coop tips?? Newbie

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AmyLM, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. AmyLM

    AmyLM Songster

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    Hi everyone :D I'm trying to get my coop ready for my new chickens. They haven't even been shipped yet.. but I'm trying to get ready. I have pics of my set up here:

    BUT I have more specific questions on how to fix up the coop...

    1. I'm planning on using branches from trimming the trees to make roosts outside for the chickens. BUT is there any type of wood that I cant use? Anything that would be dangerous?

    2. Do I need to use specific methods for attaching the roosts? or would hanging them with rope, bolting them to wire/tying them be OK?

    3. Do I need to put ground cover like grass down in their outside run or take away the existing ground cover?

    4. What type of shavings do I use inside the coop?

    5. What kind of nesting box material do I use specifically?

    6. I ordered 26 chicks, if all make it (and if they send packing peanuts as it will still be cold) then how many nest boxes do I need?

    7. How old will the chicks be before they can move out to the coop?

    8. Will they safely be able to make it up the narrow little existing ramp to the boxes or should I replace that?

    9. When do I start giving them things like grit?

    10. Is everyone as excited as I am when they get their first chicks??

  2. buffslat

    buffslat In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2011
    Southeast Missouri
    I can't answer all your questions, but Q3, leave the grass they will make short work of it for you. Q4, Pine shavings work fine. Q7, by 6 weeks they usually are feathered out enough to move outside. Use your judgement though based on the outside overnight temps. Q10, I'm pretty sure they are.
    I'll let some with more experience answer the rest as I'm still kinda new to this myself.
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

  4. AmyLM

    AmyLM Songster

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    Ok thanks for the responses! Tomorrow I will be working on putting up all the roosts and starting to get everything ready. I know I know... still alittle over two weeks to go. but I'm soooooo excited. *fingers crossed*

    Question: I ordered 26 different types... it said they would all be available at that time. If they aren't available... do they substitute or ship later when they are? If they substitute will they tell me??

    AND another question... yes yes I have a lot of questions: I'm guessing that most will be female BUT I do have a few straight runs coming and the extra which seems tend to be a roo.. so... do the boys get along or do I need to plan on separating them from each other? Is that breed specific like some are more aggressive than other breed roos?

  5. EggyErin

    EggyErin Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    N. Ga mountains
    I use pine shavings for the coop floor and hay in the nest boxes just for something a little different. In a side-by-side comparison, the girls seemed to prefer the hay. On the branches, make sure they are smooth - no bark and no little stick-outs. I have two roosters who were raised together and they've never fought. Each seems to have his own duties. I would guess that yours will be the same.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Regarding the roos, as Eggy said, it'll be a coin toss as to whether your cockerels get along or not. Being raised together will help. You'll just have to wait and see. If serious issues come up, then it'll most likely start when they're close to 18 weeks or so, give or take. It will partly depend on how much space they have too. The more space you have the better chance at harmony, because little groups can form. There'll be some chest bumping and other assertive behaviors as chicks (from the females too), but you should have a few months of peace at

    Did you specify that you would accept substitutes?? If not, then I doubt they will send them. I've only ordered from MPC, and have accepted substitutes. There was nothing in the box that said subs. had been made, but I could tell some of them weren't what I'd originally ordered. I'm sure they could have told me had I called to ask.
  7. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Songster

    Something to consider when you make your roost. . . If you attach them to the side walls in a way that they can be removed or raised, you will have an easier time cleaning the coop. Mine are 2x4s that are attached with pegs so I can just lift the roost when I give the coop a thorough cleaning and I'm not working around them. I like the idea of recycling branches, but you do want them solid as teach1rusl suggested.

  8. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chirping

    Mar 12, 2011
    Western NC
    One thing that you need to do is place your roosts higher than your nesting boxes, chickens feel safer up high so if that is your nesting boxes then you will end up with poopy eggs, chickens poop mostly at night so keep your roosts atleast 12 inches higher. Also consider poop boards under your roosts to catch most of their droppings, you'll be amazed at the amount that collects after one night.

    I also use a spare bedroom to keep our chicks while they were young and the coop was being built. You will never believe the amount of DUST that chicks create and I only had 4 of the little buggers. My suggestions would be to cover with plastic any bedding or carpet and then plan to wash down the walls and everything else in the room before it is used for people. There is also quite a smell, we used pine shavings and I cleaned their box every few days and more often when they knocked their water over, I even had to blow dry one chick. Last spring I was the newbie and I wish that someone had told me these things before I got my chicks.

    Have fun, it's been a great experiance and we love our girls and the eggs they give us.
    1 person likes this.
  9. new2chickens2011

    new2chickens2011 Songster

    Jun 11, 2011
    I know the answer to #10!

  10. AmyLM

    AmyLM Songster

    Dec 28, 2011
    Buckley washington
    still trying to get everything ready one piece at a time. I'm really hoping that I can get them out to the barn before too long. They will have to start in the garage. We have to make sure that our dog can get in cause well... as a former street dog from India and as a Indian Pariah dog... hes got pretty strong instincts so we will have to work on training him from day one to know that he cant go anywhere near them.Keeping them behind two sets of doors would probably be best through.

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