Originally Posted by Roada Red
Mine are eating as much usual I just brought a 50 pound bag of feed about a week ago and they have it about gone already and they even have corn they can eat and they are free ranged
50 pounds in 1 week for 22 birds that free range?? It took ~3 weeks for my 16 to go through that much in the winter when there was no forage. If your area is like mine, you have woodchucks cleaning out your feeder daily. If not 'chucks, some other animal. I am assuming you have layers, not meat birds. I don't know beans about meat birds.
Originally Posted by twinsmom6
Home made waterer with nipples from feed store or hardware store suspended so nobody spills or poops in it :0}
about 3 dollars for all the stuff from the dollar store.. but sure if you had a bucket with a secure lid you could suspend it and they could drink from it.. I prefer clear or light buckets so you can see dirt or need for refill without having to take it down. Easy to take down just unscrew the lid. Keeps the ground squirrels out of the water and food too.
Opaque water containers don't grow algae. And if the container has a cover, there won't ever be dirt in it. If you don't want to look inside, you could put or make a "water level sight glass in it.
Originally Posted by BruceAZ
Originally Posted by gpeters3
A flat roof only needs a few inches of slope if it is properly supported to avoid sag. An unsupported flat sheet of plywood would need more slope because it will sag and trap water. I had about 6 inches on my first coop over 8 feet and it wasnt enough. The plywood sagged a lot and i had some 2x4s supporting it
. Im thinking 2-3 inches per foot might be enough if you support it with some kind of rafters.
A gable roof with a standard pitch of 4/12 is 4 inches per foot. At that pitch it would have to sag a LOT :-)
Originally Posted by gpeters3
You like variety too, i see. I have 2 of each for 5 breeds plus 4 turkeys and 4 other breeds for 9 breeds total. I like to look at them all running around in the run. They all seem to be getting along but i chamfered the corners in the coop and run to prevent trapping and pecking. The older hens sometimes are aggressive but no damage so far :-)
I was not prepared to raise chickens. My family just brought them home one night so i had to put together a small cardboard box for them and used shredded papers for the first few days.
I don't know much about breeds of chickens either and now that they are 8-10 weeks old i can see 3 different types out of 5. I have no clue what breed they are though
For my lot size, i'm only allowed up to 5 chickens per city's code compliance.
i have yet to see any problem but i'll keep an eye out for it. Summer is just around the corner so when the temperature hitting 110-120. when we will see
this is original structure (with 1 coat of waterproof finish)- i put in enough 2x4 on the roof to support any roofing materials i'll use plus hooks to hang the feeders as well. I'm out of money atm but i'll add a 4'x8' extension later so total dimension will be around 4'x16'x4'.
I live in the city + area with HOA.. so have to keep things within their rules/regulations.
still build you own coop is cheaper then those coops available in stores that is for sure
Given how hot is it where you live, I trust you can open that coop up A LOT so you don't have baked chicken.
And yes, if you have the skills (minimal for a basic coop) and tools, a build your own will be a lot cheaper, a proper size and being custom, be exactly what you need rather than what someone thinks will work for everyone.
And regarding slope, indoor plumbing drains are spec'ed at 1/4" per foot slope. You don't need much to get water to run off the roof ASSUMING there is no sag, even 1/8"/foot is fine for that. The higher pitched roofs are usually made for volume inside or snow. Even a foot of snow won't slide off a 10/12 pitch roof as long as the temps stay cold. The narrower the apex of the "triangle" the more it can hold (for a given dimensional rafter) because the rafters are running the load more vertically to the top plate which is supported by the vertical walls.
Originally Posted by CameronSmiths
Originally Posted by Latestarter
Very nice. I see that your birds are fully feathered... That being the case, they really don't need the heat lamp, even in Ontario Canada
I can't really tell the breed of your birds but they look like potential LF breeds. Though the roosts you have right now may fit their feet ok, when full sized, you'd be better to turn them 90 degrees to have the wide side up. When chickens roost, they snuggle down over their feet and rest their keel bone on the roost, so those will be a bit narrow. Changing them will also help them to keep their feet warm during cold months. They'll normally scoot forward so the first digit of their toes is over the edge and then cover everything with their feathers. You might also consider a staging board in front of the lower nest boxes as well as the upper... Otherwise, they may only be able to get to the one box right at the top of the plank. Welcome to BYC and good job!
Thanks very much for the tips! I am a first time chicken lady so I wasn't too sure about the perch. Pinterest showed them made both ways, so I'll keep an eye out and change it the other way when they are older. The picture was taken a few weeks ago - their first night in the coop was below 0 and frost, so we had it up that night so I could sleep knowing they would be warm on the sand as they weren't too sure about the perch. The lamp is gone now. How many chickens will use one nesting box in your opinion? I told hubby I only wanted 4 for 10 birds, but he made six. I pointed out that the ledge doesn't reach all the way across so we may have to add it later but hopefully they will be happy with 4 boxes. Thanks again for all your insight! Designing the coop was my biggest stressors because I couldn't find good info on the Internet
If you can do so, consider running a long roost from where you took the picture to the top bar of the ladder roost, about 1' from the wall on the right. Chickens like to roost as high as they can get and if they can't all fit at the highest level there will be lots of squabbling with the top of the flock and those lower. They will sleep lower if they have to but they would be happier higher up.
And I agree with what Latestarter said about nest access. I have a 1" wide board (1.5" tall) about 8" in front of and 4"-5" lower than the top of the "nesting material retaining" board that is the front of the 4' long 3 nest box. They hop up ( ~18") to that access perch then decide which nest they want to use.
Originally Posted by EdibleLandscape
With all of the amazing cool designs here mine is nothing spectacular. Definitely built on a budget and I like what it has become. The chickens are free range all day and really only go inside at night and are let out when the sun comes up free to graze the land as they please for the time being. As they become more adventurous I might build a run to keep them from going too far away. Their primary purpose is to eviscerate the tick population around here which has always been a problem. I'm hoping to have 10+ birds in here laying eggs when it's all said and done. It's been a wild ride so far. Looking for more adventure to come. Hope you enjoy the pics.
They likely won't go too far away, not if there is a lot to do and eat close to home. But I see a lot of woods there, I would be concerned about predators unless you have chicken safe dogs in the same area. I lost 2 hens to foxes (one April last year, one the April before) and they had to cross a couple hundred feet of open field (grass not yet growing) to get up close to the barns and snag an unwary hen.
Originally Posted by gpeters3
I find it interesting that people with acreage and other animals dont have chickens in the mix. My brother has goats, ducks, cattle, dogs and horses but never has had any chickens on 20 acres. Chickens are one of the easiest to care for and they supply meat and eggs. He is a Michigan roper and has downsized to team roping from calf roping. He cant get the feet so his job is to get the head. Myrt is skilled at bouncing the rope to catch the feet. They are dedicated cowboys. Guess you can only focus on so many things, eh?
That is weird! I spend no more than 10 - 15 minutes a day (the NEED to do time) on my chickens. They don't need open clean water daily like ducks do, they must be more work. Mostly I see my girls when I am out working in the yard and they come to "help".
Originally Posted by FarmerPhronc
I worked on a farm/ranch that had over 250 hens. One of my jobs was to wash eggs. We washed them by dipping them into a solution with antibacterial dish soap, rinsing, then dipping them into a solution with food grade hydrogen peroxide. We would then dry them, place in cartons and refrigerate. Those eggs that were a little soiled we would allow to soak for 2 to 3 minutes and lightly scrub those spots with a scotch pad. You have to understand that these eggs were sold wholesale to retail establishments, so we were licensed by the state, had to follow their rules and were subject to inspections to make sure we complied.
Now that I'm retired and raising a few chickens of my own I don't ever wash my eggs. I prefer to keep that natural bloom protecting the egg in place. Yes I sell some directly to a few friends, thankfully selling them in this way doesn't require me to be licensed and subject to such laws.
Yep, same here. The only eggs I wash are the ones that were laid overnight off the roost (and are in the litter on the floor, guaranteed to have "stuff" on them and the shells are usually discolored where they sat in the litter) or those that have some on them from dirty chicken feet. My chickens refuse to use the foot washing stations I have set up in front of the nest boxes
I wash and refrigerate those immediately, I also write "washed" on them so I know and I don't sell those to friends. The rest go into a carton on the counter. I don't refrigerate when the girls are really productive and fill a carton in a day or 2 and will be going to their new homes in the next day or two. Otherwise I do since they "degrade" more slowly in the refrigerator. I'm sure every egg laid by those of use with just a few hens are not USDA Grade A but AA right out of the hen But when you buy them at the store, even if marked AA they don't HAVE to be. In fact, only 72% have to be AA there, the rest can be A or even some percentage of B. Even the cartons marked A can be 18% grade B.
Originally Posted by MeepBeep
Originally Posted by gpeters3
If you have ever had a case of salmonella you would know why i wash them. I dont care if they lose their flavor on the bedpost overnight as long as no one gets sick. My fear is that handling them in the process of cooking may transfer some bacteria ftom the outside of the shell to the food. Call me a worry wart but i had to go by experience with other food products.
The data is far from conclusive or that black and white on washing, in fact there is plenty of data that suggest washing them actually increases the salmonella risk by giving the bacteria a path inside the egg, thus the reason washing is outlawed in most European countries as they have concluded washing actually increases the risk...
For example here is Ireland's stance on washing... https://www.fsai.ie/faq/egg_washing.html
This is a pretty universal stance adopted by most EU countries...
One does have to wonder about salmonella in battery hens. I would think given they spend their entire lives in "lock down" the chances of them having salmonella is quite low. Yet, due to USDA rules, their eggs have to be washed to an inch of their lives then because there is nothing to keep any type of bacteria from getting through the (now) porous shell, must be refrigerated. I wonder how much of the salmonella people get from commercial eggs came from the factory and how much from "downstream".
Egg washing the way the "big boys" do it.