Hen House, Coop/Run Advise

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lybis, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. lybis

    lybis Hatching

    Oct 11, 2015
    I need advice.....
    I am a “Chicken Farmer” in training
    Forgive me in advanced for sounding clueless, lol I have some questions and I think you will all be able to help me. So here it goes
    I have a fenced in chicken run 33ft x 13ft for my 5 RIR Girls... Inside they have their lovely "hen house" (about 4ft long, 32" wide and 4ft high) where they roost & lay in their 2 spot nesting box. We also have another “hen house” (
    46.25" high x 42" w x 42" d) with one nesting box , I felt it was too small so we don’t currently use it. (the smaller red one)

    Last week I bought 7 chicks (2 Polish, 3 Silkies, 1 Cochin, 1 Speckled Sussex ) (so they were a week old Friday) when I am ready to introduce the new girls to my existing flock of RIR Girls and the Coop/Run what do I need to do as far as a “hen house” is concerned....will they be ok in the 2nd smaller house (is it too small)?
    Will they try and go into the existing RIR hen house? Or should I just get another separate house for them?
    Not sure if the RIR will leave their house and go into the smaller one?

    Does anyone have any incite as to what I should expect or be prepared to provide for them?

    I am planning on having them fenced off in the coop for a few days so they can all adjust to each other, however not sure what the housing set-up should be.

    ALSO… at what age should I start the introduction? I also know the NJ weather has to be a factor.

    Thanks in advanced for the advise.
  2. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Songster

    You should start introduction early so both flocks have as much time as possible to get used to each other before integration. It would help if you built a small chicken tractor/box or sectioned off a corner of the run where the chicks can spend the day, safe. When the chicks can sleep outside as well, they should probably live in the little red coop with the protective box/tractor/corner attached.
    The chicks will not want to sleep with the RIRs when the time comes to mix the flocks. Start by letting the chicks out of the box/tractor when they are close to the same size as the older girls during the day, and offer lots of hiding spots. Do not leave them unattended. Keep letting them mingle for longer periods of time during the day while you watch, and have some bag balm or neosporin handy because the little girls will get pecked. You bought chickens that look radically different from the RIRs, so they will be a subject of interest and will be bullied more. Watch the silkies and polish carefully, and they may need to golive in the little tin coop somwhere else if they are never accepted.
    Neither coop is large enough for seven full grown chickens, so you need to be building a 4x8 coop for just the little girls to sleep in, or a bigger 6x8 coop for all of them. It may be easier to build the small coop instead of a big one, and the two flocks will remain segregated in a way. They will forage in two different groups, and sleep in two different groups in two different coops. They will share the same run and will eventually stop trying to kill eachother, though.
    If you do end up moving the silkies and polish away from the others, there will be room enough in the 4x8 coop for the entire flock. Take away the little red coop so it is the only option available.

    I hope that helps and isn't written completely weird or anything :)
  3. lybis

    lybis Hatching

    Oct 11, 2015
    Thank you for the advise. Much Appreciated
  4. Cheep N Peep

    Cheep N Peep Songster

    :D You'er very welcome. Good luck!

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