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Overwhelmed! - Page 2

post #11 of 57


I hear what you're saying.  So my suggestion is to take a big deep breathe.....and don't read anymore.  In my 60 years, its been my observation that everyone has their own experience so each of their answers will be different.   Chickens should be fun and they aren't that hard to raise.  So these are my suggestions, and I mean suggestions only.  I am not in a position to tell anyone what to do

1.  You mentioned you and your husband don't have building skills. There are a lot of website on which you can see "pre built" coops/run.  Maybe this would be a good choice

2.  Hire someone in your community to build your little chic house/run

Not sure how many chics you ordered, but your whole set up can be very simple.  it doesn't have to been extravagant.....just safe and secure.  You can always add more at later date.

Have fun and don't give up yet.  Chickens are wonderful pets.

post #12 of 57
Hello there! Don't worry, simple alterations to your shed will do just fine. I will take some pics of the one I altered tomorrow. Along with some pics of the run in progress. Just remember to measure twice and cut once!
post #13 of 57

You have been  given excellent advice.   Since your chickens will not be free ranging it would also be good to  give them a little sandbox so they can take dirt baths as they please. That it true heaven to a chicken.  You could also toss in a clump of weeds  with dirt attached, from some part of your yard.  They love to hurt for bugs/worms.  You may at some point want to grow safe (to chickens) vines around their run, which  would keep the sights down for your neighbors and provide the birds with more bugs.  You do not have to do all of this at once.  It's just things to  consider.

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post #14 of 57
I like the idea of using the shed. The house my wife and I bought came with a shed similar to yours. It was divided in half (hamburger style), with the back half dedicated to a dog run. Outside was a fenced in dog run that was roughly 10x30 with a portion of that a concrete pad. What we did was put a roof over as well as sides the paved portion of the dog run. That way the birds would have a place that was out of the wind and would stay relatively dry that they could always go outside to.

It was pretty inexpensive to build, and pretty easy. I think I have roughly 200 in it, that includes the fancier side paneling to match what the walls of the shed already were. But it is definitely something you could build with a little assistance from your brothers. And would be a great project to get your feet wet in building.
Edited by CLutze27 - 3/13/17 at 8:40pm
post #15 of 57

Thanks for the pictures, those help a lot.  That's going to be a great coop!  But, you won't need an outdoor space for your chickens until they're about 6 weeks old.  Based on what you've said so far it sounds like you're looking for some specific next steps.  That's what I'm going to try to give you.  I can't give you an exact step-by-step, but I can get you going in the right direction.  

 

Job #1 right now is to get a brooder set up for your babies to live in when they get to your house this weekend.  By what you've shared I'm going to say that a plastic tub brooder is probably going to be the easiest solution.  Do a search on Google Images or Pinterest for 'plastic tub brooder' to see what one looks like (but don't look too long, cause those results get off topic and confusing pretty quickly).  Then make a list and head off to your local home/farm store to do some shopping.  Below is a short list to get you started.  

 

- large plastic tub (storage solutions dept)

- hardware cloth ~0.5 x 0.5 (or wire mesh, same thing)

- pine shavings, either fine or regular is fine, not ceder (pet dept)

- heat source (more on this in a second)

- quart size chick feeder

- quart size chick waterer

- chick feed (ask your store what kind)

- raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg's or similar with the "mother" on the label)

 

For the tub, get the biggest one you can move.

For the heat source your choices are either a heat lamp, heat plate, or heat pad.  If you've got little ones and/or you're going to be setting your brooder up inside I'd avoid the lamp.

The ratio for the apple cider vinegar I think is about a tbsp per gallon water.

 

That'll get you through the first two to three weeks.  They grow fast so that tub won't hold 10 chicks much longer than that.  So, over the next few weekends maybe you can get your brother to come over and help you wall off part of your shed to make it a coop.  We can talk more about that later.  Brooder is job #1.

 

Now, go get started and post some more pictures.  You can do this!

 

______________________________________________________________

 

Supplemental reading if you don't think it'll add to the overwhelm.  If you're at all concerned about that, do. not. click.  Just make your list and go shopping.

http://www.nocluckingaround.com/2017/02/10/optimize-your-brooder-box-investment/

http://www.nocluckingaround.com/2017/02/17/diy-brooder-design-requirements/

No Clucking Around

Fresh Eggs for Busy People

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post #16 of 57
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post #17 of 57
post #18 of 57
post #19 of 57

Old coop.. updates inside.. more renovation this summer

 

Hi everyone!  So, I'm a newbie too!  I just took on a flock (including 2 ducks) from a gal needing to get rid of them.  Our house is new to us as of December, and so I had to renovate the existing shed-style coop.  I'm finding myself overwhelmed too because I'm reading all this stuff about moisture, ventilation, and bedding that concerns me.  The old shed/coop was unused for many years, so dusty, dirty, and poopy.  I cleaned it out as best as I could, gutted all the old nasty lumber and nesting boxes and roosts, then added in new ones.  I used pine shavings from the feed store for the floor and the shelf that sits under the roosts, and then added some tossings of straw on top of that.  I have 14 hens 6mo's to 2yrs (according to the gal I got them from), and 2 roosters (one bantam).  I also took her 2 ducks that are in the coop.  The coop has 2 good-sized windows, a door for people, and a door for the chickens.  There are no ventilation holes intentionally put into the construction, and the few holes that were around the ceiling rafters I actually put weather tape in cause I was worried about the drafts.  I have heard that drafts are bad, so I weather sealed all the holes.  I've had them 2 or 3 nights now so I am sure they're actually handling the cold okay (northeast weather/climate/winter) but am still concerned about this whole moisture and ventilation thing.  I am also concerned about the bedding.  The floor bedding is feeling moist in the morning.  Is this from the water bowl?  Or their respiration?  The shavings under the roosts don't seem to have this moist feel, though of course they're poopy.  Since this is an open space just like a shed, and the roosts are in the same space as the nesting boxes and food bowls, could there be too much air and moisture moving around at night?  It seems way too cold to have any holes in the wall... single digits and wind chills below 0 some nights.  I thought about making some plywood panels with some straw bedded to it with fencing, using eye hooks and just hanging them above, behind and on the side of the roosts, then I could open the plugged holes above by the rafters without them getting any draft.  I could remove the panels in the warmer months.  Straw doesn't absorb moisture, right?  I am confused by all this, given my weather and existing coop.  It's 19 degrees today.. I opened the door this a.m., put an extra screen in the doorway, and so they are getting fresh air while in the coop (big snowstorm for the next 24 hrs so they can't be let out).  But the night is what I'm most concerned with.. moisture, ammonia, ventilation, and of course warmth.

 

I am also concerned about the bedding... it's all over the place from their scratching, in their food and water.  When I throw scraps and bugs for them, they're also eating shavings and straw.  Isn't this bad?  Isn't the pine leaching that toxic oil into the water they're drinking?  How do we avoid this??

 

Last wonder..  I used 5 gal buckets for nests.  A couple of hens have used them, but most of the hens are quite large and may not fit.  Several are instead laying on the floor in the corners.  Is this okay?  Should I build bigger nest boxes?

 

This is my list of hens/roosters (the extra rooster is a larger one.. not listed here):

2 speckled sussexs
Golden laced wyandotte
Sliver laced Wyandotte
Buff Orpington
White leg horn
3 Easter eggers
1 cuckoo maran
2 black Cochin hens
1 bantam Cochin rooster(super friendly!!)
1 black bantam silkie frizzle

THANKS for your help!


(boards under food and water to lift them up)

 

post #20 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBear4 View Post

Thanks for the pictures, those help a lot.  That's going to be a great coop!  But, you won't need an outdoor space for your chickens until they're about 6 weeks old.  Based on what you've said so far it sounds like you're looking for some specific next steps.  That's what I'm going to try to give you.  I can't give you an exact step-by-step, but I can get you going in the right direction.  

Job #1 right now is to get a brooder set up for your babies to live in when they get to your house this weekend.  By what you've shared I'm going to say that a plastic tub brooder is probably going to be the easiest solution.  Do a search on Google Images or Pinterest for 'plastic tub brooder' to see what one looks like (but don't look too long, cause those results get off topic and confusing pretty quickly).  Then make a list and head off to your local home/farm store to do some shopping.  Below is a short list to get you started.  

- large plastic tub (storage solutions dept)
- hardware cloth ~0.5 x 0.5 (or wire mesh, same thing)
- pine shavings, either fine or regular is fine, not ceder (pet dept)
- heat source (more on this in a second)
- quart size chick feeder
- quart size chick waterer
- chick feed (ask your store what kind)
- raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg's or similar with the "mother" on the label)

For the tub, get the biggest one you can move.
For the heat source your choices are either a heat lamp, heat plate, or heat pad.  If you've got little ones and/or you're going to be setting your brooder up inside I'd avoid the lamp.
The ratio for the apple cider vinegar I think is about a tbsp per gallon water.

That'll get you through the first two to three weeks.  They grow fast so that tub won't hold 10 chicks much longer than that.  So, over the next few weekends maybe you can get your brother to come over and help you wall off part of your shed to make it a coop.  We can talk more about that later.  Brooder is job #1.

Now, go get started and post some more pictures.  You can do this!

______________________________________________________________

Supplemental reading if you don't think it'll add to the overwhelm.  If you're at all concerned about that, do. not. click.  Just make your list and go shopping.
http://www.nocluckingaround.com/2017/02/10/optimize-your-brooder-box-investment/
http://www.nocluckingaround.com/2017/02/17/diy-brooder-design-requirements/

Ok the chicks will not be here until Mat 18th so I am going to start with the coop and I will make sure I get all the brooder stuff about two weeks ahead of time. I think I will start with painting the inside of the shed white and cutting ventilation holes.
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