First time chicken owner help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Newchick134, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Newchick134

    Newchick134 New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2017
    This is my first time owning chickens and I'm wondering if this coop looks like it will be ok to use deep litter method?

    http://blog.homedepot.com/free-plans-for-an-awesome-chicken-coop/

    Im also wondering if my coop needs to be insulated (I'm in Wisconsin)

    Any other advice before I start building? Im also curious if my chicks need to have an enclosed run or if heh can just be out free during the day. That's what I see the most here.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome! [​IMG] You will be an addict in no time....so build bigger than you think you need! The plans you showed look great, but I would argue that 32 sq. ft is too small for large hens, especially in winter.
    Large hens require about 4 sq. ft/hen in the coop and about 8 sq.ft/hen in an enclosed run. Yes, you can get away with less, but it can lead to some very anti-social behaviors like vent picking - especially in winter when they are 'cooped up'.
    Since your hens are new to you and the area, I think I would start out with a moderate sized penned area for them to roam in. Once they have got the hang of it, you can remove the fence if you wish. This way you will also be assured they aren't laying anywhere else...
    Insulation....chickens have beautifully designed coats that keep them warm - even in Canada and Alaska. As long as your coop is well ventilated, has no drafts and is relatively moisture free, they will be fine.
    As for the deep litter method, it looks a bit to tight space -wise, but I'm not a deep litter expert [​IMG]
    Have fun and post a pic of your build please!
     
  3. Newchick134

    Newchick134 New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2017
    Thank you so much this is exactly what I needed to know!
     
  4. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome I hope you find all the answers to your questions
    I love how Canada and Alaska are said together!!I am from Canada and I do supply heat when my coop goes below freezing. We enjoy eggs 12 months of the year and with 15 hours of light and a little heat now and then it all works out.

    This is my third year with hens and my advice is " plan, plan and plan some more" read lots and have fun!!![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    No, it's not really tall enough to do a true composting Deep Litter....and DL does best when coop is on a dirt floor
    That coop is probably big enough for 4 birds in your climate.
    That cop is not too bad of a design, tho kind of small, and it needs more ventilation and some windows.

    An enclosed run is a good thing to have for if (when) predators find your birds.
    Or you can just free range and take your chances.

    My advice is to spend a few months, at least, researching what chickens need before building a coop.....
    ......and to have your coop done before getting chick/ens.

    Start by reading this article on Space:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need
    And this thread on ventilation:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1048597/ventilated-but-free-of-drafts
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  6. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens for dummies is a great reference and easy to read right through....
     
  7. Newchick134

    Newchick134 New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2017
    Thank you everyone for the advice!
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    aart said it all! Look at Woods coops, and build big! Walk-in is best, and an insulated roof (not metal!) helps with summer heat. A garden shed from the big box store can be modified to work well too. Predator protection! No openings larger than 1/2" anywhere, dig proof foundation around the run too, and locked latches that a child couldn't open, because of raccoons. Mary
     
  9. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Go twice as big as you think, then plan on it taking twice as long and costing twice as much....


    Good luck and welcome to BYC


    Gary
     
  10. Newchick134

    Newchick134 New Egg

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    lol Gary! I'm sure that's accurate so that's what I will do!
     

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