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Im needing info from experienced hen owners. Please.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Greetings. This is my first attempt raising chickens. Thus far the only Birds we have are parakeets and Amazons. Which are way different from these cute little chickadees. So my first question is we are building the coop and run this weekend. Our funds are (very) limited so keeping cost down Is a must.;-) Is there particular types of wood that should be used to withstand the elements? How wide should perches be? Are any building materials toxic to chickens? What type of metal protectant screening should we use? OK let's say we have the finished coop and run; What's next? Are we supposed to spread anything on coop floor? What about the nesting box, do we put hay (like they show in the cartoons lol:-D)? Also, our chicks are 4 weeks, our 7year old son talked us in to getting a couple of silkies that we pick up tomorrow. Im sure they're hatchlings. Are we supposed to keep them separated? Will the older ones attack/kill the newbies?Or how does that work?
post #2 of 7

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

 

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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

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey thank you.
post #4 of 7

If you check out the Learning Center, you will find answers for most of your questions.  Re: the silkies,  yes the older chicks will  bully and peck them.  Silkies for the most part, are very docile and tend to be at the bottom of the  pecking order.   Their crests and beards  obscure their vision, and their type of feathers do not lend themselves to flying.  They can jump pretty high when inspired to do so. Other breeds tend to harass them because they do not look like regular chickens.

 

You may want to check out the "Silkie thread," to learn more about them.  Silkies are very popular especially with kids  AND are generally very good broody mamas.  That means when they are feeling "broody" they want to sit on eggs and hatch them out.  Chicken folks often have a silkie or two  just for that reason. Some call them  "silkie-bators- they are so much better than using a mechanical incubator.

 

I'm sure you and your son will enjoy them very much.  Welcome to Backyard chickens.

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post #5 of 7

PS  I should mention that silkies are one of the most difficult breeds to sex before 4-5 mos. of age, and sometimes not till they lay or crow.  Buying young chicks - NO one can guarantee their sex - if they do, I would find another  seller.

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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by struttachic View Post

Is there particular types of wood that should be used to withstand the elements? You can look into treated wood for floor boards, regular 2x4s for wall studs, t1-11 for the exterior, and metal siding for the roof among other materials.  You can also look into coating the floor with a roofing tar compound like Blackjack or vinyl/linoleum flooring to help it last longer before you put down some form of bedding/litter.
How wide should perches be? Many people recommend non-treated 2x4's with the 4" side facing up.  I have also used tree branches about 1.5-2" in diameter.
Are any building materials toxic to chickens? Do your research here.  Avoid things like cedar or walnut shavings.
What type of metal protectant screening should we use? 1/2" Hardware cloth is recommended.  I would not go with anything weaker than 19 guage.  Don't count on things like chain link or chicken wire to be predator proof.  My dog has gottten through chain link more than once and chicken wire is only good for keeping chickens in/out.
Are we supposed to spread anything on coop floor? You can research things like deep litter method, pdz, use of sand, etc. I prefer shavings.
What about the nesting box, do we put hay (like they show in the cartoons lol:-D)? I prefer shavings for this as well. 
Also, our chicks are 4 weeks, our 7year old son talked us in to getting a couple of silkies that we pick up tomorrow. Im sure they're hatchlings. Are we supposed to keep them separated? Will the older ones attack/kill the newbies?Or how does that work?  I tend to keep chicks of different ages separate.  A standard sized 4 week old is probably going to be about 4x the weight of a standard-sized hatchling, but even more so compared to a silkie.  Chicks grow very fast at that age. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumstick diva View Post
 

If you check out the Learning Center, you will find answers for most of your questions.  Re: the silkies,  yes the older chicks will  bully and peck them.  Silkies for the most part, are very docile and tend to be at the bottom of the  pecking order.   Their crests and beards  obscure their vision, and their type of feathers do not lend themselves to flying.  They can jump pretty high when inspired to do so. Other breeds tend to harass them because they do not look like regular chickens.

 

You may want to check out the "Silkie thread," to learn more about them.  Silkies are very popular especially with kids  AND are generally very good broody mamas.  That means when they are feeling "broody" they want to sit on eggs and hatch them out.  Chicken folks often have a silkie or two  just for that reason. Some call them  "silkie-bators- they are so much better than using a mechanical incubator.

 

I'm sure you and your son will enjoy them very much.  Welcome to Backyard chickens.


Drumstick Diva gave you good advice.  The Learning Center is the place to do you research.

 

Good luck!

Sassafras Grove Farm

sassafrasgrovefarm@outlook.com     sassafrasgrovefarm.weebly.com (not yet published)

 

Black Double Laced, Blue Double Laced and Splash Barnevelders

Silver Double Laced Bantam Barnevelders

Silver, Charcoal, and Birchen Iowa Blues

Swedish Flower Hens

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Sassafras Grove Farm

sassafrasgrovefarm@outlook.com     sassafrasgrovefarm.weebly.com (not yet published)

 

Black Double Laced, Blue Double Laced and Splash Barnevelders

Silver Double Laced Bantam Barnevelders

Silver, Charcoal, and Birchen Iowa Blues

Swedish Flower Hens

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice
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