Chicken coming Tuesday and Coop not complete

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by firefighter9208, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    Ok, This is my second post. So here goes.
    I have 25 day old chicks coming Tuesday from Ideal (8 RIR's, 8 EE's, 9 silkies). I have an enclosed room in my barn that I'm going to use as a brooder (12'x10') room. I am going to use a 150 gallon cattle trough 2'wide x 10' long x 2' high as a brooder. How long will I be able to keep 25 chicks in this??? The room is not heated, but is insulated and stays warmer than outside. I can heat it if necessary, but was hoping a 250 watt red heat lamp would be sufficient.

    I am working on my coup (10'x16'). The building is built. It has a shed roof that is 8' high on one end and 7' high on the other. I built it so that there is ventilation on each end at the roof. Basically 3 1/2" wide x 10' opening on each end. I will cover this with hardware cloth. Do I need to make this so I can close off the openings???? I wanted the ventilation up high to cut down on drafts.

    I hope to place the chicks in the coup when they outgrow the brooder. I don't really want them running (flying) around in my brooder room. This is where I store my goat/dog feed and medicines. Will they be ok in my coup at 2-3 weeks old if I supply them with a heat lamp to get under when they get cold???

    I am constructing a run 24' x 40' off the 7' high end of my coup. This size was dictated by the availability of 25'x50' aviary netting. I hope to allow them into the run ASAP after putting them in the coup. The run will be 5 1/2' high with 12ga. 2"x4" welded wire buried 6" in the ground. I plan to run an electric wire around the outside to keep the goats from rubbing on the fence and help keep away predators.

    I'm a realist when it comes to animals. I have aprox. 30-50 Boer Goats at any one time and they survive well outdoors. I only supply them with a barn to get out of the rain. They actually will lay outside no matter how cold it gets. But if it rains don't stand between them and the barn. [​IMG]

    Also, I have 2 Great Pyrenese Livestock Guardian Dogs. If I happen to let the chickens out to free range will I have problems with the dogs. They don't bother the goats or goat kids. Do I need to introduce the dogs to the chickens early (day 1) or what????

    Sorry for such a long post.

    Oh yeah, I'm located in Alabama. Right now it's getting in the upper 20's to low 30's at night and 40' to 50's in the daytime.

    BTW, I've been on here reading for about two weeks and am hooked.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  2. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    First of all [​IMG]. To answer some of your questions: I think your brooder will house them fine for a month or so. If you use the heat lamp, I think they will stay warm enough as long as there's not too many drafts. Not sure about your ventilation openings - maybe close a few areas of it since hot air rises you don't want to let too much warm air escape. I don't know that I'd put them out into the coop until they're 4-6 old though. Re the dogs, unless you've had previous experience w/ knowing how they react around chickens, it's best to NOT allow them to be w/ around the dogs since most dogs have a great hunting instinct. All my chickens stay in a run 24/7 since we have too many stray dogs and my dogs will kill chickens. [​IMG]

    Btw, my brother lives in Albertville! Hope some of the above info helps you. Maybe other forum members can give you some advice too. I've only raised chickens since the beginning of June, so I really don't know very much, just learning as I go along. Sorry to hear that BYC has made you an addict so quickly though! [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    86
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Depending how feisty they are with each other I'd expect at least 3 wks if you have to, maybe longer.

    The room is not heated, but is insulated and stays warmer than outside. I can heat it if necessary, but was hoping a 250 watt red heat lamp would be sufficient.

    Get your brooder set up and running NOW so you can make whatever adjustments are necessarily -- put a thermometer on a block of 2" wood on the shavings under the light and see what it reads.

    If you can't get it warm enough (over a large enough area, and/or without putting the heatlamp dangerously close to chicks and bedding) then take a look at http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml and see if it gives you any ideas. I wonder if you might want to block off the top of the stock tank with plywood (as opposed to wire) except where th heat lamp is shining. But you will need to test and troubleshoot and measure temperatures CAREFULLY, to avoid setting things on fire. Please be careful! [​IMG]

    Do I need to make this so I can close off the openings???? I wanted the ventilation up high to cut down on drafts.

    Yes, good design, just make flaps or etc that can be individually closed or opened so you can make use of the full range of ventilation possibilities (not just all or none)

    I hope to place the chicks in the coup when they outgrow the brooder. I don't really want them running (flying) around in my brooder room. This is where I store my goat/dog feed and medicines. Will they be ok in my coup at 2-3 weeks old if I supply them with a heat lamp to get under when they get cold???

    Again, consider Bob Plamondon's setup, I've found it to work really well for 2+ wk old chicks in an unheated building. Provides good reliable heat without having to run a bajillion watts of heat lamp. Highly recommend.

    I hope to allow them into the run ASAP after putting them in the coup.

    I don't have that much experience wth raising chicks but I'd be worried about trying to let month-old chicks outside unless the temps are pretty warm, like 70s and up, and nonbreezy and DRY. I guess I'd worry whether they could get chilled before deciding to go back indoors. Hopefully others will chime in on this, otherwise you might post a Q about it separately in the Raising Chicks part of the forum?

    Good luck and have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    TaLina,

    Albertville is about 1 hour from me. Thanks for the info.

    Patandchickens,

    That's the kind of info I need. I will put them in the cattle trough for the first couple weeks. I'll make a top for the trough that's 1/2 covered and 1/2 chicken wire for ventilation.

    I have a sheet of 7/16" OSB left over from building the coup. I will use it to construct a brooder like your link, to go in the 10'x16' chicken coup (house). I'll try to move them at 2 weeks old.

    I'll play it by ear on letting them in the run. I will be out of school for two weeks at Christmas and if there are any warm days the chicks will get to go outside some then. I've see it where you could wear short sleeves on Christmas day here in Alabama. We'll see.

    How much feeder do I need for 25 chicks??? I have 1 like this http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp...10551_10001_34410_-1______?rFlag=true&cFlag=1 . I also have one 1 gallon waterer. Is this enough???

    Chris
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    86
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I've used homemade feeders whose size I can only describe as "one Kawartha Dairy brand ice cream tub per 10-20 chicks" [​IMG] but the thing in your link sounds fine to me.

    A one-gallon waterer is fine too, though eventually you will want a larger one -- however if you will be using the gallon waterer right from the first week (rather than a small chick waterer) it's smart to fill the trough part of it with marbles (actually when the time came I couldn't find actual marbles so used those squashed-ovoid shaped 'glass blobs' they sell for crafts and flower-arranging) so chicks fall in less and get less wet if they do fall in.

    Good luck and have fun with the new chickies [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  6. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    955
    1
    141
    May 29, 2008
    I've used those feeders too, and they work fine for the first few weeks, then the chicks start emptying them completely in less than a day and it's constant refilling--which is fine if you are around to do it. I still use them for the first bit. Mine holds about a quart of feed. A gallon waterer will do you for quite a few weeks, at which point they'll start drinking and eating a lot more and you may be refilling it twice a day--again, not a bad thing if you're home to do it. I'm not, so I use a larger waterer with that many birds once they get older.

    One thing I would suggest is getting a flat landscaping brick or a couple of short 2x4s and putting the feed and water on them once the babies are a week old or so because they'll be scratching bedding into the feed and water like crazy, which makes them hard to keep open.. If you can hang them from the ceiling, all the better, then you can use a chain and move them higher as the birds grow. It keeps them from making a mess of things and scratching all of the food onto the floor too.

    I put my babies in the coop at 2-3 weeks with a heat lamp. You might want to put a box or something on at least three sides so they can snuggle together under the heat on the worst nights, but so far my babies have been fine--though the coop hasn't dipped below 39 degrees yet between the body heat and lamp. It dipped well into the twenties outside last night, and the kids were fine.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,224
    672
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Do you have any pics?
     
  8. JudyMcKinn

    JudyMcKinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    699
    2
    161
    Jan 24, 2007
    SW MO
    One thing you will have to watch carefully is that your bulb doesn't burn out, or the babies will get chilled, maybe fatally, if the bulb goes out at night, and you don't know it till the next morning.
    Also, make sure they can get away from the heat if necessary, the metal tank may hold heat, so make sure you have the bulb at one end, with a cooler place at the other end. They know, even at a day old, to move toward or away from the heat as needed for their comfort.
     
  9. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    955
    1
    141
    May 29, 2008
    True about the bulb, I'm constantly looking out the back window to make sure the light is still on at night. Tonight when I got out there to check on them, the extension cord had pulled loose and I had to trace it back to fix it. They are feathering in really fast in the cooler temps (I almost never find them directly under the light, even when it's pretty cool in the coop), but I won't be comfortable about it until they're seven or eight weeks old, at least.
     
  10. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

    44
    0
    22
    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    Well chicks will be here in the morning. I am going to build a brooder like the one that Patandchickens posted about to go in the chicken house.

    Chris
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by