1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Creating my coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by madibhai, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    54
    1
    76
    Jun 23, 2012
    I am new to the back yard chickening.

    Question 1

    I purchased chickens and they have been going strong. Although one has turned in to a rooster. I don't know what to do with that, so far he is ok, will he be ok with the kids in the future?

    I have the small coop that I purchased from ebay. From there I attached it to the back fence which is a run. Later I created this large enclosure after I saw that the run was being constantly attacked by cats and raccoons.

    So this is what I have.

    Question 2

    Any critiques? How can I improve it? The box stated that we can fit 4-6 chickens in there. The nest boxes on the side of my coop. The chickens sleep in there and they poop in it constantly. I have yet to get an egg from there.

    Question 3

    I want to get 3 more chickens to add to my flock. But do I need to have a new coop in there, is the coop big enough if they are sleeping in the nest boxes anyway. I was thinking of creating my own nest boxes somewhere to allow them to sleep in the coop.

    Question 4

    Also what do I do in the wintertime for the water? How often do I have to replace the water bucket?[​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
  2. PeepsAreForMe

    PeepsAreForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    383
    3
    101
    Apr 10, 2012
    Pemberton Borough, NJ
    Welcome fellow BYC'er! I had to laugh when you said you didn't know what to do with the fact that you got a rooster!! What breed is he, do you know? I know certain breeds are friendlier than others. Is there an ordinance against roosters where you live? Because he will wake everyone up early!

    Your last two pictures are upside down so it makes it hard to see what you have! I am not sure about water in the winter, this will be my first winter with chickens as well. I'm sure more experienced members will chime in.

    Are they laying yet? If not, block off the nest boxes until they are ready. If they are, try putting golf balls or fake eggs in the nest box. It does work! Well, mine are kind of slow . . . .
     
  3. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    54
    1
    76
    Jun 23, 2012
    The rooster is a Rhode Island Red.

    My town does have an ordinance against Roosters.

    He was born in March so I don't know how long before will get possessive over the hens.

    In the mean time I don't understand why I haven't gotten one egg yet.

    They also sleep in the nest boxes and they go to the bathroom in there all the time. I have to clean that area a lot in particular. I can't imagine them laying eggs in that area as that is where they have basically made in to a toilet.
     
  4. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    54
    1
    76
    Jun 23, 2012
    can anyone provide any help?
     
  5. ChickyT

    ChickyT Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Jun 19, 2012
    South Haven, Minnesota
    How old are your hens? Also hatched in March? Regarding the rooster - we had the same thing happen. We just got chickens this sumer and unexpectedly ended up with a rooster! We live in the country so no ordinance to worry about however. My sister has a rooster who is very friendly so we are holding on to ours for now. We'll just see how he ends up. We also have small kids who love to spend time with the chickens so we can't have a mean rooster. He will have to go if need be.

    As long as they are not laying, I think I would also block off the nest boxes. When you decide to open them back up place a golf ball in the nest to teach them to lay there. I have heard this works. If they are old enough to be laying I'm not sure why they wouldn't be yet though!
     
  6. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I believe I see six chickens there. Those prefab chicken coops always claim they can hold way more chickens than really possible. Each chicken needs 4 sq ft of space inside of the coop and 10 sq ft outside. This means that with six chickens, you should have 24 sq ft of space inside. That would be about a 4 ft by 6 ft interior. How big is the inside of that coop? Do not count the nesting boxes. Also, chickens need about 8 inches of space on the roost. That is the very minimum and pretty tight for them to jump up onto. Is your roost at least four feet long? If there is not enough roosting space for them, this might be why they are sleeping in the nesting boxes. It is a place where they will feel safe when they can't get onto a roost at night. Chickens poop a lot while they are sleeping. I would not add any more birds to your set up unless you can make more space for them.
    A heated dog dish works well for keeping their water from freezing in the winter.
     
  7. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    54
    1
    76
    Jun 23, 2012
    yes I have 6 chickens.

    The box said 4-6 chickens can sleep there.

    So on the right you see the area where you can flip open the nest box. 2 sleep in one of those areas, and 1 sleeps in the other.

    the other three sleep on the sticks.

    so i think that there may be room for more but i will measure it.

    there i an open screen that if i can close up it will prevent wind from entering in to the coop, which i think is the reason that they don't sleep in front of the opening due to the breeze.

    i don't have electricity near the coop so the electric dog dish that i saw online would require a massive extension cord. is that something that should be used? Will the chickens peck at the extension cord?
     
  8. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you going to believe the box? Or someone who has chickens. Chickens are not supposed to sleep in nesting boxes because they poop a lot while they are sleeping. The sticks are called roosts. They should actually be wide enough for the birds to sit on their feet to keep them from being frost bitten in the winter. If there is enough room for all of the birds to sleep on the roosts at night, then you can cover the nesting boxes at night and remove the cover in the morning. This will train them that the nesting boxes are not for sleeping.
    How far from your house would you have to run an extention cord? Will a 100 ft cord reach?
     
  9. madibhai

    madibhai Chillin' With My Peeps

    54
    1
    76
    Jun 23, 2012
    no it is a bit further than 100 feet maybe a 125 feet or so to 140 feet.
     
  10. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    A 150 ft extention cord should be ok because the wattage of a heated dog dish is very low.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by