Help?!?!? Newbie to chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by FloridaFarmGuy, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. FloridaFarmGuy

    FloridaFarmGuy In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2013
    Over the past several weeks I have been constructing a coop.
    The bottom run is 4ftX7ft the roosting area is 4X4.
    First, how many chickens do you think this will comfortably hold if I plan on letting them free range during the day?

    Now to my main problem.
    I was under the assumption that I could safely have three so I acquired to four month old Plymouth Rock hens from one friend and a year old Leghorn roo from another friend. I put them in the coop last night.
    So far they are fine, but now I find out I need ten hens at least to a roo.
    Man I should have read up more.

    Anyway... here is my question.
    The rooster came from a100% free range... fend for yourself environment.
    He is big (I'm guessing ten pounds), strong, and mean looking.

    Here is my question.

    He has only been at my home one day. I don't want him hurting my girls though.
    Would you?

    A. Turn him loose free range tonight?
    B. Work through the night to build a make-shift coop. (It won't be perfect)
    C. Leave them be in the coop I have ... the hens will be fine.

    Finally another question. I wouldn't mind trying to breed them and get maybe two chicks. Will the two different breeds mate well and if so how should I go about that?
    The breeding question is of no urgency if you don't feel like answering. That is more months down the road.
    For now I am curious if my coop is big enough and what to do with my rooster...
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If they go in the coop tonight after dark they will probably sleep all night. Three chickens might be OK in there if they are loose all day.
  3. bops

    bops In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2013
    Unless your rooster is a lot more active than average your hens will be fine! Especially since you plan to free range ( leave them in the coop for a night or two first though )

    Also the ten hens per rooster thing is more of a guideline if you have more than one rooster, so the hens wont be hassled as much, also to prevent the roosters squabbling over a few hens.
    The coop looks very good by the way:)
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Salem Oregon
    If it's very cold in winter and they will be confined during the day I wouldn't have more that two average size hens in that size coop especially there is always a possibility that the roo will move in too.

    We have always had small flocks of 5-15 hens, never more than one roo. We don't have a roo now but back when we did they lived in the coop with the hens, though some like to sleep on a roost in the enclosed area of the run.

    If you can let your hens out from dawn to dusk and are able to let the free range 365 days a year then you can put in as many as will fit loosely across your top roost (but leave room for the roo).

    We currently have 8 hens in a ~7x5 coop not counting the nest box space but they are out side free ranging all day every day and only use the coop for laying eggs and sleeping. But I think the small space works mainly because the hens in this (mixed age) flock just get along unusually well.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  5. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    First don't panic :) Just let him stay with the hens

    We had three hens and one rooster with no problems. You just need to wait and see if he is going to over mate them or if they are going to be fine. Give them a few weeks to settle in before deciding because he will probably go a bit crazy to assert his dominance at first but should settle down.

    Your coop is very cute but foxes etc can and will chew right through chicken wire so if that is for more than keeping the chickens in you will need something stronger.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  6. FloridaFarmGuy

    FloridaFarmGuy In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2013
    Thanks.. I did panic before reading this and made a the rooster his own place.
    His place is a little more open and unfortunately more open to predators as well, but so far so good.
    He came from that environment anyway.
    He has four foot welded wire surrounding a coop he can freely enter in and out of.
    I have a question about him.
    I am just now learning leghorns are not typically big. I have not weighed him, but I am a hunter and have shot and handled enough wild turkey to know he is about 10 pounds. If a Jersey Giant was bred with a leghorn, would it produce a large white bird? Because I'm thinking that's what I might have? Any other ideas what would produce a very large looking leghorn?

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
  7. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    Not very good with genetics I'm afraid. It it's extremely confusing! Especially when they start talking about colour variations :)

    You could try taking a photo to add to it and post in the what breed am I section though. Might get better answers in there :)

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