Bantam housing questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sword, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Sword

    Sword Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2010
    Mundelein
    Hello BYCers! I'm getting some bantams in the spring, and I have a few housing questions. I have a few huge connected ferret cages, that put together have about 46 sq. feet of space (if my math is right). They would only be in it at night or when the weather is terrible, and would be in a portable run during the day. Is this an acceptable thing to keep bantams in? They look kind of like this http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753630 and would be in an old garage building(with lights, electricity, and no drafts). Unfortunately, this would put them in close proximity with my pet cats. I know cats don't usually bother Standard size chickens, but what about full grown bantams? The last problem is the concrete floor of the garage. It has recently been getting extremely damp whenever it rains. Someone told me it may be caused by a crack in the foundation. Does anyone know how to fix this? Thanks for your patience and advice![​IMG]
     
  2. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    chickens should not be housed on bare concrete since it can get too damp and cold. it can also damage their feet. use pine shavings under them to help dry their poop, keep the smell down and give them something softer to run around on. it also lessens the chances if you had a virus that it would be hard to sanitize the concrete fully. no cedar shavings since it is toxic, and hay can contain mites/lice along with weed seeds if you are going to compost it later so you wouldn't want to use that.

    i wouldn't suggest using the ferret cages since they aren't very sturdy if something got into your garage. i use the largest dog crate/cage when quarantining new birds in a separate area and i have a fabric cover that can protect the sides to keep any potential harmful diseases from being passed from sneezing or fecal matter being kicked out of the pen. using just cages is also messy in a garage, dust can get everywhere when chickens flap their wings! (i suggest getting a really decent shop vac with a HEPA filter to use for cleaning!). i use the back corner of my garage during the summer for my roos and breeding, and for winter for my whole flock so they have access to fresh and unfrozen water at all times. it is sectioned with walls to keep the dust from flying too far, but stuff still needs to get dusted off every week.

    i haven't had any issues with my older cat wanting to harm my bantams-will ignore them. my 3-4 mo kitten has been curious but i think will leave them alone. but every cat can be different and it depends if they know where their food comes from and if they have been introduced to the chickens before. i worry more about a pet dog that will kill regardless of training since it is prey driven to chase when a chicken runs in fear!
     
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    from a space point of view you want 3 sq ft per bird. You didn't say how many you will be getting.

    It seems like too much space because the bird may only stand on 1/2 sq ft at any one time - but where the space pays off is in the winter.

    They won't go outside in the snow & mine have spent weeks at a time inside. If they are crowded during this time they develop very bad habbits that are hard to stop. Mostly feather picking & otherwise pounding each other.

    As mentioned before - lots of wood shavings & the floor material doens't matter. BUT you don't want it to get wet as that will cause all kinds of nasty bugs (bacteria) to grow & that will only get you in the news with a major egg recall![​IMG]

    Seriously though - the birds really wont care if the coop is made of wire, or cardboard - you just need to make sure its secure because EVERYTHING EATS CHICKEN!

    If you don't have predators now - you will.

    But your cats should leave them alone after the initial introduction.
     
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    from a space point of view you want 3 sq ft per bird. You didn't say how many you will be getting.

    It seems like too much space because the bird may only stand on 1/2 sq ft at any one time - but where the space pays off is in the winter.

    They won't go outside in the snow & mine have spent weeks at a time inside. If they are crowded during this time they develop very bad habbits that are hard to stop. Mostly feather picking & otherwise pounding each other.

    As mentioned before - lots of wood shavings & the floor material doens't matter. BUT you don't want it to get wet as that will cause all kinds of nasty bugs (bacteria) to grow & that will only get you in the news with a major egg recall![​IMG]

    Seriously though - the birds really wont care if the coop is made of wire, or cardboard - you just need to make sure its secure because EVERYTHING EATS CHICKEN!

    If you don't have predators now - you will.

    But your cats should leave them alone after the initial introduction.
     

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