About to start the first coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by John and Tiffany, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. We are getting close to starting our first coop. I wanted to describe our situation and get your feedback on anything I might be missing.

    We live in Knoxville, tn city limits. We can have 6 chickens. Of the 6 they all have to be hens.

    We are planning to order 3 golden comets and 3 light brahmas for our first flock. We plan to order through cackle hatchery and get the vaccines with that.

    I built the coop into the back third or so of my tool shed. I framed up a wall with a door for access, the she'd has vents and I built 2 roosts at four ft and two foot heights with steps to each. I made three 18x18x18 nesting boxes just off floor level and used laminate on the floors for easy cleaning.

    The enclosure is roughly 600 sq ft and has it's own access door and a full overhead enclosure.

    What should I expect during the first few weeks? Can we keep them outside from the start? It's already in the 70s regularly and we plan to wait till around mid March to order. The golden comets are for eggs of course and the brahmas are more for our enjoyment than anything. What are some tips for ensuring a happy healthy flock?
    Brahma Chicken5000 likes this.
  2. Skipper81

    Skipper81 " For my yoke is easy and my burden is light "

    Feb 11, 2018
    Middle Tennessee
    Well here's a tip it's going to get down to 56 degrees to in your area tonight so they would not do well out there until they are 4 weeks old or more
    I would recommend that you keep the temp at least 70 degrees 24/7 for them because they can't hold body temp until they get there feathers.
    I usually keep them inside my house or somewhere in a brooder for 6 weeks but that's just to be super sure.
    I'm sure you will get lots of great tips on this thread and I'd recommend reading this link
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    featheredplanets likes this.
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Enabler

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Just a couple things.

    You can brood them in the coop. I recommend a mama heating pad system. It is more natural for them to have light and dark times and much safer then a red heat lamp.

    70° is to cold for the first stages of a chicks life.
    A mama hen would be taking chicks out in very cold temps BUT there for them to duck back under to warm up.

    The second thing is the 4' high roost. Brahma are big birds. Getting off that height requires a loooonnnggg landing zone and they hit hard.
    I recommend just a 2' high roost. Even at that height my Brahma use the entire 9' landing zone when getting down.
    I hope you take this to heart. Trying to help you prevent leg and foot injuries.

    No they won't use the ramp to get down. They are weird like that.


    This is a long thread about the heating pad system. The set up info is in the first few pages.

    Many people are converted after having tried it.
    Skipper81 and featheredplanets like this.
  4. joydix

    joydix Songster

    Mar 20, 2015
    West Sonoma County
    I use a heating plate. Same concept. Fabulous. So u would need electricity in the coop For that. Temps should be 90 for 1st week. Then reduce slightly each week. If they get cold you will have pasty butt to deal with and should chk for that daily first week! If poop solidified on their butts they can’t poop and will die! Good advice re roosts! Also be sure YOU CAN stand upright in the coop. Save your back!

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