All chicken advice I can get


11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
My eldest daughter had a 'hatching' project at school
and had volunteered to adopt a couple of the chicks (without her parents knowledge or permission:rolleyes: )
Somehow she managed not only to "adopt" 4 of the chicks, but convinced her teacher that she could take Momma Hen home too. (still had no permission)
Now, we've got 4 chicks and a very overprotective Momma.
I temporarily used my extra large dog crate (we have a large Mastiff puppy) bought some pine bedding, laying feed
and chick starter feed.
My husband found some leftover plywood/2x4's/4x6's ect.
and tried to suprise us with his home-made coop.
Sadly, I think this may be too small. (he knows nothing of any farm animal)
The 'Coop' is 3'deep x5' highx 4 ft long.
He was only calculating for 1 chicken and didn't consider how quickly the chicks would grow.
(Ireally don't want to hurt his feelings since he worked so hard on his 'Coop')
We are in the process of trying to figure out the safest/economical way of putting up fencing for a run (run measurements are 10'x10'

I was raised on a farm, but we never had chickens, I know nothing of them or how to care for them.
I've read up as much as I could and still continue to do research, but worry we aren't doing enough.
I also worry that while I am gone Hubby won't know what to do or how to finish what we/he started. (in the ARMY and shipping out soon.)

Any and all info/insight would be greatly appreciated,
I will forward all I can to Hubby and my girls as well.
Each chicken will need 3 to 4 square feet of space inside the coop. For the run, they need 10 square feet per bird.

The dog crate is perfectly fine, as is everything else you're doing.

If the coop was only built for 1 or 2 birds, consider selling the other chicks. If they turn out to be roosters you can always butcher them.

As long as you have a nice-sized run (and maybe let them free-range around the yard), that coop should be ok.

I'd try it for now, and then re-evaluate things as the chicks get to full size.
You know, that little coop would be a marvellous 'hospital' coop in case you have to isolate a chick or mama temporarily. I hope you will tour the coops in this thread, most of us learned how to build a coop here!
if you let them out to roam during the day that size coop will be just fine. you need a larger one when they stay locked in for long periods of time. do some upgrades later but smaller will keep them warmer through the winter!
I would attach a run to the coop to let them have some room to roam, but otherwise for the time being the coop should do. Chances are there may be a few roosters in the bunch, so if you want laying hens only, you may end up culling a couple of birds, which will give you more room.
You should have a little talk with teacher about this. Those hens could have ended up in a much worst case scenario if they went home to a very unhappy parent.

You can look at the Learning center on this site and it's full of great info, and you should show the sit to your hubby too so he can absorb some info from it as well.

In the mean time. Good luck!
, Were glad to have you here, and you lucky dog, see it as a blessing, I would love it if my son came home with some more biddies for us,
, bless your little girls heart she knew her mommy and daddy would help take care of those babies. Everyones right if you let them free range your okay for now, but you may want to be working on a bigger coop in the next couple of weeks. Winter is on it's way and you will need it. Just look in the coop section and the coop contest for ideas. and again,
, for you.
I will dissagree with everyone because I think you will wind up with some roos to get rid of. Assuming 2 are roos that leaves you with what 3 hens? Too large a coop and they just get cold and miserable. They will have a ten by ten run to scratch around in, and a nice cozy house to retreat to out of the weather, you can let them out of the run into the yard when you feel up to it.

You'll get maybe a dozen eggs or so a week most of the year, less in the dead of winter. Sounds about perfect to me. A small nr. of hens (because you can handle them all on a regular basis) will easily remain pets, come when called, be good with neighbor kids and your daughter's curious freinds. More and it gets hard to keep them tame. Their small coop will be easier to clean as well. You don't need roosters in town and they will alienate the neighbors and fight.

If you need a bigger coop down the road, well, you have a lot of time to plan a new one. I am betting this will be ok.
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