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Building New Coop Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DestinysChicken, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. DestinysChicken

    DestinysChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello All... I'm a new chicken owner with 3 chicks and currently building their coop. would love some advice on a few specific questions.
    1) does food/water need to go inside/outside or both?
    2) do you need ventilation windows on all 4 sides?
    3) is Drystall or DE ok to be shoveled into my compost bin?
    4) what diameter of dowels need to be used for the perchs and is it ok for the perch to be in front of a window?
    5) are there any building "Don'ts" I may not have thought of while building

    Thanks so much for any assistance/advice you can give
     
  2. chicken_noob

    chicken_noob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the roost, maybe the larger closet rod size, or the 2" side of a 2x4. Also id say don't use chicken wire if you can afford hardware cloth. Just my 2cents.
     
  3. camchick

    camchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Its great to see that people still build their own coops!! I have built 2 of my own coops now but I'm no expert so I hope I can help. As far as food and water goes, my chooks are free to roam my garden so I keep it outside. If you have a run I'd leave food and water out of the house otherwise bedding tends to get in it. With ventilation, I have put vent holes high up on two sides of mine to allow airflow without being too breezy but you could do all 4 sides but I would suggest having some way of closing them to prevent drafts. Chicken manure is great in compost but make sure you add planty of brown waste so its not too strong for your plants/vegetables. Perches depend on the size of your chickens but should not be too big as they will struggle to hold on. About 1 inch diameter should be fine. I'm not sure about putting perches in front of a window but I would be worried about my chools being in direct sunlight and getting too warm... But my chooks are spoilt! Hope this helps, if not I'm sure other members have great advice
     
  4. cpwhip

    cpwhip Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the biggest don't I ran into was DON'T build it too small:) I been keeping chickens a whole 3 weeks and already upgraded to a larger coop.
     
  5. Feeder

    Feeder Out Of The Brooder

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    Rolling Prairie, IN.
    [​IMG] like cpwhip said build them big u never know.
     
  6. smarquis86

    smarquis86 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:x2 with the hardware wire we also have our roosts on there 4" side just because it gets really cold here during the winter. it makes it easier for them to keep there feet warm no frost bite.
     
  7. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

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    Quote:Water should always be outside to keep the humidity level inside the coop lowere - especially in winter. Use a heated waterer in winter.

    Quote:You need more ventalation than you expect. The worst thing for a bird to be in the winter is damp or humid - it will lead to frostbite. If they are dry - they can be warm and safe.I have ventilation on all 4 sides but it's not dierect. It's a double walled system that allows air to be brought in and must travel 2 each 90* turns before getting through. During the winter, I tarped 1 side and the coop stayed toasty. I have no windows.

    Quote:I don't know what drystall is. Diatomatious Earth is fine. - you are using food grade right?

    Quote:Our babies have a variety of roostes to choose from but they ALWAYS want the 2x4 witht he wide end up. We started that in the winter when i was advised that to prevent frostbitten toes, the chickens need to cover their fet completely and to do theis they needed the wide end up. We had just 1 tip of 1 toes on 1 bird fostbitten. Don't know if it wuld have been more if I had not gotten that tip or just the same.
    About in front of the window... If they CHOOSE to be infront of a window, then let them - if they are too hot then they can move to another spot right? It's not the only perch.

    Quote:Don't leave exposed anthing they can get their beaks on and pull. They will get bored and destroy anything not smooth - like foil faced insulation (Duh to me). And they will cut themselves on just about anything.

    Quote:Anytime! That's what BYC is for. Remember: Everyone may have a different opnion or circumstance than yours.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  8. DestinysChicken

    DestinysChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks everyone for all the responses! being a new owner..i love this forum and all the help.
    a couple last things...
    1) if the food/water is outside (seem majority agrees) and if the chickens only have access from 8 am till 6 pm...are they ok without food/water in the evening?
    2) re: composting.. I was planning on putting the poop in..but wanted to make sure the Drystall or DE is chemical/composting friendly to also go in the bin

    thanks again!
     
  9. ParadiseFoundFarm

    ParadiseFoundFarm Goddess of Good Things

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    In the WINTER time - they need to eat late and something heat producing, like cracked corn. in the summer not so much.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:It's fine to compost that stuff.

    If mine only had access to food and water for those hours outside, I'd put it inside. I really don't think that's long enough, especially while days are long. I keep mine inside. Never had a real mouse or rat problem, probably because my dogs catch and kill them. They wake up at the crack of dawn, hungry and thirsty.

    Many people add light to make their day longer in the winter because many chickens need about 14 hours of daylight to keep laying. If you do this, you'll want to have food and water available, too. (Adding light tends to be controversial, I'm not advocating, just saying they would also need food and water if you do.)

    Drystall and DE are find in compost.

    In winter it's a good idea to be sure they have food available right before they go to sleep, so they face the night with a full crop for warmth. It's an unfortunate myth on here that corn is better for this purpose than their regular food. If I give anything special at bedtime in the winter, it is protein or even some fat, because they take longer to digest than carbs.
     

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