Grower Box (?)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Prairie Mary, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Prairie Mary

    Prairie Mary Out Of The Brooder

    I'm trying to figure out the best plan for a grower house/box/whatever. I've raised only one set of chicks and we need to get a second set. The first set I moved from the house straight to the coop (which is the barn). Now that I'll have older and younger chickens at the same time it seems like I need a grower box (coop?) in the barn to raise them up after they leave the house and before they mingle with the big girls. [​IMG]

    We built the coop before I discovered BYC and I now know what I'd do different. Regardless the coop is nice . . . but now I find myself unsure of what to build. I've looked at the coops and brooders on BYC (thank you all btw) and it seems like the new chicks will need something in between. It's cold in the spring so they will need to be somewhat enclosed to keep them warmish when they first transfer out there; ideally share chicken wire with the old gals so they can get used to each other (right?); and have gradual access to the outdoors (to develop resistance to whatever is in the soil, right?); and needs to be predator proof. So should it be a box on legs, a box on the ground, a walk-in coop? Should the sides be wood or chicken wire and use tarps on cold nights? (probably scare the dickens out of them though)? Should we put linoleum on the floor or is that too slippery for them? What do you all do during that awkward period?

    Really appreciate your input, thoughts, correction, etc . . . I welcome it all! Thanks!!![​IMG]
    Mary
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    If the barn is good sized, make a grow out pen in it where they can see the other chickens, then at 16 weeks you can merge them in an easy transition.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I have a walk in area of my coop with walls of chicken wire and its own pop door. The pop door does not lead into the chicken yard so there's plenty of room to make a separate yard. My coop is about 12' X 18' and this area is maybe 5' x 6'. The mistake I made was not running wire all the way to the ceiling. Young chickens can fly quite high... But I'm so glad it's walk in. I'd think a barn would be an ideal place to create something along these lines for them. Perhaps you can combine solid walls for warmth and chicken wire walls (on a different side) so they can see and hear each other, for integration. Personally, I'd leave the floor dirt, but I've always had a dirt floor coop, now with pine shavings, and wouldn't want anything else, even in a cold climate. Square bales of hay make wonderful insulation when you have the room for them. At the moment the pop door is covered with a bale of hay to keep drafts off my hatching babies.

    Lots of people use tarps. They probably do scare the chickens at first, but they get used to most anything. I've never used vinyl or linoleum -- as you said, it is slippery, and I figure even if you cover it well with pine shaving, they will scratch down to the vinyl.

    Obviously you need to use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire if the wall needs to be predator proof.
     
  4. Prairie Mary

    Prairie Mary Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for your advice and thoughts.
    16 weeks? They need to be that old before they are merged? I need to re-think this again. That means they need a fairly big area doesn't it? With full size roosts and all? [​IMG]

    I'd like to just have a dirt floor but we're in an old place and the ground on the outside of the barn is higher than the ground on the inside so when it rains the water runs in the door . . . which is near the coop and right next to the new area. But maybe that part could be done later. Yea, I think we'll skip the slippery flooring though.

    I could put a small growing area right next to the current coop or have a larger area farther away, say 15' away. hmmm Not sure which is best. Any advice there?

    SO appreciate your help. Thank you muchly!![​IMG]
    Mary
     

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