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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicken Smallhorn, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Chicken Smallhorn

    Chicken Smallhorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Adelaide
    Well, the coop arrived last weekend and was a snap to set up. Here are some pics:

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    I'm new to chicken-raising, but I've been reading BYC non-stop for a few weeks now. I still have a few questions.

    The open side of the coop is facing NE, because most of the rain here in Adelaide tends to blow in from the S/SW. I plan to use the deep litter method, but I'm concerned that the rain might get into the coop, because the roof does not overhang the open front. Will this be a problem? Should I set up a little tarp or something over the front of the coop?

    The coop is 5' x 5' x 5' and their run initially will be about 300 square feet. When we are confident that the chooks and the dogs will get along, they will have the whole back yard to explore. We are getting chooks mainly as pets. Eggs are a bonus, but not a big deal. We will keep the birds for as long as they live, not just until they stop laying. With this in mind, I'm wondering what would be a good number to get and also what breed(s) to get. I only want the minimum number of birds (enough so that they will be happy), to keep running costs, mess and smell to a minimum. We were thinking four or maybe six. Does that sound about right?

    With regard to breeds, we were initially considering ISA Browns, but I have since read that they stop laying at a young age. We want birds that are friendly and docile, and if they are good long-term layers, that would be a bonus. Now I'm leaning towards Australorps and Sussex. Would these breeds fit the bill? Thanks to anyone who can help out a newby.
     
  2. mcostas

    mcostas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2010
    Your coop looks nice! I just got some little dark brahmas. There is a thread in the breed forum about them, they are supposed to be docile. I've only had mine 2 days now, tonight will be thier third night.

    They are an even bigger joy to watch than I thought they would be and I was pretty exited about the whole idea!

    Check out this chart, it has characteristics of the breeds.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/breeds/breed-chart
     
  3. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    What a great coop! This is a pre-fab? WHere did you get it?
     
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I really like the more colorful breeds. I have Buff Orpingtons and RIR's, but now I want some silver and gold laced Wyandottes. My brother has a neighbor that has a gorgeous blue laced red wyandotte rooster that I saw in his yard...I am hoping he has hens also and will maybe have some chicks that I can get. They are just so pretty. I really didn't think I would get into the chicken thing as much as I have. I just wanted some for bug/tick control and fresh eggs. However...they have grown on me! They are so funny to watch and interact with. I love to look out and see them in my yard. I have 12 already and don't need more, but...those wyandottes are speaking to me! It's like bling bling with feathers! I also much prefer brown eggs, but some people really get into the blue and green egg breeds. Some like the banty sizes, I prefer the bigger birds. Look around the breed pages and see what catches your eye. You should allow 4 sq feet per bird in the coop and 10sq feet per bird in the run. Now you can fudge a little on the coop if the birds have a big enough run and they are in it all day, only sleeping/laying eggs in the coop. So with 25 sq feet of space in your coop, 6 birds is your maximum. Check out the breed page and if you see one that you like, type the name in the search box (silverlaced wyandotte pictures) and it will pull up pictures that other BYC'ers have posted of their birds. Some are so beautiful it takes your breath away!
     
  5. Chicken Smallhorn

    Chicken Smallhorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Adelaide
    Thanks for the link, Mcostas. That's very helpful.

    Yes, Luke13:34, it is a prefab coop. Got it from Bob's Barn in Glossop, South Australia.
     
  6. Chicken Smallhorn

    Chicken Smallhorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Adelaide
    Quote:Thanks for helping out, oldchickenlady. I've read good things about the Wyandottes, but the link that mcostas provided rated their broodiness as frequent. Is this a problem? If so, why?
     
  7. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Quote:The reason some people prefer that their hens not go broody is that while broody, they sit and sit, but do not want to lay...some of them will get upset if you remove eggs from under them. If you don't mind one sitting, it wouldn't matter.
     
  8. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    You could also get a variety, say 2 of 3 different kinds or whatever ratio you want. I originally wanted all buff orps, but the breeder I bought them from told me they weren't quite as predator savvy as Rhode Island Reds (don't know what he based that on), so I got 6 of each. Now I wish I had bought 4 BO's, 4 RIR's, and 4 SLW's. [​IMG] I found a man on Craigslist that had some SLW's listed not far from me, and I was going to get some, but I made the mistake of telling my husband first (don't make that mistake;)) and he insisted we didn't need anymore chickens...unless we lost some to predators. He is right, we don't need more...but I WANT them! Just for the pretty factor!
     
  9. Chicken Smallhorn

    Chicken Smallhorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Adelaide
    In order to keep the deep litter dry, I was considering cutting a small hole in the wire of the coop about a foot above the ground (just big enough for a chicken to get its head through) and placing a two gallon bucket of water outside the coop right next to the hole. During the night they could poke their head through the hole to get a drink, and in the morning when I let them out I would move the bucket away from the coop and place it in a corner of their run. Would this system work or do I need a proper poultry waterer?
     
  10. new&learning

    new&learning Out Of The Brooder

    I am new to this but have already gone threw a few different breeds...my favorite and the one i intend on ending up with is Salmon Faverolles....very nice temperament...not the best layers but super sweet birds...hope this helps
     

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