Getting First Chickens Today

smartgirlchic

In the Brooder
May 18, 2015
31
1
41
Hi!

My husband and I are finishing a large coop to welcome our very first chickens today! We are super excited! Glad to have this forum to learn more about raising happy healthy little friends. Will post pics of our chickens when we pick them up this evening.

TTFN!
 

smartgirlchic

In the Brooder
May 18, 2015
31
1
41
They are Blue Orpingtons. We are getting 8 week olds. Since this is our first time caring for chickens, we decided to take them on a little bit older.


Right now I'm reading about predators and how to protect our chickens. We have devoted one of our covered concrete patios to be the chicken coop. We screwed boards around the bottom quarter of the space, made a door and completed the rest (to the ceiling/roof) with chicken wire. Reading through the info on this site, I feel I need to get some hardware cloth for the next quarter above the boards to help ensure nothing (like a raccoon) can pull the wire off and get my babies! :/



We live within city limits in a town with about 60,000 people. Our yard is fenced and we have neighbors on all sides of us. There's a stream behind our place (though there is a fence and a neighbor between us and the stream). I've never seen mink or weasels, but I'm betting there are weasels-we just haven't had anything in our yard of any interest. We have had raccoons. I think that's my biggest worry for our chicken's safety. I read on this site that raccoons can pull wire out when it's stapled in, so I'm off to the hardware store to get some screws to try to make this extra safe.

Fortunately we don't pick up the chickens until after dinner so I have time to put up the roosts, put curtains on the nesting boxes, hang the feeder, hang the waterer, and I guess now add some more wire along with some screws. I knew there were predators, but goodness- I'm getting stressed with worry about keeping these girls safe!!
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/11-tips-for-predator-proofing-chickens.html
Right now I'm reading about predators and how to protect our chickens. We have devoted one of our covered concrete patios to be the chicken coop. We screwed boards around the bottom quarter of the space, made a door and completed the rest (to the ceiling/roof) with chicken wire. Reading through the info on this site, I feel I need to get some hardware cloth for the next quarter above the boards to help ensure nothing (like a raccoon) can pull the wire off and get my babies! :/

We live within city limits in a town with about 60,000 people. Our yard is fenced and we have neighbors on all sides of us. There's a stream behind our place (though there is a fence and a neighbor between us and the stream). I've never seen mink or weasels, but I'm betting there are weasels-we just haven't had anything in our yard of any interest. We have had raccoons. I think that's my biggest worry for our chicken's safety. I read on this site that raccoons can pull wire out when it's stapled in, so I'm off to the hardware store to get some screws to try to make this extra safe.

Fortunately we don't pick up the chickens until after dinner so I have time to put up the roosts, put curtains on the nesting boxes, hang the feeder, hang the waterer, and I guess now add some more wire along with some screws. I knew there were predators, but goodness- I'm getting stressed with worry about keeping these girls safe!!
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided join our flock. You are right to be worried about predators and need to cover that chicken wire with hardware cloth. Raccoons and other larger predators will have no problem tearing through that chicken wire and weasels (as well as snakes and rats) can squeeze through the openings in the chicken wire mesh. It will cost more money to add hardware cloth, but it will be cheaper than replacing your flock. Hardware cloth has saved a lot of chicken owners a lot of tears. Also, if you have raccoons in the area, make sure you either padlock your coop door or else use a double action latch on it as raccoons have no problem figuring out how to open a single action latch. There is a good article at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/11-tips-for-predator-proofing-chickens.html on protecting your chickens from predators. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,517
259,243
2,027
Out to pasture
Michael put it out there for you. Trouble is everything loves chickens and in not in the right way. Ponds, streams etc. are a strong attractant to rats also. I see you've been absorbing a lot of chicken info ie., curtains for the nest box, etc. How old are the birds you are getting?
 

smartgirlchic

In the Brooder
May 18, 2015
31
1
41
Thanks for the tips! We put the hardware cloth on the lower portion (just above and afixed to the boards). I am thinking of adding another layer above that, perhaps eventually all the way to the ceiling/roof. We did put a lock on the door.

Just brought the two girls home. They are so pretty! I'm sorry for them because they seem so scared. :( I've been talking to them and sat in the coop with them for a while. I'm not sure that helped. So for now they are huddled in the corner looking pitiful. We have a roost for them, the food they are accustomed to eat, water, nests, and the box they came home (with the shavings still in it)...I'm hoping they'll find a nice spot to feel safe and calm.

Here they are:



We have named them Saltine and Omlette. :)
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
Saltine and Omlette are cute names and beautiful birds. If you have any area of your coop/run where you have chicken wire and no hardware cloth, sooner or later one of those predators mentioned in the previous posts is going to find its way into your coop. I'd hate to see that happen to Saltine and Omlette. Take care of that ASAP.
 

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