Final coop questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Who922, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Who922

    Who922 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Roswell, NM
    So I worked until 10 last night and I finished the roosts and the laying boxes in the coop. I just need to put some hardware cloth and some chopped calf panels on the outside run and cover a window this afternoon before moving. So here are my wrap up questions:

    1. Should I put shavings on the floor like I have on the brooder side? It's a dirt floor. I put concrete in the brooder.
    2. Do I need a separate grit feeder? I have a 12 pound hanging feeder for food?
    3. Are shavings good to put in my nesting boxes?
    4. Is there anything I need to make sure is out of the coop and run before I move them?
    5. I have been leaving a 15 watt light on in the brooder at night. Should I continue that or no light?
    6. Anything special I need to do when I move them?

    I know lots of questions, but I want to get it right!
     
  2. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Oregon
    Okay I will do my best and if nothing else, bump your question up [​IMG]

    1. You could leave it dirt, or add shavings. Shavings cost money, but may help you keep the area cleaner.
    2. I would keep grit separate, although you could probably add some into their food every once in a while. But, if you have a grit feeder, you won't have to think about it, it's just always there for them.
    3. I use shavings in my nest boxes, it works great. For the most part, as long as the shavings are clean, the eggs will be clean. I also put cardboard under, to prevent egg breakage.
    4. I'm not sure what you mean...
    5. I'm not sure on this one, I guess it depends on their age? The days are at their longest now, so unless they need it for warmth, you shouldn't need it.
    6. I haven't raised babies in a long time, so no help from me here.
     
  3. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 6, 2010
    Oregon
    One more thing, make sure you are using pine, not cedar shavings.
     
  4. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    1. Should I put shavings on the floor like I have on the brooder side? It's a dirt floor. I put concrete in the brooder. Sorry, I don't have a dirt floor so i really don't know. Hope someone else can help.

    2. Do I need a separate grit feeder? I have a 12 pound hanging feeder for food? We have a separate bowl that we keep on the ground with oyster shells in it 24/7

    3. Are shavings good to put in my nesting boxes? Shavings are fine. Try to use the big ones, they last longer.

    4. Is there anything I need to make sure is out of the coop and run before I move them? Make sure there are no pieces of string, leftover scraps of wood, metal, and hardware cloth. basically anything that they are not supposed to eat, or that can hurt them

    5. I have been leaving a 15 watt light on in the brooder at night. Should I continue that or no light? If they are fully feathered, you really do not need one, but it might be a good idea to turn it on right as it gets dark so that they know where to go at night.

    6. Anything special I need to do when I move them? With all of ours, we kept them locked in the coop for 1 full day. That way they knew exactly where their food and water was, and where they were supposed to sleep. When you let them out after that, they normally all go back into the coop at night by themselves.

    I would also recommend a poop board or tray if you do not have one. They keep everything a lot cleaner. Also, get something for the flies because as soon as the chickens go in there, the flies will come.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    Quote:I use hay or shavings on my dirt floor, usually shavings, keeps their feet cleaner and helps with odor -- but it's a personal choice, really will depend on your management style. I prefer grit to be separate, and the same with oyster shell; I'm more comfortable knowing they are choosing the amount to eat. Shavings in nests are fine -- if they don't kick them out! Also don't understand 4. They don't need the light for light and 15W can't be much heat if any. But they will be stressed by the move simply because chickens don't like change, and they will be noisy their first night in the dark, whether in the brooder or the coop. Sooner or later you need to turn it off -- and put up with a noisy night or two. Up to you when.

    You may want to block off the nests for a while to teach them that roosts and not nests are where they are to sleep. If they are of laying age you can just close them at night.

    Congrats!
     
  6. Who922

    Who922 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2011
    Roswell, NM
    This will be a scattershooting response; so here goes! Thanks for the feedback. Sorry I was vague on #4. It's kinda what Kaitie09 answered. The run has big and small rocks and some weeds oround the edges of it. I thought of bringing my big Pachinko ball magnet out to make sure there wasn't any stray nails, etc. They are almost 7 weeks old. The FAQ's at the hatchery had said to leave a 15 watt light on to keep them from pecking and piling. Definitely no warmth problem here, lol. I don't have a poop board, but I should probably get one. Really good idea about keeping them from roosting on and in the nesting boxes...not sure how I'm going to do that. Also good Idea to keep them out of the run for at least a day until they figure it out. This will more than double the space they are in now. I'm not really concerned about noise or flies. The coop is about 50-60 yards from the house...and they couldn't make any more noise than the goats do when they're hungry!!! The shavings I have been using in the brooder are pine and I still have plenty left.
     
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Suggestion / issue about using shavings outside...they suck up moisture and can get pretty stinky and you need to collect them and remove them entirely to dry things out, have you considered sand or pea gravel? It rakes and sand cleans up like kitty litter and does not hold water rather is lifts the birds off the moisture and lets the water soak into the ground. You can throw the grit in with it so the chicks can scratch. If you need bedding, you can throw out a little straw or chips and this cleans up like the poo, very easy.

    The lamp might be nice at night (one guy uses solar sidewalk lights) But if the nights are cool, a little heat would be nice for them if you feel bad for them.

    Pine shavings in the box is fine, my birds kicked it out and prefer a little straw. The cardboard cushion is a good idea and is easy to replace.

    The pecking problem I had was too many bird / too small a brooder. It stopped when they were moved to the mobile tween tractor and they had more room to play

    Poop boards are great as they chach a huge amount of the poo inside the coop. If they are easy to remove for cleaning (ie cookie sheets) it makes coop cleaning very easy

    Stuff in the pen is just more to investigate and hop on, as long as it is not harmful or poisonous

    as long as the roosts are higher than the nest boxes, the birds tend to prefer the roost (higher is better to them) but keep in mind that if you have heavy birds, they can injure themselves jumping down if space is limited.

    Enjoy your birds
     

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