Chicken Newbie! New chicks on the way w.o. Feb 13th *pic heavy*

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AmyLM, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    Hi all! I'm Amy :D (please excuse spelling errors... I cant seem to get my spell checker to work here...)

    I'm new to chickens and could use a wee bit of guidence! My DH and I bought a 2 acre mini farm near Dallas TX (close to Wylie-- which doesnt allow chickens.. but we are outside of city limits and I have a letter from the local athorities that say its ok in case anyone has an issue) and it had a big coup and run and as soon as I saw this place I knew it was the one. I'm trying to get everything ready for the new arrivals. I'm trying to come up with a set up for the chicks and to get the hen house/run ready for them. I'm going to try to post pictures and would apprecate help.

    I'm intending on starting them in the house in a spare room until they are old enoug to be outside.... the challenge will be keeping my dog out of the room. SO I need ideas on how best to do the set up for them I have a heat lamp, themomiter that has humididty on it as well, lots of left over moving boxes, chick starter, waterers, feeders, but what bedding should I use?

    I ordered from Murray McMurray hatchery. I'm a little worried about getting dead chicks :( but after trying to find chicks around here locally I couldnt find the variety I wanted. I have no intrest in showing or anything like that so I don't care if they meet a breed standard or not. I want them for eggs and pest control purposes, not meat as my hubby and I are primarily veg only. the list bellow is what I ordered. I realize that chances are I will have to split them into two flocks due to size diffrence, which is fine because I am also planning on doing some work on the barn and opening up the opposite side side of the barn.

    Ok here is what I ordered:
    W. C. BLACK POLISH hen
    ANCONA hen
    ARAUCANA hen
    BUFF ROCK hen
    DELAWARE hen
    WHITE ROCK hen
    SUMATRAS St. Run,
    Golden Penciled Hamburg hen
    Free Rare Exotic Chick

    And here is my set up... I could REALLY use pointers on how to make the most of it.. set up, where to put what... and everything.. Remember Im a total newbie so PLEASE point out everything....

    Our barn (the house behind is not ours but everyones ok with chickens and even roosters... no one seems to mind)

    The run... three difrent kinds/sizes or wire cover it from a foot into the ground all the way over the top. BTW.. that snake is fake. but I did find a real one in the barn last week (baby rat snake).. I know... bad. I have a few small holes to patch but otherwise it looks in good shape. The posts are from a security fence and are cemented into the ground and where it meets the building is conected to soild sheets of metal that is wired to the mesh... pretty darn secure!

    The tree was just trimmed (yeahh! to our great neighbor) and is very much alive.. its just wintering now but Ive been told it gives great shade during the summer and is WELL fertlized thanks to the chickens ;) The rabbit hutch was used previously to house a rather bad tempered rooster, after he became a dinner it was used as an outside shelter for hens that woudl'nt come in (according to a neighbor who took care of the chickens when the homeowner moved to another state and left them behind.

    From inside of the barn... it has a window that opens and closes... should I put a better wire screen over it or would this be ok?
    There is small cat door but I wont be using it because we are too close to a busy 55 mph two lane rural road.
    The inside. Will I need more to room for the number of hens? There is only 1 board for them to stand on... I really want to put more... where? How? and there are two random chains hanging down... heat lamps?? feeders??

    Ive spent alot of time cleaning it.. but its still dirty. what kind of bedding should I use? its jsut a dirt floor now.

    From inside the run. Will this be ok for the 26 if all of them make it? I dont know the exact deminsions biut its alot bigger than it looks. I'm 5 foot 7 and the roof is about 2-3 feet over my head if that helps.

    The door between the hen house and the run can close during bad weather/night. ;) and YES... there is both power and water inside already ;)

    What else should I do?? ;) I'm trying to get ready.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  2. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    First of all [​IMG] and second I'm jealous I love your coop. The chicks you've orders sound like a really cool flock. I use fine pine shavings on my floor and i would cover the windows with hardware cloth and maybe re-enforce the bottom of the coop to keep out nasty diggers and plug a few other holes but all in all it looks likes a great set up.
  3. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    the fence goes about a foot into the ground... does it need to go deeper? And yes I was thinking of stapiling hardware cloth over the window to stop anyone from getting in... or out.

    Is this going to be big enough for my new flock?
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I'm jealous.

    I'll leave it to others to comment on the other questions you had, but will comment on the dog issue. If you have a door on the room, you can keep it closed. That will also keep a little bit of the noise down in the rest of the house. Notice I said "a little bit." They will be loud no matter what you do, especially as they get older. Keeping the door shut will also reduce drafts and allow the heat from the lamp to warm the entire room. Periodic checks will let you know if the temps are getting too high.

    If you don't have a door on the room, locate someone who has young kids and no longer uses their safety gates. This is not only cheap, but helpful if you can step over the gate and the dog can't.
  5. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    there are doors so thats not an issue. My dog is a former Indian street dog (seriously... he was born in New Delhi India... and we shipped him here to the states) so I'm going to be very careful. Ive already taught him that the three spare rooms are off limits to begin with. Hes going to be wearing his 'good boy collar' and leash so I can get a grip on him if he does decide to be naughty. I'm a housewife so I'm always home. Going out with hubby to work on the garden this week.... full acre garden, chickens, and planning on getting quail and goats :D yeahhhh! Mini farm is coming to life! ;)
  6. Shireshome

    Shireshome Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    First of all, [​IMG]
    Second of all congratulations you have a great setup. Having everything there saves a lot of head work.
    With that said you will need to make some improvements.
    First of all you may not know this but the "chicken wire" that is around the run can very easily be penetrated by all 4 of your major predators (I'm in Austin so I am familiar with the critters you'll be battling) Those being raccoons, possums, coyotes, and stray dogs. The most serious will probably be coons, they can reach right through that wire and chew off an unsuspecting hen's head. (sorry to be graphic) also dogs and coyotes can chew right threw it like it was made of string. What I would do is go around the bottom of the run and up at least 4 feet with galvanized hardware cloth. Also you need to secure the top. For me the best rule is to enforce like I am keeping a four year old out. If it can be peeled back, broken open or otherwise breached in a way by a four year old, then a coon can do it too. Up top, focus your efforts right where the wire meets the side of the barn reenforce with the hardware wire. You'd be shocked at how easy it is for a raccoon to chew that chicken wire right back. Also I would put rocks around the bottom outside of the run and around the bottom of the coup which by the pictures looks like only one wall is exposed to the dangers of being dug under. The other two look like they are interior and the other one is cover by the run, is that right? Also I don't have a feel for how big your coup is do you have the dimensions?
  7. Fly Be Free

    Fly Be Free Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    South Carolina
    I love your set up. We have 5 acres. We've had miniature horses, goats chickens you name it. LOL Right now we have chickens and pigmy goats. :) I'm awaiting my order from MM hatchery too. Due Feb 5-7. I'm stoked! I also got a bator to try hatching my own too.

    I've been working in the barn to convert it for the chickens. I've used hay or straw in the past to keep down the dust. It is easliy raked and burned not to mention if you don't put it down too thick then you don't get "sour" spots on the ground where it stays moist and rotty.

    Good luck girl! I can't wait to see pics of your set up with your babies.
  8. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    [​IMG] I am sure you have so many questions and concerns so take a deep breath and relax a little. You seem to be fairly prepared already. With respect to getting chicks delivered - I was lucky and the 25 I ordered all survived their postal service trip and somehow managed to multiply - I actually got 28. Some folks are not as lucky and some chicks die. Be sure to alert your post office about the chicks and then follow up with them on the day of delivery - many deliveries happen with no problems but sometimes packages get lost or are running late and miss a connection - just follow up with the post office and ask them to track your chicks and if you have to, be prepared to drive to a distribution center to pick them up. As for coop and run size, it is hard to tell from pictures but I suspect your run area may be a bit small for that many birds when they are adults - it will be fine initially though. And since you have plenty of height in the run, consider adding platforms and ladders and roosts to make use of the vertical space - that can help a lot. With respect to bedding for the babies, sawdust/pine shavings worked great for me when the chicks arrived - initially I put some paper towels on top of the sawdust (for 2-3 days) to give them better footing and for ease of cleaning - just don't use newspaper as it is too slippery for their young feet and legs. There are lots of options for bedding as the chicks grow - do some reading on sand, sawdust, pine shavings, deep litter, poop boards, and Sweet PDZ. Good luck and enjoy your chickens!!
  9. KBlue

    KBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2011
    Katy, TX
  10. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    I talked to DH and he said we can buy better wire to cover the top and just run another layer around the sides because the wire is older and I was able to break a piece by pulling on it hard. So yep.. that will be fixed soon ;) As we just moved in the day after Christmas (I know.. heck of a Christmas present!) we have to watch the budget right now. We have spent more money in 1 month that I think I've spent on my own in 10 years combined between the down payment, utilities, washer/dryer, fridge, furniture ext (we had NOTHING when we got her). So I think I will need to hold off on the wire for a few months but that should be OK seeing as how the babies wont be ready to go out there for a while.

    I will measure to see how big the whole thing is. its pretty darn big as it is but I have already been thinking about expanding the run and adding more roosts. The problem is the drainage on that side isn't very good. I also want to build a larger coup at a later date that will be facing the house so i can see them easier. That will make me worry less.The good thing about my dog is that he is VERY alert and protective.

    I'm planning on putting in many different roosts and levels that they can use and nest boxes with smaller doors so that the bantams can escape if they need to.

    How should I go about setting up the room for the babies? What dimensions does it need to be for this number of chicks?

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