Greetings from Austin, TX! Got a sec to answer newbie questions?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Sqwidy, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. Sqwidy

    Sqwidy Chirping

    Dec 13, 2014
    Austin, TX
    Hi! My name is Ashley, and I'm a soon-to-be (this spring) chicken-owner in Austin, TX. Right now, I'm still in the coop-building phase. We're finalizing our designs in sketch-up and had a couple questions. Can I get y'alls opinions?

    1. We'll have 4 standard-sized chickens, all hens -- are three nesting boxes all right? Do they each need their own? How big should each nesting box be?
    2. Are there weathering/wood stains we should avoid? Are any of the stains you might use on a fence or porch potentially dangerous to our clucky friends? Got a stain you really like?
    3. We live inside the city proper. Our biggest potential chicken predators and egg thieves are prolly raccoons, possums, or stray dogs and cats. How important do you think it is that the bottom (underneath the sand of their run) is fully mesh? I.e., if we have sunk cinder blocks around the base of the coop as the foundation, do you think a city egg-lover is likely to dig under the sunk blocks to get in?
    4. Is there anything that you wished someone told you before you built your coop? :)

    Man, I'm so excited to get this built!


  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us.

    3 nests are more than enough.. Most recommend 1 per 4 layers. I have 2 nests for 6 and it has not been an issue.

    I would use a latex water washup type stain - like those used on houses not decks.

    I think burying hardware cloth 2' out around the perimeter is best to keep the diggers out. Make sure you use 1/2" hardware cloth on all coop/run openings and not chicken wire..

    I would suggest you visit the learning center articles and explore the coop/run forums.

    I did read in texts and on BYC to build larger than you think..wish I had and would not have had to do an addition. Chickens really do get larger than we think…as you plan space think about feed, water vessels, ramps taking up the livable space.

    Feel free to post questions under the forums. Everyone here are happy to help.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Ashley! Glad you decided to join our flock. My wife and I were both raised in the great state of Texas. Sunflour has done an excellent job answering your questions. Just be sure and use hardware cloth for your mesh, not chicken wire, as there are a number of predators that can either tear through chicken wire, or squeeze through the openings in the mesh. Also make sure that your hardware cloth is well secured (lots of fence staples, or even better, screws and washers) to your coop and run frame. Also use a double action latch on the coop and run doors, not a single action latch as racoons and opossums can figure out how to open single action latches. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in protecting your flock.
    1 person likes this.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] You've already gotten excellent advice, and I would make it unanimous re: hardware cloth. No one saves by using cheap poultry wire, it deteriorates fast, droops and is very flimsy. It doesn't even slow predators down. Chicken wire only keeps chickens inside but does nothing to stop intruders
    1 person likes this.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Raccoons are not only patient, cunning, great diggers, great climbers but have opposable thumbs. If you can open a latch, so can they. It would not surprise me if one day they learn how to open combination locks. Never underestimate them.
    1 person likes this.
  6. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!!! The members here are great and so are their chickens[​IMG]!!! This is the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM ON EARTH!!!!

    Hope you have fun and if you need anything we are here to help!!


    Hope the time goes by quickly so oyu can get ure chooks soon!!
    1 person likes this.
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined the flock!
    1 person likes this.
  8. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    1 person likes this.
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
    1 person likes this.
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
    1 person likes this.

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