First time Chicken owner

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jillmburke, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. jillmburke

    jillmburke Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Hi, I am new to raising chickens. A friend of mine has rescued a rooster, and I have agreed to keep him on my horse ranch. In the spring, I plan to buy some chickens for eggs and meat as a small hobby. For now, what do I need in order to keep the rooster happy and healthy?
     
  2. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    You have just him? Well, some ladies! Chickens don't like to be alone.

    Do you mean what do you need to care for him?
     
  3. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

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    In the hills
    First off, you'll need a coop for him, good food, treats, and of course some ladies. Chickens are social animals and do much better in groups rather than alone. If you only have the roo, you need to get some ladies sooner, rather than later.

    Glad you were willing to take in the rescued roo. Does my heart good to hear stories of all the good people out there who rescue chooks that have not had the easiest life. My hat goes off to you!
     
  4. jillmburke

    jillmburke Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Well, I mean as far as shelter. I will be buying some hens ASAP, but need a place just for the little man for right now. I have an old storage shed I can clean out... About 8x8. I'm thinking I could cut a hole in the back to create a run. What about ventilation? Will the opening in the back be enough for now? It's pretty cold around here in winter, will he need a heat source? The floor is wooden, is this, along with wood shavings, ok? And anything else I'm not thinking of! [​IMG]
     
  5. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd certainly go with the shed. Cover the floor with pine shavings. Until you get a small door cut, you could just leave the regular door open. Give him somewhere to roost at night, like a branch hanging across or a broomstick, they like to be up high and the poo will mostly drop under where they sleep. Shut him up in there for a couple weeks first until he realizes it is home, with fresh food and water every day. After he realizes it is his house he can be let out and he will come back on his own, esp if you have ladies for him! You will need nest boxes for them but not him. You can just use a big pan as a water bowl for now and another bowl for feed. You don't have to have a fancy feeder right off the bat. Buy him some general chicken food, not layer pellets, he doesn't need the calcium. Later when you have your girls you can just feed layer pellets though.
    You can give him sunflower seeds for treats, or table scraps except for potato skins, onions and garlic and things in that family. Just make sure most of his diet is his chicken food or garden plants.
    This is a good time of year for getting chickens, a lot of supplies are on sale. But most of them are for chicks. You want adult hens for his friends, not chicks, so look on Craigs list for someone selling some adults. And you want more than one female, he would "wear her out" if he only had one. Roos are that way. [​IMG]

    Oh, and he probably won't need a heat source, just close the door at night. And when the coop is more full ventilation will be something to work on, but at this point with just one you won't have a problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  6. jillmburke

    jillmburke Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Thanks! Using the shed should be pretty easy. What about the cold?
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Chickens do fine in cold weather. It is hot weather they suffer from. What causes them problems in winter is a buildup of warm humid air in the coop, from breathing and poop in a close space. As already said, this is not likely to be a problem for one chicken in an 8x8 building, but could be later when you get him some hens. Best is an opening at the high point of the coop for the warm humid air to exchange with the outdoors. This humid air can cause frostbite on the combs around freezing temps. Other than this, even people in Alaska do not generally provide heat until temps get well below 0F. If you are in a warm climate, you may need a more open air setup, esp. in summer, as temps around 100 F can threaten a chicken's life; breeze and shade become important.

    Kudos for this rescue; hopefully you will fine chickens a real pleasure!
     

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