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Coop questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dgilm, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. dgilm

    dgilm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2011
    So, I have 24 chickens, which are about 12 weeks old. Currently they are in a 4x8 plywood box, with a hardware cloth top. Obviously, they are outgrowing their present home, and our coop needs to be finished ASAP! DH and father are going to be building it over the next couple of weeks. Our plans will be similar to the "Wichita Coop" shown in the "medium sized coops" only bigger. The enclosed run portion (including the section under the "coop box" will be 8x12, for 96 sq. feet of outdoor space. The inside of the coop will be 6x8 for 48 sq. feet of indoor space for roosting, and nest boxes. We are planning on thinning our flock by half, come spring (once they are laying) but I would like to pick up 3 more chickens (a rooster and 2 hens of a different breed, which wasn't available when I got my chicks back in October) to add to the current flock.

    Do my numbers look okay for a flock of ~15 birds?

    When we finish the coop, should I go ahead and split my flock, and keep half in the current 4x8 box, and move half to the coop, or just move them all to the coop, until spring? Will they be too crowded in there, with half again more space than what they currently have.

    Also, I know that when chickens are allowed out, you put them in the coop and confine them there for the first couple of weeks, so they know it as home, and will return at night. Since they are going to be in an enclosed, covered run, is that step necessary, or can I move them into the new coop, and immediately give them access to their outdoor run? Right now they are confined to their box, because they are living in the garage, until we get the coop finished.

    TIA!
     
  2. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2011
    NE Alabama
    If your chickens are going to stay confined to the coop and run and not free range then go ahead and let them go into the run. Since they are young I would think it would be ok to put them all into the coop. It might help you decide which ones you want to keep. You can pick out the ones that pick on others or seem a little more aggressive etc....
     
  3. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Quote:It IS time to get the birds out to the bigger quarters.

    The coop-and-run-in-progress will be plenty adequate for the 15 or so chickens you plan to end up with.

    For the meantime, it's getting near the lower limits for 24 birds, depending on how much outdoor time they will avail themselves of. (I'm in Maine and the current flock-in-residence will have nothing to do with snow in their run. I'm thinking I'm going to have to get them a flat-screen TV and figure a way to mount the remote that they can operate it by pecking the buttons--bored chickens are not happy chickens).

    Bigger concern is the three birds you want to add. Is this a one-time deal? The usual way to introduce new birds to a flock is keeping them separate but in sight of each other for a while before removing the barrier. That may be difficult in your coop.
     
  4. dgilm

    dgilm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2011
    We are in Central Virginia, near but not in the mountains. We get temps down into the teens occasionally, but I have yet to see it drop below zero. Very little snow. (I think the most we got last year was a couple of inches, which was melted off in two days) (this is only our second winter in Virginia) So, pretty mild winters, compared to Northern Michigan, where we moved from...

    The addition to the flock will be a one-time deal, and I haven't quite figured out how we're going to handle the integration, I'm thinking of possibly caging them somehow for the first couple of weeks, so they can see each other, but not get near each other... like I said, not sure quite how that will work exactly. But, I don't intend to do that again, until I need to add chicks, as older ones quit laying.... my hopes is for a broody hen to handle that aspect for me in the future!

    Thanks again!
     
  5. upthecreek

    upthecreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2009
    South Alabama
    Remember to allways have deep litter (hay , oat straw , leaves , pine straw) at least a ft deeep in the pens to give the chickens something to do do (keep them healthy and happy)
     
  6. auto5man

    auto5man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Memphis
    Mine went straight in the backyard, I forget what age but approx 12 weeks.....I was finishing the new coop up at dusk and they flew up into the shrubs to roost. After finishing the door I gathered them up one by one and placed them in the coop. Next night they went in pretty as you please on their own. I have a 10x10 pen but have never confined them to it....they free-range in my fenced in backyard. Never have any trouble getting them in the coop, they go in at dusk then I go out and lock the coop door.
     

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