5.5 days until chicken pickup

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by citykitty, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. citykitty

    citykitty Songster

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    I'm picking up my started birds on Saturday! They will be 4-5 months old, from Meyer Hatchery. 3 RIRs and 3 Golden Buffs. The coop and run are built and predator proofed, first aid kit is stocked, I'll buy food and bedding when I pick them up. Cardboard carriers are built and ready to go.

    Any other last minute things I should do?

    Their coop and run are permanent and connected, do I just lock them in and they will be chickens, or is there a process on the day I bring them home? I have a vital pak for the first couple of days.
     
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  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Congratulations!
    Photos of your coop and run?:D

    Of course when you get your ladies, we want to see them too!

    It sounds like you are planning for them to stay in the coop/run, so I would place them in the run, show them food and water, then let them explore. It may take them a few days to get acclimated, so be patient. You may find that once they go in the coop they don't want to come out for a day or so, they are just getting used to their new surroundings. Before you know it they will be watching the door for you to come out, hoping you have brought them some type of goody.
     
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  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    If there's plenty of space inside the coop (and provided it's not so hot that it would be unsafe), I would lock them inside the coop for a couple of days just to home them to the coop. Food they'll figure out easily, if you're using any sort of nipple waterer you may need to show them how that works.

    Once they're homed to the coop you can open access to the run, and hopefully that'll make them more inclined to return to the coop at night (though you may have to remind them of that for the first few nights).
     
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  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    It sounds good! Pictures! And have fun with your new flock!
    Mary
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    WooHoo!!
     
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  6. citykitty

    citykitty Songster

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    Apr 4, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    I can guarantee you one thing, these are going to be some spoiled chickens!

    The coop/run will be permanent. I'm going to either build a chicken tractor or get a moveable outdoor dog run (with a top) so I can move them around the yard when I'm home and give them a change of scenery. Eventually, when they are more comfortable around me and I know I can get them to come for treats, I'll let them free range when I'm home and in the yard. I will also let them into the 25x25 garden when I'm out there working. I'm thinking about a temporary space next to the house too, but I have to figure out the best way to fence it in.

    Here's the permanent coop/run setup. All coop doors double lock, with a latch and a key. There is 1/4" hardware cloth in a double layer screwed to the window. I am going to add 1/4" hardware cloth around the bottom of the coop even though there is already welded wire. Around the run are paver stones on the bottom, and chicken wire extending under the pavers (not into the run) and 2.5 feet all around. I have landscaping stones on top of it (not in this pic). The only thing that can get in is a bear (we don't have them); it took a hammer to get the sod staples in because our dirt is like concrete. You can't even really dig deep with a pick-axe, so digging isn't too much of a concern. I'm going to finish adding hardware cloth around the coop. It's up on pavers as well. I've also put a cover on the top of the coop since this pic. They will be mostly shaded, with some sun coming in throughout the day, but they won't be in super hot glaring sun all day.
    Full setup.jpg

    Close up of the window. There is actual glass in the window and I can close it from the inside.
    Outside window.jpg

    Man door of the coop with feeder/waterer so they can have food/water inside. In the summer I'll have additional water in a tube feeder outside, and treats/scratch for them. I have a cage suet feeder on a chain to fill with greens and hang in the run. I'm getting ready to freeze some fruit and veggies in muffin trays for a treat on hot days.
    Outside feeder waterer.jpg

    Inside of the man-door:
    Inside man door.jpg

    Inside the coop, also wired for electric. There is a heat bulb in there that I'm obviously not using right now, and I might not need it. There are two additional outlets in case I want to add a fan. I'll pick up bedding when I pick up my birds.
    Inside roost.jpg

    Nesting boxes. All latches will latch open so I can get eggs safely, and they won't get locked in or out of the coop by accident.
    Outside nest boxes.jpg


    The run is approx. 7'x8'. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do yet, but I'm going to add a platform to give a couple extra square feet, maybe put some toys or treats up there, or just a roosting bar or ladder so they can hang out everywhere. Dust bath bin should be here today, it's plastic with a lid. I'll bury it part way and I can put the lid when they are locked up to keep it dry. Depending on how chicken tractoring/free ranging goes, I'll likely add more to the run at some point.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Looks pretty good!
    Couple things might need tweaking.
    Is that window the only ventilation?
    Removable barriers at doors(maybe only the human door) to hold bedding inside.
    Different waterer(heatable) for winter...and maybe solid roof on run to exclude snowfall.
     
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  8. citykitty

    citykitty Songster

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    Cleveland, OH
    I do have a cover over the run, it's just not pictured. In the winter I'll probably shore everything up even more. Maybe put those clear corrugated plastic panels on top instead of the cover, give them more light in the winter.

    For winter I'm thinking a heated dog bowl since I have electric out there, or a submersible heater. Not sure yet, open to ideas.

    There are two vents on either side above the man door and the bird door. I can probably add more if needed.

    Great idea about the removable barriers for the doors to keep bedding in! I have a ton of extra wood that will work.
     
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  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

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    Very nice! I agree with @aart on re-evaluating the ventilation, more is better!

    You will want to definitely show them the food/water and make sure they are drinking. Hot weather is a killer. If you find that they are getting too hot, then you may need to consider shade cloth for a portion of your run.

    I think all of us are do occasionally tweak our set-ups. I replaced both my run fans this spring with a different type and they don't circulate as much air as the old ones, so will be adding at least 1 more. As you come along, you will find things that work for you, everyone's set-up is unique.

    Good luck with your new girls, I truly hope all goes well, I think you will enjoy them very much!
     
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  10. citykitty

    citykitty Songster

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    Apr 4, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    I'm so excited, I cannot wait! I'm going to put a chair in there so I can just hang out with them while they get settled. I hope they love me, even if it's just for treats LOL.

    I kind of hope something tries to dig, because if anything can get through our dirt I'd like to know how.
     
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