Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hill-chick, May 21, 2007.

  1. hill-chick

    hill-chick In the Brooder

    May 21, 2007

    I have been reading all the post here for several months. I have gathered some great info. on building and preparing the coop. The chicks are 8 - 9 weeks old now and looking good.

    My question(s) are how many days can go between egg collecting, since I can not get up to the farm everyday ? Would 4 to 5 days be to long ?

    I really need a long term waterer also. The feed is not a problem I have a 100 lb. feeder. I purchased a 5 gallon waterer.

    I have 8 chicks. I assume I will have to get hide of a couple, multiple roosters ?

    The enclosure is 10'X10' - 6' tall chainlink. Welded wire bottom and top.

    Thanks for any info./advice.
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    When I first started out with chickens I worked away from home mon-fri. I had my mom feed them but no one wanted to go inside pen to collect eggs. During Florida winters the eggs where ok to sit in nest for the 5 days. But summer time was another thing. Lets just say that once in a while they held some surprises. But if you have only hens and no roo you might be ok. I wouldn't go longer then that time in the summer. I would also worry about snakes coming in to eat the eggs. Hope it helps
  3. mlheran

    mlheran Songster

    Quote:It's best to collect eggs at least once a day -it keeps them from getting warm, soiled, accidentally crushed, and ultimately eaten by the hens (if they start doing that it's very hard to get them to stop). Where are you located? I think you might be able to get by with that time-frame in the winter, but warm weather (and warm sitting chickens) really decrease an egg's shelf life.

    Do you need/want roosters? You don't need them for the hens to lay eggs, you'll only need roos if you want fertilized eggs -and THEN you would have to worry about developing chicks if you didn't collect the eggs every day.

    Also, if you're not going to be around to check on them you need to make your coop and run SUPER predator proof.

    Good luck with your chickies!
  4. jessupfamily

    jessupfamily Songster

    May 14, 2007
    SW Indiana
    We have on avg. 50ish chickens and a 5 gallon waterer lasted maybe 1 day (if we were lucky) when it's warm. We have an automatic waterer. It is actually for a big water trough (like for horses). You can buy these at most feed stores. You keep it hooked up to a water hose and clamps to the side of your water bucket and when the water level gets to the line on the filler it sprays more water into the bucket! We have been using it for a year now and it is so much better than the last 3 years of constantly having to fill the waterer. That way you know they always have water and that is super important!
    We've gone 2 days between collecting and a little longer in the winter. In the warm season you will get some growth in the eggs, sometimes even when no one is sitting on them, just from it being so warm.
    And I agree with mlheran make sure your coop and run are super predator proof!
    Amy J.
  5. hill-chick

    hill-chick In the Brooder

    May 21, 2007
    Thanks for all the info.

    We live in Middle Tennessee. It gets into the 90's sometimes 100's.

    I may have to get a neighbor to gather them a couple of days during the week.

    The coop is inside the run. The run is 6' tall chainlink (free dog kennel), I used two of the panels for a roof and floor and filled in the remaining 4 feet with welded wire. If an animal gets into the run it will have to be a strong one. I have put rocks around the outside just to see if something has tried to scratch under, they are going to be very flustrated to dig under and hit fence.

    I also put a tarp over the entire run. It was mostly in the shade already. I am going to try to catch the rainfall/runnoff in a large container/trough. Currently I have 8 chicks. I can already tell a couple are going to be roosters, so 5 chickens could not drink 5 gallons of water a week ? But I still want them to have a backup water supply, even if it is a dish pan.

    They will be making the move this weekend.

    I enjoy having them and watching them, if I get a few eggs along the way it will just be a bonus.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    That would be great if one of your neighbors would be willing to collect eggs during the week. It sounds like your run set-up will keep out most predators. I'd still worry about weasels getting through the chain link, though.

    If you do have problems with diggers, you can also add a couple feet of fencing as an apron around the bottom of the run, to keep out diggers. It lays flat on the ground, attached to the bottom of your run, like a flange. Rocks can go on top of it, or not. Most animals dig right at the bottom of the fence and won't back up a couple of feet and dig there. It's probably the only thing they don't manage to figure out in the pursuit of killing our chickens!

    When your chickens have access to your run at night, it also helps to use a strip of something with smaller holes around the bottom of the run, if your fencing has big holes, so raccoons can't reach through and dismember a chicken that way. It may sound paranoid, but it happens. Sometimes chickens enjoy being out in the run at night, if they have the option, and when they sleep against fencing, they are an easy target.

    It's a dangerous world, when you are tasty!

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