Complete newbie to chicks and have many questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shellyb, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Shellyb

    Shellyb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    So, after many fly by conversations, my hubby and I stopped in at tsc and saw the chicks again. Our daughter was in love and I was too. Hubby said to go home and do some research and I did. I had read up on stuff and thought I wanted rhode island reds. well my hubby went there one day while i was in another state but tells me they had them there. well, i went the next day and they were all gone. They man there at tsc said he had raised chicks for 30+ years so i trusted what he said ended up leaving with 3 red sexlings(rir x with delaware) and 3 amberlinks. So my questions start there.
    1. Did i pick good egg laying, docile chickens?
    2. What's an ideal size coop for 6 chicks?
    3. What should be doing or not be doing to help them be tame with us?
    4. When should I introduce other treats other then the starter food.
    5. Should we use house wrap on the coop to protect it?
    6. Is it really necessary to use pressure treated wood?
    7. What is the best level to have the nesting boxes at in the coop?
    8. Is there another name for Amber links? can't seem to find much info. on either kind I bought.

    I think of all kinds of questions all throughout the day but right now I have preggo brain and can't remember much of them. They will come to me later I'm sure. Thanks in advance, Shelly
     
  2. KiminVA

    KiminVA Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't really answer your ?'s cause I'm sorta a newbie too. But do know your sexlinks are excellent layers. I'd say the amber links are also sexlinks. Different hatcheries call them different things from what I'm learning.

    Good luck and you will have a ton of fun with your babies and fresh eggs some day.
     
  3. Sylvie72

    Sylvie72 Out Of The Brooder

    going to try to answer a few questions.
    depending on where you live. I am in Canada and I have had chickens for quite a few years and this is what I had for 10 chickens.
    I had a 10x10 shed (we no longer used so became a coop) and we had the nest boxes at about our shoulder height, give or take. You need at least three nests per 4 to 5 hens ( I had six nests) they only used ONE!! Your nest boxes should measure 12x12x12 inches all around.

    1. Did i pick good egg laying, docile chickens?
    Yes, RiR are good laying chickens not sure about the other ones


    3. What should be doing or not be doing to help them be tame with us?
    IF they are chicks, play with them as much as you can, pick them up, etc... the more you are with them the more tame they will be.. as long as you don't make any sudden quick moves, they scare easily...
    5. Should we use house wrap on the coop to protect it?

    I built a new coop and insulated and house wrapped it all in the inside. Does help alot. Keeps it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

    I hope this helps, for the other questions you have you can browse around this website and you will find so much good information to help you decide, along with pictures and much more.

    Good luck, hope to see some pics..[​IMG]
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    I can help some:

    1. Should be good for the egg laying. Docile is really related as much to the individual chicken as the breed, esp. with crosses like yours.
    2. 24 sq ft of coop with 60 sq ft of run is minimum. More is always better. (4 sq ft per chicken for coop and 10 sq ft of run per chicken.) Make it as big as you can. You would not regret an 8'x8' coop and it matches lumber sizes so less cutting. You would also not regret making it tall enough to stand in. Al little more cost in materials than a minimal coop, but not as much as you'd think. And most people want more chickens; adding on or building another coop will cost more than just building one a little bigger than you need to start. The bigger the run, the better they will like it, and the less muddy and yucky it will get. If your finances are limited, it is amazing how much can be scrounged or bought used. You will see many good ideas for this in the coop and run section.
    3. Hold them a lot. A LOT.
    4. Lots of varying opinions on this. At least a week or two, in very small amounts; they need the chick starter. Offer some sort of grit when you start treats if it is something other than yogurt or something similar. A good first treat that you can give right now is a little plain yogurt mixed with chick starter. Good for them, and they will think they have hit the jackpot.
    5. Most would not. House wrap limits air exchange, and one of the tricks to coop design is providing enough ventilation without putting them in a draft. The coop and run section of this forum has a HUGE amount of information. It will take some time to look through and consider your options.
    6. You would regret not using it where it touches the ground because plain wood on dirt will rot out in a year or so. Everywhere else, a good coat of paint on untreated wood, OSB, plywood, etc. is fine.
    7. Lower than the roost, to encourage them not to sleep in them. Some raise them a foot or so off the floor, and others have them on the floor. You may want to add them later or close them off til the chicks are old enough to sleep on the roost routinely. You do not want them to learn to sleep in the nest boxes as it leads to poopy eggs later.
    8. I don't know. I only know they are a sex link, a cross like your red sexlinks, and will not breed true.

    Good luck, and enjoy your chickens!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2009
  5. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    [​IMG]
    1. Did i pick good egg laying, docile chickens?

    sorry I have not had them so no idea
    2. What's an ideal size coop for 6 chicks?

    As adults 4sq. ft a piece inside and 10 sq.ft a piece outside
    3. What should be doing or not be doing to help them be tame with us?

    Try to hold them a lot.
    4. When should I introduce other treats other then the starter food.

    I started to at two weeks ,remember to give them grit when you start giving treats
    5. Should we use house wrap on the coop to protect it?
    6. Is it really necessary to use pressure treated wood?

    sorry no idea
    7. What is the best level to have the nesting boxes at in the coop?

    Just make sure there lower then the roosts or they will sleep on them
    8. Is there another name for Amber links? can't seem to find much info. on either kind I bought.

    Sorry, I have not heard of them.​
     
  6. Shellyb

    Shellyb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Thank you for your responses. Very helpful. I thought of a few more now hearing some of the answers.
    9. If I put the nesting boxes on the floor, will the pine shavings and such make a mess in the nesting boxes?
    10. I've heard that nesting boxes 16x16 is best, is that true? I was thinking 13x13.
    11. How many roosting bars can i put in a coop? like can one be higher then the other or do an L shape in the coop?
    12. Buying all new wood and materials, how much approx. do you think it'll cost me to build one that's 4x7? is that big enough for 6 or more?
    13. No clue about proper ventalation verses being drafty? how do i ventalate? And our windows a necessicity?
    Thanks again.
     
  7. Kezzie

    Kezzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2009
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    About the wood, you do not have to use pressure treated. In fact, I would NEVER have pressure treated lumber around my chickens or my vegetables. That's just my personal preference. I'm building my coop right now and went to Home Depot to get 4X4 cedar posts for my run and they don't have much cedar lumber down here in Georgia. Weird. Anyway, I'm going to be using 4" PVC pipes for my uprights instead. It will be a lot cheaper than cedar anyway.
     
  8. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Google them as amberlink all one word, and you'll find some great info. They are supposed to be fabulous free range chickens.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Here is an excellent writeup on ventilation.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    You will need pine shavings, hay, straw, or some similar material in your nesting boxes, both to encourage them to use them, and to pad the egg so it does not crack when they lay it.

    There are a lot of ways to put roosts in a coop. They do not care if it is one long board or two in an L shape. Some people have them at different heights and some prefer them at the same height.

    You spoke of building 4x7 but standard materials like OSB and plywood are 4x8, so you would create a bunch of small scraps as waste. 4x8 = 32 square feet, divided by 4 sq ft per bird = 8 chickens maximum. A 4' wide building is not going to be easy to get into and clean.

    Many people use pressure treated wood as the base or uprights for a coop. There are other alternatives, like a concrete floor, putting it on concrete blocks, or using concrete pieces designed to hold the studs of a building. The pressure treated wood is not needed in areas the chickens ordinarily access.

    There are many building materials available. People use metal, roll roofing, shingles, an opaque plastic material I'm not familiar with, and probably several others, just for the roof, for example. Interior walls might be OSB or plywood, and they might be insulated, or you might not even have interior walls. You did not give a location so we do not know what your climate is like. There are a lot of individual preferences out there as well. There really isn't any way to estimate costs except very roughly. It will probably be a few hundred dollars. That's not much help, I know. But you are going to have to look into coop designs, or at least you should, to get ideas and take advantage of others' experience. It could save you a ton of grief and regrets, and wasted money as well. You can learn all you need for free here. You can also buy a shed building book at some place like Home Depot and have the basic details of construction available in hard copy. Many coops are just basic sheds with exterior walls only, and a couple of modifications for roosts and such, at least in the southern US.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2009
  10. Yoko

    Yoko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    all i can say is that ddawn seems to be smart! [​IMG]
     

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