Help New Owner Of Four Hens & 2 Roosters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PapaRoo82, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. PapaRoo82

    PapaRoo82 New Egg

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    Jun 21, 2011
    Ok so I acquired these chickens that are about 4months old but really I'm not sure.
    I want to do this right so I may be able to make some side money off the eggs from
    my hens. I've read some posts on here that y'all have written and it has helped me
    much, I just don't know all the terminology that is used. I have a coop big enough for the six
    birds to house in and about ten feet of roaming room. I let them out of their coop to roam
    around the yard to eat bugs and best of all eat the weeds in the grass lol got to love that. The
    coop in which they sleep is an old wooden dog house and their roaming space is enclosed with
    fence that is at least 8feet high but the ground only has dirt so I have to sit there every week
    and scrape poo from the ground. Now I've heard their poop is good for your plants so I keep it in
    a coffee can and set it to the side to break down. Please if anyone has some tips for me please reply
    Thank you
    Paparoo82
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    I don't know your locale, however I have the same conditions here in my garden for my chickens, all dirt. I have a dry climate. So what I do is spread a grass hay all around, (Burmuda Grass Hay, I get from the feed store by the bale,) and this gives them something scratch around in and eat since I have no grass right now. And it makes for poo clean up really easy. I just go around with rubber gloves on and pick it up. Hay and all. It is a very easy task for me and my 4 chickens everyday. (They follow me around when I do poo clean up). It keeps the flies and parasites down in the chicken yard by keeping it cleaned up. And I found that the hay being a bed for the poo was easier than scraping poo off dirt. [​IMG]
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Oh, and I would use wood shavings for the floor of your coop. It keeps the smell and moisture down as the ammonia smell can be hard on the airways and could cause illness. If you use the "deep litter" method in the coop, (4 inches of wood shavings) and then turn it occasionally, you wont have to clean out the coop but a few times a year. [​IMG]
     
  4. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    Welsh, LA
  5. PapaRoo82

    PapaRoo82 New Egg

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    Jun 21, 2011
    Ok thank you for the imput now I have a question. I live in Pennsylvania and the climate here is not dry at all, I don't
    want the smell to consume me so do you think wood shavings or hay which is better 1. For the climate 2. For my pocket?
    Now to get good eggs out of them (even though I know it's still early) I want them to be as healthy as possible. Is there a certain type
    of food that I should be using?
     
  6. gallatea

    gallatea Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2010
    I would never keep 6 birds in a 10 ft. area, but if you have to, pebble gravel is nice. The larger, rounder/softer kind. I put that around my chicken coop, and when the poop is there, I hose it down, and it just goes away into the ground. Granted I have about a quarter acre that my birds roam in that's fenced, so poo isn't a huge issue. But when the winter rains come, the mud issue is horrible. The pebble gravel keeps things dryer, cleaner, and less mud. it looks nice too.

    They (farm supply) have wood pellets that turn into sawdust too - it has an antibacterial additive of some sort - it's used for horse bedding. I used to use that and it was good too - cuts smell, poo is disguised a bit, less flies, but eventually it has to be replaced every 2 months or so.

    Problem with hay - serious risk for mold - and that mold can be toxic, not only for you to inhale when you're cleaning it up, but to your animals. I have rabbits too, and if you use hay it should be well oxygenated (aerated) and removed/replaced promptly. My rabbit hay has to be bone dry at all times, or the mold comes super fast. I throw out their old hay in the forest, and it molds within a few days of exposure to sprinkles or just plain moist air. Something to keep in mind.

    Enjoy your birds, but nobody makes money unless they are running a commercial operation or large flock of 100% hens 100 or more (generally speaking) ...I learned that rather quickly!
     

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