Coop suggestions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shoblitz, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. shoblitz

    shoblitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2012
    Happy Happy Joy Joy I finally have the property I've always wanted. This spring is the push to get the sustainable farming venture up and running. There's so many things I want to do but Im trying to refraining from starting it all at once and give myself time to do everything right. I have some questions about housing and was hoping you all could provide some advice. This spring I will be getting ducks and chickens. However in the future I plan on raising guineas and turkeys as well. I know that the turkeys should be housed separately but what about guineas? The ducks will also have their own area. I already posted on the duck page asking help with that housing. I plan on keeping 10-15 laying hens. Next spring I would like to hatch out some chicks from the stock I get this year. Also next spring I am hoping to raise around 25+/- meat chickens. I'm trying to plan my coop based off of future needs not just what I need this year. Do you recommend housing the meat chickens with the layers? Or separate coops for each? Also how much space should a coop housing 10-15 chickens be (in your opinions) I will be letting them out each day to range around so also how big of a run should I include? Next question would be where to put it. The majority of my property is wooded and has multiple creeks through it and a pond. There is about 1.5 acres of cleared space around the house though the majority of it will be taken up by gardens etc. There is a spot down the driveway a bit that is cleared that could be used for chicken area or I could put it in the woods closer to the house? Any suggestions? Also because it's all creek bottom the ground stays fairly wet. Will this be a problem? and if so any suggestions?
    Thank you!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I have raised layers with meat birds (rescues from a commercial house). It makes for twice the work. Meat birds will starve out your layers given half a chance and their droppings are messier, requiring more cleaning. I will never do it again.

    IMO, waterfowl need seperate housing from chickens. Ducks and geese like things wet, it doesn't bother them. Constantly wet conditions can cause several problems in chickens. My chickens have food available to them 24/7. If I offered feed to my waterfowl in their coop, I'd be cleaning their coop every week instead of every other week. The waterfowl only have water in their coop and are fed outside in their day yard.

    Guineas take delight in tormenting chickens and turkeys can get nasty during breeding season. You stated that you wanted to hatch from your chickens so I assume you plan on having at least one rooster. During breeding season there's a potential for some nasty tom turkey vs. rooster fights and the roo will lose. In addition, I can name at least six friends of mine that can't get their turkeys and/or guineas in a coop at night to save their lives. You have to take that into consideration if you live in an area with alot of predators.

    The chickens need the driest area for their coop you can find. My chickens coops are up on cement blocks, my waterfowl coop is not. I'll be replacing the floor in my waterfowl coop long before I have to replace the ones in the chicken coops.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. shoblitz

    shoblitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2012
    Thank you so much! It's very helpful there's only one section of the property that stays relatively dry so that will be where the chickens will be! Also the advice about not feeding the ducks in their coop would never have thought of that. You have geese and ducks you say do you house them together? (hee hee that was one more feathered friend I forgot to mention I wanted to get)
    Thanks again
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    They are housed together. My pair of geese were brooded with my runner ducks. From the time they were all two weeks old the geese took over the parenting of the ducks. Talk about cute! It doesn't get much cuter than a 2 week old goose attempting to keep 6 ducklings under her wings. They are now a year old and the pair of geese still treat the ducks as their offspring. Things are about to get real interesting around here as my goose is laying and building a nest full of eggs. I'm not sure how the ducks are going to feel about suddenly being pushed aside as the older "siblings". They all run together during the day (within an acre of fenced yard) and the ducks take their cues from the geese. The geese are very protective of the ducks.
    I also have a pair of tiny call ducks. They were introduced to the flock later. They too sleep in the waterfowl coop at night, but in a large wire dog crate. They have to be locked up not only to protect them from being hurt by the geese, intentionally or unintentionally - geese are clumsy with their feet - but because my tiny call drake is sure he can take my much larger runner drake in a fight. During the day the call ducks share the same yard with the rest of the waterfowl, but again are in a pen within the yard for the same reasons.
    Out of all my birds, my geese are my hands down favorites. I'm hoping that my goose will hatch at least 6 goslings. We have plenty of acreage to support them since all my birds free range together in the evenings; giving them more grazing area. The fact that we never have to mow our lawn is a nice bonus. The ducks take care of the bugs, mosquito larvae being a big favorite, and the geese handle the mowing.
     
  5. shoblitz

    shoblitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2012
    Oh Im even more excited about the geese now!!! What breed do you have?
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    My gander is a tufted american buff. My goose is a mystery. She was ordered as an american buff, but is much more like a brecon buff (the two breeds are very similiar). I chose them for their quietness (they're only noisy when something's amiss or the mail carrier comes), their calmness and their sweet temperments. If I couldn't have the ABs, I would go with the pilgrims. Geese are a long term commitment, as they are long-lived.

    http://www.metzerfarms.com/GooseBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=1367650
     
  7. shoblitz

    shoblitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2012
    Great I have actually been trying to find a local breeder of either the American Buff or Pilgrim! Glad to hear they're as great as what I've read!
     
  8. Going Bhonkers

    Going Bhonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. shoblitz

    shoblitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks! Those are some great pictures/ideas! I actually have drawn up plans that look exactly like that first picture. Now just trying to decide how big to make it!! I will have a pair each of pilgrim and buff geese and a flock of Ancona ducks (3-4hens and a drake) Anys suggestions on what size I should be planning?
    Thanks!
     
  10. shoblitz

    shoblitz Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2012
    So have been researching away trying to decide on the size of the chicken coop and I've read multiple places that 3'squared is adequate floorspace per chicken. So hypothetically an 8x4 coop would be big enough to hold 10 hens...that seems really really small...is that right? I mean if it is yay for less building material I guess but wow seems tiny.

    Thanks!
     

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