Hi there new flock friends,
I live in a small coastal town in central CA. The weather is relatively mild. Summer yields fog until early afternoons then mid 70-s to 80's. Winters drizzly, however minimal rainfall thanks to el nino.
After 5 years of begging for chickens and making no headway with my husband, he started working with 2 men who had backyard chickens and voila! (insert loving eye roll ).
I am now the proud mama to 5 chicks. 1 is 6 weeks old, the other 5 weeks.
After much research here, I opted to have it built vs kit. While as an ER nurse I can put people back together, I have no ability in construction but finally found an experienced coop builder. I have spent hours scouring the forums and reading several books. I am having a 4x6 raised coop with a 10 foot wire meshed run. Run will be covered. Additional square footage will be available as the coupe with be enclosed . Mesh will be buried as we have the sneakiest raccoons ever and a boxer who's attempt at playing with likely result in dead chickens.
I am using pine shavings in my brooder. Stinky (although indoor laundry room probably doesn't help) after 3 days. I pick out as much poo as possible with a cat litter scooper daily but still find myself needing to completely change it after 3 days. I also note a lot of wasted chicken food/scratch even though I have the feeder raised as they grow.
I have read tons about coop bedding and little about runs, and perhaps I am now on information overload. Please just help me out with this one in new to chicken raising language. :) I am leaning towards the deep bed method but am not currently composting and taking on both new projects seems overwhelming. Is there a suggestion on how to prep both coop and run flooring/base? I have read mostly suggestions on coop. I have three children and a full time job which definitely means I need the most efficient methods.
Would it be better to post this separately in a different thread?
I have fallen in love with my chicks and want to take the best care of them as possible.
Thanks so much.