Am I on the right path?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Eggcentric One, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    I am in preparation mode and require the advise and opinions of the experienced flock keeper. In the provided photo you will see my intentions and many questions answered.
    My grandparent had chickens when I was small. However, the only consideration was for the eggs produced and the meat attained. Temperament most definitely was not a consideration, nor their comfort and safety. Predators would occasionally have a feast and storms would decimate their coops. I have no intention of being the same.
    While most would consider my plans to be an unnecessary expense, I look at two things, first longevity of investment expense, minimal as a DIYer, AND if I am happier in a nice home, why wouldn't my charges be as well.
    I look forward to your responses and input. Thank you all for you time!
     

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  2. Thyme4Chickens

    Thyme4Chickens Songster

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  3. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    I am in SE Coastal Georgia. It is hot, humid and ripe for hurricanes. So secured durable structure and safety are huge considerations. I constantly see don't be goldilocks and go bigger. I figure more space will reduce stress even if never used. However, I expect some of it will be. HA. How many do you have? Breeds? Anything you would warn or advise others of that you have learned in the past year?
     
  4. Thyme4Chickens

    Thyme4Chickens Songster

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    We started with 5 chicks last year - they thankfully all turned out to be female! Hatchery RIR, Production Red, 2 Buff Orps, and a Speckled Sussex. This year we added 7 more chicks from Tractor Supply: Red sex-links and black sex-links... so far all the correct breeds, and therefore pullets, yay! (We aren't allowed roosters in our town).

    My husband build an 8'x16' Wood's style coop (which our friends teased us what humongous!), but all that space was awesome when it came to integrating chicks (we partitioned off an area and brooded in the coop).He also built an attached 16'x24' run, which we are building up to Deep Litter, and some cobbled-together pens to get them out on the grass. With so much space to "escape" (and posts to break up the line of vision), no one has has sustained any injuries from being bullied so far.

    I know other folks will be along who can advise you about climate considerations... up here we have a different set of weather challenges.... mostly: winter!

    Advice: have fun! Do the best you can starting up, and ask tons of questions on here - the folks here are so generous with their experiences and knowledge!
     
  5. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    I love all the breeds, all of them offer a value to the individual, family or farm. And most are just stunning. Sounds like you are thoroughly enjoying your endeavor. I would say sad that you cannot have a Roo, however, some folks don't care to have one and they aren't required for egg production.
    We have ag property so there are no limits. Probably a half dozen egg production facilities within 5 miles and closest neighbor is 1/4 mile away.
    I will be getting Roos. We are looking at meat production as well as maintaining the genetics that made these breeds so appealing in the first place. I am not a chicken snob by any means, and I won't be enrolling in any shows and I hope it doesn't come across like that, as that is DEFINITELY not my intention.
    I am looking forward to hearing the input of others.
    Also, ugh to northern winters. HA
     
  6. TooCheep

    TooCheep Chirping

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    Good on you for thinking this through before diving in. Your flock will be much better off for the effort.

    First thing that I saw from your drawing is "Mint". I love mints and grow four types in containers primarily for herbal teas. However, mints can be *very* hard to control and will want to spread everywhere. If you want a large area of mint, I recommend either building a raised bed or putting in fairly deep edging (6"+?) to help contain them. They generally spread both by roots and seeds. This will greatly reduce, but not eliminate spread outside the area and make control much easier.

    Edit: You might want to add your general location to your account. Some questions are location dependent and it makes answering them easier.
     
  7. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    Yes, I figured I would have to place the mint in semi raised beds around the coop, shed and covered run ( since that will also be where I plan to have feeders and waterers). So it is true that mint will keep the rodents at bay? Does it help with raccoons? I thought maybe some coyote urine 30 feet out in the woods as a perimeter might help deter other ground issues. What say you? I have added semi location and as stated, SE Coastal GA. Actually Triple H. Everyone knows the place.. HOT, HUMID and HURRICANE prone. HA. Thank you so much for your input. Anything else you can think of, please don't hesitate to inform me. I know little and require much education. I also want to make sure my flock doesn't suffer due to my lack of knowledge. Always thankful!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Ehhh, maybe.
    Doubtful.
    No.

    Love the drawing, back later when time to peruse.
    Welcome!
     
  9. Eggcentric One

    Eggcentric One Songster

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    Look forward to your thoughts, opinions and experienced input!
     
    Cryss, CapricornFarm and NewBoots like this.
  10. TooCheep

    TooCheep Chirping

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    You are on the right track. Keep reading and asking questions. I followed that path and was much better off at the start. You won't get it 100% right, but will be far, far better off than those that get chicks on a whim.

    I don't know about mint repelling animals. Frankly, I wouldn't count it to keep critters entirely at bay. You have a large setup planned. I only have three girls, so my setup is quite different. My general advice for security involves the following.
    • Use hardware cloth around the coop. It is strong enough and a small enough screen to keep out about anything short of a bear including snakes and mice. Unfortunately, it is significantly more expensive than chicken wire, but chicken wire is good for keeping in chickens, not keeping out predators.
    • I'd strongly recommend an automated coop door for your convenience. Whether automatic or not, some type of well-designed coop door is critical for protecting from night predators like raccoons.
    • Looks like you are already planning to have some type of cover for your runs. That is very important for keeping out hawks/eagles/etc.
    • Figure on burying some of the fencing to help keeping out digging predators.
    I'm not sure how appropriate those security points are in such a large setup, but others might be able to give better advice there.

    I'm a big fan of suspended or wall-mounted waterers and feeders. They allow you to load a bunch of feed/water at once and not have to refill them daily. Waterers on the floor get mucked up quickly. Feeders on the floor can result in messes and attract rodents. I like and use the PVC-tube setups, but there are other solutions available, including some that can be automatically fed.

    I see that you have different breeds assigned to different roosting areas. Chickens won't arrange themselves that way naturally. Not sure how you would manage it. Also, I'm not sure flock separation is useful for anything but controlling breeding. Again, others might have better info for you on that topic.

    Good luck and keep asking questions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019

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