell2001 View Post

Thanks,but chicks are here and we have more blocks of time to get coop ready.

Depending on weather you may be able to get the chicks out of brooder and into the pre fab in three weeks. They'll love it. 8 wee birds can be happy in that set up for quite some time but you definitely will want a better set up by the time they are 10-12 weeks. It's surprising how brood mates will make a rugby pile to "roost" at night. Was late in building new coop last year and had 14 fourteen week old birds cramming into a 3x3 coop at night. Were no problems at all but certainly needed to get going on the big coop as they were still growing and the cockerels were starting to challenge each other by the move.

 

There are several management styles to raising birds. To me 4 sqft per bird in coop is preposterous. I mean really? If they only use it for roosting and entering to lay eggs then that's a lot of wasted space. If your management is to lock them in the coop for long periods of time, like all winter, then 4 sqft per bird is certainly not enough. It's just a silly number that's thrown out there and repeated with no real value to anyone unless they know how they will manage their birds.

 

I for one do not lock birds up excepting each night after they roost for protection. Think weasels and such that will get into the run at night and if able to access the coop will wipe out your flock. My birds are outside everyday. I use tarps and structure to provide a shelter (wind and rain/snow break) for winter. My portable coop is on stilts and always put electric fence around trees and shrubs as I move it along every 3 weeks to new forage areas in spirng, summer and fall. They hang out under coop or under a bush during downpours. I don't heat the coop nor ever put food or water in it. Nesting boxes are internal access but connected to outside of coop. Large runs and different management makes small coops possible. 

 

When I had a fixed run years ago used a 10x10 dog kennel and 7 birds (6 hens, 1 cock) roosted in a 4x4 coop on stilts with external mounted nesting boxes. You get a good argument that integration is harder when using small coops. This is certainly true but then if your adding more birds your taking some out too. I'd keep my best one or two hens and rotate out the cock and other layers for best pullets and cockerel I raised in summer in tractor coop. This worked well enough but now that I've moved to a huge area to utillize will never give up the portable electric fence. The chickens and I love it.


Edited by Egghead_Jr - 3/28/16 at 7:19am

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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