Coop Almost Finished, Now A Few Questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MyPaperMoon512, Nov 27, 2013.

  1. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The frame for my coop and run are finished, and hubby is going to work diligently on it Friday to get the hardware cloth on and the thing completed.

    Now that it's almost time for my girls to come to their new home, I have a few questions:

    1. Do you put food and water inside the coop, or just in the run area? Or both?

    2. Do you have roosts inside the coop as well as in the run? Or do you only have the roosts in one place or the other?

    3. Do you leave the door open to the coop during the day so that the chickens can come and go as they please?

    I will be working during the day and I want my girls to be outside as much as possible, but I want them to be able to get out of the rain (I live in Florida, and sometimes we have a lot of rain). The run will be completely enclosed, so I don't have to worry (much) about predators. I am excited to start this journey, and want to do everything as right as I possible can to make this enjoyable for both myself and the chickens.

    Thanks for helping me out, and I'm sure I will have more questions as we go along...
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,961
    2,975
    476
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I have bulk feeders and automatic waterers in the coop. In winter I have to stop the auto water and I move the water outside to keep the coop humidity lower. The feed is inside to thwart wild birds and so they can get a bite to eat as soon as they wake up. I give scratch grains, sprouts and fermented feed outside.

    I only have roosts in the coop because my runs aren't predator proof.
    Friends that have predator proof runs and roosts in both find that their chickens prefer to sleep on the roosts in the run (year round). I'm sure they appreciate the fresh air.

    I leave the door open all day as they need to get in to lay in the nest boxes.
     
  3. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for your reply. What is fermented feed? (See, I told you I would have more questions. [​IMG] )

    Living in south-central Florida, I won't have the problem with the cold, but it will still be humid. However, we are ventilating the coop really well. The chickens I am getting are sentinel chickens, which are now being kept in really small cages. They don't even have roosts. The are used to predict west nile virus and other mosquito borne illnesses. My runs will be predator proof (I hope), at least they will have a roof for shade and hardware cloth on the sides and along the bottoms. We will have 12" of hardware cloth along the bottom to keep things from tunnelling, but nothing on the actual ground in the run. The coop will have a screened bottom. I will post pictures when he's done with it. I'm sure the chickens will be much happier being able to move around.
     
  4. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is the run part, we still need latches for the door. And if the weather permits will finish the coop part tomorrow. We also need roosts. And if the picture doesn't show I'll have to upload it again on Monday.

    (I'm still trying figure out posting pics from my phone)
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  5. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,961
    2,975
    476
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It looks really nice. So where is the coop ventilation going to be?

    Fermented feed is any type of feed or mix of grains wetted and inoculated with yeasts and beneficial bacteria. It has a lot of benefits. Faster weight gain, larger eggs, thicker shells and more productive for the amount of feed input. The main benefit is better health. The bacteria and yeast populates the intestines which help to eliminate pathogens.

    http://scratchcradle.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/science-of-fermented-feed/

    Humidity isn't a big problem if it isn't real cold. It was 25 here last night and 80% humidity, the same humidity and low teens the previous week so we're getting a break for the next week - all above freezing.

    That's cool about the chickens, are you going to occasionally do a blood test?
    http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?NID=2601

    As I understand it, they aren't a specific breed. They are any breed that hasn't yet been exposed to encephalitis and west nile. Do you have a breed in mind?
     
  7. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The coop part has has a solid wall between it amd the run, but hardware cloth along the top amd bottom of 3 sides. The walls are a heavy plastic material. The coop door is also a vent. The whole thing will be moved at least weekly, as it's mobile. I will post pics of the coop when it's finished,

    The chicken breed is Black Star. I don't intend to do any blood tests, these girls are retiring. They lay large brown eggs.

    I will check out the links you sent.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  8. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,534
    175
    186
    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    When I used a tractor I hung the feeder in the run because there wasn't room for it in the coop. However, I removed the feeder in the evening when I locked up the coop so as to not attract mice and predators. The downside to having a feeder in the run is that the elements can get to it and you can end up with moldy feed. Now that I have a larger coop I keep the food inside but have additional waterers outside, too. Any "snacks" I throw in the run and they're soon gone.

    My roosts are only in the coop as that's where they roost during the night.

    I keep the pop door open during the day so the hens have access to the nesting boxes. The door is shut and locked at night to keep predators out.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,961
    2,975
    476
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    So they used to be used as sentinel chickens.

    That's one of the arguments I make at city council meetings when one of the reasons against chickens is West Nile virus. Chickens don't spread it because they develop antibodies and a blood test determines if they have the antibodies which means West Nile is in the area - hence the name sentinel.

    I assume you already knew that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  10. MyPaperMoon512

    MyPaperMoon512 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, my friend works at mosquito control, so I at least know how the sentinel part works. He's the one who told me I could have 2 chickens.

    I will leave the pop door open during the day and only close it at night the keep them in,
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by