Babies will be here in a week! Help!

Teacherpea

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 20, 2013
58
2
43
Okay, so the babies will be here is just a week, and I have heard all of these great ideas. So great, that I don't really know which way is the best way on some of these things. So, I thought I would put my questions out here and plead for some advice!
bow.gif


Alright, 1: How long (approximately) will I be able to keep 7 chicks in my brooder? I'm using an old dog house (the extra large size, big enough for a 100+ lb dog)

2: I was going to put the brooder in our garage, but should I be worried about the fumes from the cars in there?

3: Sand or pine flakes in the coop floor?

4. What kind of sand? When I've looked for sand, the landscape supply store had playground sand and some sort of red sand. Neither seemed right?

5. My coop is 6 x 6 (I'm going to post pictures soon.), I have a window on the left, with nest boxes going over it. The pop door is going on the right. I'm wanting to use a poop board like I've read about so many people doing, but I don't know the best way to do it since my coop is fairly small. Ideas on size and location for it? I thought about having it straight ahead when you walk in or maybe an L-shape. I want to maximize space so the babies won't be crowded.

6. We're going to build a run off of the coop; I'm aiming for at least a 10 x 10. Is that at least big enough?

7. Is it best to hang the feeder and waterer in the coop or somewhere in the run (the run is going to be completely enclosed with fencing)?

and 8. (I think this is all for now!) How big should my pop door be? My hubbie's gotten very serious on constructing this coop; I'm pretty sure it's built well enough for a person to live in it! So, he's framing in a pop door?!?


I know this is a lot, but I'm always impressed with how helpful everyone is on here. I look forward to hearing your advice and information! Thank you! = )
wee.gif




The master builder, aka my hubby!


My dad helps out all the time! Love him! = )


The supervisor!




The roof we're trying to salvage and use.
 
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3riverschick

Poultry Lit Chaser
10 Years
May 19, 2009
8,453
3,303
512
Okay, so the babies will be here is just a week, and I have heard all of these great ideas. So great, that I don't really know which way is the best way on some of these things. So, I thought I would put my questions out here and plead for some advice!
bow.gif


Alright, 1: How long (approximately) will I be able to keep 7 chicks in my brooder? I'm using an old dog house (the extra large size, big enough for a 100+ lb dog)

The chicks should stay in the brooder until they are 5 weeks old. Bantam or large fowl?
Makes a difference when doing chicken math for coop and run.

Oh, Missed it that you were using the dog house and not the coop for a brooder. You only need 1 sq. ft. per large fowl chick for the 1st 2 weeks. Then 2 sq ft. thereafter. Sounds like this is a 3x4 house. That's 12 sq. ft and should be fine. Close enough to 14.
2: I was going to put the brooder in our garage, but should I be worried about the fumes from the cars in there? Yes. Birds can inhale thru their feathers. For instance, when one wants to medicate a bird, one way is to put them in a box and nebulize the medicine, i.e. submit it to the bird in a fine mist which they can absorb thru their feathers. Never use a spray like Febreeze near birds,. It can kill them as they pick it up thru their feathers.


3: Sand or pine flakes in the coop floor? Personally, I am not comfortable with sand in a brooder. Because it holds the heat from below. Fine for a reptile, but chicks get their heat from above, from their mama hen. Not both directions. That said, in using chips they should smell like fresh sawdust (hardwood chips) when you open the bale, not turpentine(softwood chips).
I was reading the medicated chick feed bag the other day and it says not to change the flooring in the brooder unless one simply "has" too. I am guess this has something to do with establishing immunity to the pathogen the medicine was designed against. Perhaps by the chicks eating off the floor where the poop is or something. Anyway, I have smelled the stink of wood chips when they need to be changed and it is much sooner than several weeks.
So this season I did something different. Got my 101 qt. translucent storage container form Walmart. Floored it with 3 or 4 layers of quality white paper towel. Then laid a layer of that waffle weave non-skid drawer liner over the toweling. I am impressed! The drawer liner gives the chicks a firm grasp for footing. The liquid runs thru to the paper towel. Neither the paper towel nor the drawer liner make ammonia like wood does when it comes in contact with poop. At the end of 2 weeks, I simply took the chicks and feeders out, rolled up the bedding and threw it away. Laid down a new set of toweling and drawer liner and I was set. Back in went the feeders and birds, Viola! I was done. Have raised chicks on newspaper and wire. I'm a convert! Plus the draw liner is cheap at the dollar store.


4. What kind of sand? When I've looked for sand, the landscape supply store had playground sand and some sort of red sand. Neither seemed right?
Well you need a sand with a low silica content or you will run into the respiratory problems the lady posted about yesterday with high silica playground sand. A rough river sand is good.


5. My coop is 6 x 6 =36 sq. ft. @ 4 sq. ft. per large fowl, that's space for 8 large fowl birds.
( see comments below for exceptions to this rule).

(I'm going to post pictures soon.), I have a window on the left, with nest boxes going over it. The pop door is going on the right. I'm wanting to use a poop board like I've read about so many people doing, but I don't know the best way to do it since my coop is fairly small. Ideas on size and location for it?
Poop board goes under the roost. They poop when they roost. How to easily remove it, some use a drawer type system where they pull out a drawer from the side of the coop and the poop board is basically, the drawer. Lots of design ideas here and depends of how you are flooring the coop, sand, deep litter, or?
I thought about having it straight ahead when you walk in or maybe an L-shape. I want to maximize space so the babies won't be crowded. Can't speak to that, don't use a poop board, personal preference. wait are you talking about the poop board or the brooder? You only need 2 sq. ft. er large fowl chick in the brooder. You need to partition some of the coop off for the chicks. Have Hubby look on the Net for a "sweeter heater". They re great for in coops because no fire hazard. Can be mounted on wall or as a hover , under which the chicks can "hide" and keep warm. Better than a Brinsea Ecoglow for a coop because Sweeter Heater is mounted on wall or hangs from ceiling by chains. Not resting on the floor.


6. We're going to build a run off of the coop; I'm aiming for at least a 10 x 10. Is that at least big enough? Depends on how many birds you have and their size. Yes, 10x10 is 100 sq. ft. Plenty of space for 7 large fowl birds.
Standard chicken math is 4 sq. ft. per large fowl bird inside ( if you are in a climate where you will be cooping them for extended periods ( days, weeks) due to weather extremes. 3 sq. ft. per large fowl if they don't need this kind of cooping in for extreme weather. 10 sq. ft. per large fowl bird in the run outside. These number help prevent stress in the birds which can cause feather picking and other stress behaviors.
Halve all these number for bantam fowl. 7 large fowl= 70 sq. ft. run. Your coop is 6 ft. wide so extend the run out 12 ft. from the coop, 6x12= 72 sq. ft.


7. Is it best to hang the feeder and waterer in the coop or somewhere in the run (the run is going to be completely enclosed with fencing)? Depends on your weather and if you need to worry about animals entering the run to eat the poultry feed. Basically, keep the feed dry and other animals out of it.

and 8. (I think this is all for now!) How big should my pop door be? My hubbie's gotten very serious on constructing this coop; I'm pretty sure it's built well enough for a person to live in it! So, he's framing in a pop door?!? Good for him! It's important the pop door be strong as it s another entrance that predators will try. I use a guillotine-type pop door. You can even have him install some kind of lock on the pop door so a clever coon can't open it. My hubby installed a "trough" which the door descends into. That way, once the door is down, it fits into the trough and an animal can't get a purchase on the bottom edge to try and rip it out or lift it up. It's surprising how much math goes into a chicken coop and how the dimensions affect the birds psyche. For instance the for large fowl, the roosts should be no higher than 18 inches off the ground. One inch wide in summer weather, 2 inches wide in cold weather so they can sit down on the roost and cover their toes with feathers to protect from the cold. There are a certain number of inches needed per bird for the roost length. per bird at the feeders and waterers. Have hubby look up the 3-5 gallon bucket "nipple waterers" on-line. They are easy to make, the chickens learn how to use them quickly and easy maintenance for you. Ventilation is important. If your coop has a peaked roof, it should have a cupola. If it has a single angle shed roof, then install your vents at the top of the high wall. There is even an equation on the Net for air flow per sq. ft. in a coop. You are blessed to have a hubby who is so serious about the coop. Your birds will be healthier and lay better for it. There is also an equation for amount of light per sq. ft. in the coop. Tho I think, most Americans love light in the coops and usually provide plenty of light, so this equation is routinely exceeded, smile. A 10 to 20 watt light per 10 foot x10 foot coop is enough to stimulate egg laying in the winter.


I know this is a lot, but I'm always impressed with how helpful everyone is on here. I look forward to hearing your advice and information! Thank you! = )
wee.gif


Best Success,
Karen
Waterford English Light Sussex
in western PA, USA





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3riverschick

Poultry Lit Chaser
10 Years
May 19, 2009
8,453
3,303
512
Hi,
Was surfing coop plans and came across this one. A real nice idea of how to handle your poop boards. Just her roosts are too high for large fowl. They may sprain a foot coming down off them or get Bumble foot. I once got a trio of older Speckled Sussex, sight unseen. Once was an older hen and so crippled she could hardly walk. I asked the previous owner how her roosts were set up. She happily replied she had them 5 ft. off the ground for her Guinea hens which shared the coop. This poor hen had been coming down off that high roost for several years and ended up all crippled in her feet. How sad. Just lower the roost to 18 inches and put the poop boards as noted there for your large fowl. Just need to fix your roosts so you replace the 2 inch wide boards with 4 inch wide boards come winter time.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-just-right-coop
Best,
Karen
 
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Teacherpea

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 20, 2013
58
2
43
That link is very helpful; I'm going to show that to my husband tomorrow. Thanks~
 

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