Bigger IS better!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Schroeder, May 14, 2009.

  1. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Seven weeks ago I bought 12 one day olds of multiple breeds for my new 6 x 6 coop. I planned for possible casualties, and to cull one of the two cockerels. My goal was for 7 hens and a rooster. Several of the pullets are fairly small (2 golden campines, 2 Lakenvelders). Fortunately they all are healthy.

    The problem: MY COOP IS TOO SMALL and I don't want to get rid of any of them. I'd at least like to watch them reach laying size, and to see the color of the 3 EE's eggs. At what point will I know it is time to reduce the size of my mini-flock? Do you think I can wait till they start laying before I start culling? I plan to have their 16 x 16 run complete in a couple of weeks, but for now they can't go outside. Oh, BTW the 2 Golden Campines are getting pecked on and I have been spraying their backs with BluCoat.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Is there any way you can make a separate coop (perhaps for the Lakenvelders and campines -- definitely the latter, and if I understand their reputation correctly also the former, are rather um 'active' [want to say 'neurotic nutjob'] breeds and may be *instigating* as much picking as they're *recieving*.

    The problem with just keeping them penned up together in too little space is that the more the problem goes on, the likelier it is you won't be able to stop it *even once they have more space and fewer birds*. If cannibalism gets too ingrained they just keep doing it regardless.

    So, is it possible you could get something from Craigslist or whomp something together real quick, even if it looks lousy or won't last forever?

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  3. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Eau Claire, Michigan
    sounds good.
     
  4. Schroeder

    Schroeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    Good advice about separating the campines. Thanks. What I'm still curious about is if the 4 square feet per bird rule applies solely to full grown chickens, or if at a certain age I need to take action.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It isn't a hard and fast rule, it is just a ballpark number people like to toss around.

    IME (which remember is much less extensive than many peoples' here, but, still) they start needing something approaching adult room by 12 wks or so; but I can tell you the campines I had last year were NUTJOBS and required quite a bit more room than their calm sensible (though larger) sussex colleagues.

    I think you have to go by the birds' behavior. If you're having pecking issues, it's telling you you're ALREADY too short on elbow-room, and it'll only get worse.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  6. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central Virginia
    You can never have enough chickens! [​IMG]

    Just build a bigger coop, or add-on. That's what I'm doing.
     

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