First timers with all those newbie ??s

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by spock78, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. spock78

    spock78 In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2007
    Hi all you BYCers.
    The mrs. & I just moved to NM & got an acre of land to play with. After lurking in the shadows here for a few days, we're addicted to it. Nice, friendly & imformative here. I think we'll stay a while. That is if you kind ppl will have us??

    After a kindly neighbor gave us 2 chicks, we decided to populate our land with chickens.
    Now who would have thought 2 little fuzzballs would have made such an impact to make us decide to have 100?? LOL!!
    Hey it's gotta be easier than goats!!

    Anyhow, here are our/my concerns/questions. I'm sure they've been asked before but after lurking here for a few days & reading tons of threads, I find I'm more confused than ever. Too much info on this site for my old,tired brain to comprehend.

    #1) I have a 15'L x 12'W x 12'H. outbuilding that I'm going to convert into a coop. How many chickens & nesting boxes can I fit in there comfortably?
    I was thinking I could possibly build the boxes 2-3 high but wanted others opinions on this as I'm not sure about the birds above pooping on the ones below them. I'm sure they will at some point.

    #2)I want meat & egg chickens so I was going to get different brreds of pullets this week. The chickens I plan to get are Barred Rocks, Buff Rocks, Black Australorpes, & something called a Red Broiler.
    Can I put different breeds in the same coop or are they going to attack each other?
    Since I'm going to the hatchery in person, I figure all of them will be about the same age regardless of breed.

    #3)How old is a pullet & how soon will they begin laying eggs?

    #4)I've read that you don't need a rooster to get eggs but will those eggs be fertilised as to become chicks or do I need that rooster in with the hens? There are already 5 huge roosters next door to me.

    #5)Will a dirt floor in my coop be ok or is it better to build a wood floor in there?

    Ok, sorry if this is dry or bland but one last ?

    #6)Which did come first, the chicken or the egg?? LOL!!
  2. TheBigWRanch

    TheBigWRanch Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Welcome spock78! Dirt floors are fine. A pullet is a hen under one year of age. Some breeds start laying earlier than others,usually around about 18 to 24 weeks. You can keep different breeds together without problems. If you want fertilized eggs you have to have a rooster, and a hen can keep producing fertilized eggs for 3 weeks after the rooster is taken away. That's all I can answer for you, hope you have fun with this site!
  3. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Welcome Spock and the Mrs. the only answers I can give you is to get a copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. Believe me it will help a lot then keep reading here and don't forget to use your good common sense. We are so pleased to have you. [​IMG]
  4. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Welcome Spock, I agree dirt floors are ok and in some cases better, but you need to protect the perimeter from predators, the digging type. Many people just run 1" of chicken wire around the building and run several inches up the wall in order to prevent digging. You can cover it with dirt. I use tent stakes to secure the wire. Grass grow here so it is covered in grass in a few weeks.

    I think Big W answered most of your questions. As to the chicken and egg conundrum, I believe the controversy still rages on.

    Have fun with your new birds and join us often.
  5. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Hi! Yet another addict! Cool![​IMG]

    My dh is retired so I know what you mean about a tired brain. So, with that in mind, [​IMG] ,

    #1 my calculator tells me you have roughly 180 sq ft in your coop. At 3 sq ft per bird (living in NM I figured they'd be outside most of the time and so could get by on less than the standard 4 sq ft per bird) I figure that comes to 60 birds you could put in that building. If you make a nesting unit which holds about 1 nest per every 4 birds and mount it a couple of feet off the floor on the wall that will give you all the space on the floor for the birds. If you mount roosts at one end and food at the other end you shouldn't have much pooping on each other going on because when they aren't roosting they will be eating/nesting/outside.

    #2. I've never raised broilers but I imagine you would need to keep them separate as they have different feed requirements than layer chicks.

    #3. Most pullets (girls under 1 year of age) begin to lay around 5 or 6 months depending on breed. Some breeds develop more slowly and so lay at a later date.

    #4. You don't need a rooster for the hens to lay eggs, but you do need one if you want the eggs to be fertile for hatching.

    #5. A dirt floor should be fine. The key is that it must be kept dry and preditor proof.

    #6. The chicken came first. God created all animals as adults and told them to multiply and fill the earth. Besides, if the egg came first there would have been no one to sit on it and it would have gotten cold and died.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2007
  6. Mr.Dad

    Mr.Dad Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    North Jersey
    I'm new to the chicken addiction too so I'll leave the info to what you have gotten above and what will follow......

    But I can say welcome to the forum....this is a good bunch and I'm sure you'll fit right in.....

  7. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Quote:If you want a naughty answer to this question, check out the Social Section, a threaed called "'s a really funny DIRTY chicken joke."[​IMG]
  8. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas

    It looks like your questions have all been answered, but I just have to voice my opinion on the space of your coop.

    You didn't say if you were going to have a run for them to be outside when they get a little bigger or not. You may intend on letting them free range outside when grown, I don't know. Anyway, my opinion on space is the bigger the better, but in an enclosed coop & run, I believe that at least 9 square feet per bird is best. That way, they are not too crowded, & feather picking should be at a minimum or non-existent.
    If they will be let out to run loose when they get feathered out, then the 4 square feet per bird in the coop is fine.

    I know that everyone has their own ideas & opinions, and this is mine. I hope it helps.

  9. spock78

    spock78 In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2007
    Thanks for the warm welcome & info to all you good BYCers. It's nice to find a friendly site towards newbies.

    Well after the input I received here & reading even more(actually I wound up having keyboard face syndrome after falling asleep at the comp)I've decided to divide my coop into 2parts. One for the egg layers & the other for the broilers, because of the different feed issues.

    I will build a run for them but they will be free ranging when possible.

    I'll get some pics up later today of my progress & our 2 babies.
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Well, I didn't get to answer any of your questions, but..Welcome and "Live long and Feather".[​IMG]

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