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Starting from Scratch

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am very new to all of this and I would be grateful if someone could help me get my feet dry. I live just outside New York City and I purchased a coop where I plan to raise 8 chickens at first. I purchased a coop and run that stands 5' in height by 3' wide and 8' long. The coop and run sit on a concrete slab. When I say new I mean I am very new. I've been trying to read and watch vids for weeks but I still don't know what to out on top of the concrete floor for the chickens to roam on when in the run. I think I have the feeder and water figured out, although I don't know how much to feed the chickens or even know which chickens are best for the northeast. When I say new I mean really new. I look forward to hearing from everyone and to the extent I can provide some basic legal advice in exchange I am happy to do so. Thanks!

Len
post #2 of 9

Hello :frow and Welcome to BYC! 
Please make yourself at home! I would definitely check out the http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center for helpful articles!

Have any questions about breeds and gender? Check out What Breed Or Gender is This? fourm for help.  

Be sure to join the What did you have for breakfast this morning? thread! 

Check out these articels:
 

Are you writer? Please share your chicken related articles here: BYC Article Writing Contest #8 - Write and Win!

 

ht...

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Have any questions about breeds and gender? Check out What Breed Or Gender is This? fourm for help.  

Be sure to join the What did you have for breakfast this morning? thread! 

Check out these articels:
 

Are you writer? Please share your chicken related articles here: BYC Article Writing Contest #8 - Write and Win!

 

ht...

Reply
post #3 of 9
I don't have a lot of advice on what to lay on the cement, but if there is a way for you to extend your coop too include a "dust bathing" area for you chickens then I would. They love it and it's healthy for them.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the reply. I was reading a few articles in the learning center.  They were very helpful.  It seems there are many ways to do this.  I was hoping to find a "Raising Chickens 101" source that would essentially help me start from step 1, such as lay bedding, what is a dust bath, how to prepare the shelter, and then start with food basics, water basics, how much is enough, etc.  Then move on to other things such as cleaning and maintenance. If you know of such a source for the very basics, I would be grateful!  Thanks again.

 

Len

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have heard about "dust bathing" but to be honest i dont know how to prepare such an area.  My run is 9' long by 3' wide.  Any advice would be much appreciated.

 

Len

post #6 of 9

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks and glad to be here!  Great site and I am learning quite a bit and having fun so far!  An education for sure!

post #8 of 9

Nice to meet you Len.  First you could benefit by joining your state thread (put name in search box and it will pop up."  You may even find other bycers living in your area who are very likely to mentor you.   Second I would recommend the  "Raising Backyard chickens," forum  - menu opens to the right so you can  check out "raising backyard  CHICKS." 

 

Rule of thumb  is 4-5 sq. feet per bird in the coop - excluding roosts and nesting boxes)  and 10 sq.feet per bird in the outdoor run. Some folks just use an old sandbox for the chickens and fill with  peat moss, wood ash, sand etc.  Chickens love to dust bathe - as do wild birds, it helps repel lice and mites.  They love it so much sometimes people think they are throwing a fit  or passed out.  That's chicken nirvana.

 

The coops section offers many designs, sizes, types - for instance some folks with just a few birds like to use what is called a "chicken tractor," that can be moved every couple of days, so the chickens don't destroy the lawn.  The predator threads can provide advice on keeping the bad guys away.

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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the guidance.  I appreciate it.  I've been through quite a few threads, but i prefer the one on one.  It really means a lot to me, and what you've taught me in 4 minutes I've searched for hours and couldnt find.  I purchased a prebuilt run and put it together.  It says capacity for 15 chickens and has 6 nesting boxes ... 3 on each side.... the run however isnt that long.. only 3' wide by 9' long.  I will follow your advice about the dust bath.  I think i can handle that... is 2' x 2' sufficient filled with the materials you mentioned?  Also, I dont know which feeder and water dispenser is best.  I was thinking of starting with 8 egg layers and might have an area to free roam.  Also, how do I know how much food to give them? Do the auto dispensers work well?  Other pets will eat until they pass out, and Im not sure how much is enough or how to distribute to the chickens.  Your help is much appreciated.  Thanks again!

 

Len

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