Coop/Run design questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dc jackson, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. dc jackson

    dc jackson New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2014
    Future chicken owners here, looking to get some ideas about the coop/run we will be building either this fall or early next spring. We live in Nebraska (hot humid summers, cold winters). We are planning on keeping 20 chickens in our flock, probably 4-6 laying hens, and the rest broilers. We live in town, so are limited to that number with our permit. Our yard is fairly large, and privacy fenced. Ideally, we would like to be able to house all the chickens in a single large coop with attached run. We would also like to be able to let them have run of the yard when we are home (which means we will have to be trimming wings I'm sure).

    I have a LONG list started about different coop ideas, after reading a lot of threads. We think the quickest/easiest thing to do would be get a wood shed (either a used one, or a new one) and customize it to fit our needs. We are thinking of using the DLM for the coop (great compost for my hubby's garden).

    Questions I have: Can we keep both our broilers and layers together? I know they have different nutritional requirements. Any concern with them "getting along?"

    Also, what type of flooring material do you use in the run? Right now it's all just grass back there. We are planning on some opaque panels for part of the roof on the run, to provide some shelter from the rain/snow, and just chicken wire over the rest of the roof.

    Thanks for your input, I will continue reading as much as I can :)
     
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Layers and broilers can be kept together, they will all be one large flock. Of course, the layers will wonder what happened when they broilers start disappearing! Broilers usually eat a higher protein feed, so you won't be able to control if the layers get at it.

    I have a 15x15 run for my chickens, and at first it was grass, then dirt which turned to mud in rain and snow. I had enough of the mess, so I covered the run with aluminum roofing and dug down 6 inches and brought in sand. The roof and sand were the best decisions I have made regarding coop construction.

    Take pictures and let us know how the progress is going.
     
  3. dc jackson

    dc jackson New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2014
    Since the broilers need a higher protein content in their diet, and the layers need higher calcium, is there one feed that would work best? Do we need to offer both types, and hope they just eat what they need? Do we need to have a calcium supplement available for layers, and if so, will that be enough to meet their needs?
     
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I would feed all of them layer food. It may not fatten up the broilers as quickly, but they won't be harmed by it. Layers might not get everything they need from broiler food, and since you are keeping the layers, feed what is best for them. I don't raise broilers, but some of my layers would do mighty fine on the table if I ever needed to go that route!
     

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