Hello New here. A few questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Xovan, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Xovan

    Xovan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2013
    Oneida County , NY
    OK so I have been reading through this forum for a few months and have learned a lot. Now I think our family is ready to take the plunge. Sorry if this is long winded for a first post but I want to give all my info so, If you are kind enough to respond, I can get the Best answers. I live in central NY so cold weather. I have the space Fenced in right now it is 8 ft Link chain aprox. 36ft x 26ft. What I want to do is keep 10-12 chickens(maybe a rooster too) to lay and some for meat. The scenario I have come up with is to get 20-25 silver laced wyandottes and 10-15 Cackle’s red broilers. I will have the coop on one side with the wyandottes and a roof shelter on the other. separate the two with welded wire fence until it is time (late June) then open it up. Then in Sept. thin the wyandottes down to 10-12 for the winter. The main questions I have are, Is this enough space for my idea, How big a coop do I need to build and How many nesting boxes will I need for 10-12 wyandottes. If I get like 3 roosters will that make them more vocal than 1, If I remove the 2 more vocal ones will the remaining one become more vocal. Anything else that might be helpfull would be appreciated. Oh yea suggestions for a hatchery would be great. I have been looking at Crackle hatchery the most but open to suggestions.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    First, I suggest you read these articles. The lady that wrote them was in Ontario so she might have more credibility with cold weather than I do.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    Pat’s Cold Coop (winter design) page:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-winter-coop-temperatures

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    That’s a real nice run size and the 8’ chain link is real predator resistant. Foxes, raccoons and such can still climb it but it will stop a lot of predators and really slow others down. Gates can be a weak point though so give some consideration how yours is made.

    I’m not familiar with Cackle’s red broilers so I can’t help you with them. I’ve dealt with Cackle before. They are hard to get on the phone but are real nice people to deal with once you get in touch with them. If I remember right, Meyer Hatchery is in New York. You might have a shorter shipping time which is important or you might even be close enough to pick them up if they allow that. Some do, some don’t.

    I don’t know when you intend to get your chicks. 16 to 20 weeks is normally a good age to process dual purpose birds like Wyandottes. They’ve done the most of their fast growing by then. They will have more texture and a different flavor than the store bought chicken, but using a slower moister cooking method will take care of the texture issue. On the flavor, some of us like it a lot better and some don’t.

    I’d suggest you don’t think of coop size for 10 to 12 Wyandottes. It sure sounds like you will want to raise more chicks in the future. If you have a broody with chicks, she can easily raise them with the flock if she has enough room to work. And if you get an incubator or buy more chicks to raise in a brooder, integration goes a whole lot better if you have extra room.

    My basic goal is to have one rooster and 7 or 8 hens. I raise them mostly for meat but get plenty of eggs which is a nice side benefit. Last summer I had over 40 chickens of various ages before the first hatch got big enough to eat. I put 5 in the freezer last Wednesday from a late broody hatch and have three more to go. But I also have 22 eggs in the incubator that will go into lockdown tonight to start this year’s cycle.

    I hate giving magic numbers for coop size. There is a rule of thumb on this forum that gives 4 square feet in the coop and 10 square feet in the run for each chicken. That will keep most people in most climates using most management techniques out of trouble most of the time but does not give a lot of extra flexibility. With your snow in winter, I’d think bigger to start with. They will be trapped in there a lot in your winter.

    I’ll mention that most building materials come in 4’ and 8’ standard dimensions. You can usually be most efficient in coop size both from a money aspect and with less cutting and waste if you plan around those dimensions.

    There is another rule of thumb on here for nests, one nest for every four hens. You’ll find that most will lay in the same nest anyway, but I’d go with three for you. It gives you a bit of flexibility if one goes broody. It’s possible if you are raising chickens in the future you will have extra pullets that start laying before you process them. You may want to keep you pullets and evaluate their laying if you decide to replace older non-productive hens in the future.

    On the roosters and noise, who knows? They are all individuals. Often the dominant one is the one that crows the most. Sometimes the non-dominant ones hardly ever crow. With the ones I put in the freezer last Wednesday, several of them were crowing, not just the dominant one. People will tell you mine do this or mine do that and I totally believe them. We are dealing with living animals. It’s hard to predict what will happen with an individual.

    Since predators can climb that chain link, I suggest you build a pretty predator proof coop and lock them in there securely at night when the risk is highest. Again, you are dealing with living animals with the predators. It is certainly possible they will hunt during the day but they are most active at night. That’s when you risk is highest.

    As far as your brooder, I’d keep the broilers separate from the Wyandottes to start with. Broilers are eating and pooping machines. I think you will be much happier with separate brooders from day 1. If you have electricity out there, I’d suggest building a large brooder and raise them out there. Make sure it has a good draft guard, good ventilation, is predator proof, and just heat one area. Let the rest cool off as it will. When a broody hen raises chicks she does not heat the entire world. She provides a warm place for them to go when they need to warm up. Think along those lines.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
     
  3. Xovan

    Xovan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2013
    Oneida County , NY
    Thank you! very helpfull. Meyers is in oh according to their website. the area I am going to use is the back half of my fenced back yard. last year I ran another section of fence across for the dog to keep him out of the garden he hates it so plan B so to speak. the gate is to the inside so it is like a fence within a fence total size is 36 by 70 something. I was going to keep them separate for their different food requirements. My carpenter skill are a good + so construction is not a problem. thanks for the brooding tip was going to brood together. nothing a few cardboard boxes can't fix. My final plan is to have 10-12 "full time residents" and cycle them through for meat, and supplement with a few broilers every spring.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas

    That's what I get for relying on my memory. I had enough coffee. Can't blame it on that. Sorry!
     
  5. Haltey

    Haltey Out Of The Brooder

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    British Columbia, Canada
    [​IMG]For each chicken WITH NO OUTSIDE RUN 3-4 feet each, WITH AN OUTSIDE RUN 2-3 FEET EACH!
    WELCOME AND I HOPE THIS WAS SOME GOOD INFO, ALSO IF YOU GOOGLE IT THERE ARE SOME MORE KNOWLEDABLE PEOPLE!
    HOPE YOU LIKE THE INFO THEY GIVE YOU ON HERE IT WAS VERY HELPFUL TO ME!!!!!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Xovan

    Xovan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2013
    Oneida County , NY
    Thank you. Sometimes my head hurts with all the decisions I have to make. But no turning back now! My kids have done nothing but look up chickens on the computer since I mentioned it.
     
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