Hello and need some direction

tractorhobbit

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
1
0
7
Okay well I am new to raising chicks and ducks. I have 5 chicks and 2 ducks that I plan to raise. I live in the city and need to be as clean and tidy as possible. I want to build a area inside my garage that would hold the chickens and ducks. I plan on framing it in and using chiken mesh to make the Walls. I will use the walled side of the garage and put nesting boxes etc. My question is well is this a good idea. They will have about 64 by 4 feet run area. Ittt is dirt and rock but I will also put some shaving down. Also when can the chicks got to the garage with the heat lamp on them??
Any and all advice will be welcome. The garage I feel would be good as there is electric and would keep them shealtered in the winter. The only issue I would see is that the garage door gets opened a couple times a day to go to work :D. I have to pay the bills so they will live the life they will be accustom to lol
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,241
3,463
467
New Brunswick,Canada
I have 5 chicks and 2 ducks that I plan to raise. I live in the city and need to be as clean and tidy as possible. I want to build a area inside my garage that would hold the chickens and ducks. I plan on framing it in and using chicken mesh to make the Walls. I will use the walled side of the garage and put nesting boxes etc. My question is well is this a good idea. They will have about 64 by 4 feet run area. It is dirt and rock but I will also put some shaving down. Also when can the chicks got to the garage with the heat lamp on them?? Sounds feasible
In Canada I am subject to -40º cold snaps. I do NOT heat my coop. Murphy's law says my birds will find out what -40 is all about when my hydro goes out. Regardless what you decide feed extra Corn over the winter you will not be sorry.

Or something like this may help also; You could even knit a hoodie for those extra cold days..







Acclimatize
Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/738994/chickens-arctic-conditions-prolonged-period

Watering
For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should. This is what it looks like and it thermostatically controlled to come on at just above the freezing temperature. You would have to wrap it to suit your particular application if it is viable for your set up. It is available at Home Depot in Canada.




Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

April looks after that however..


My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
Easy Peasy!

Bedding
I have used all types of litter for coops.

I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


Works for me in my deep litter method.

I do add to pellets from time to time.

I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

Nest boxes
In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

Winter months even easier flex over compost bin DONE!

Easy peasy!.

 
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