Hi all I'm new and in need of help.

carl0209

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
33
0
34
My 7 yr old son has convinced me to help him with his summer science project.
Raising chicks to egg layers!
I explained that this is a Hugh responsibility and it isn't just a summer science project. He is a very responsible boy so far and I have agreed to help him start it off and assist when needed.
Here is a list of things that we have researched and prepared.
1. We live in west central FL
2. We have two dogs. ( Pomeranian and chocolate lab ). And lots of large predator birds.
3. We have cleared out a 15X12 ft area for the coop and run.
4. We are looking at several coop designs that will work but I def think that keeping the housing elevated will be best to utilize the entire area for the run. The housing will be 5ft high 5ft wide and 12 ft long with a 20 in high 20 in deep and 18in high nesting box attached to to back with doors to open to retrieve the eggs. (Hopefully) I have some stair treads to use for them to sit on using 2X4's and I plan on a slide out floor for cleaning.
5. He wants to get the Rhode Island reds I was thinking that the red stars would be better. ?
6. Is there a good place in FL to purchase the chicks or should I order from Murray McMurray.
Looking forward to hearing from everyone.
Carl & Jacob
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
5 Years
Apr 6, 2014
12,708
34,695
1,127
Melrose Park Illinois
Hi, and WELCOME. You are definitely making the right approach by setting up housing before leaping for your birds. As for keeping flying raptors from thinning your flock, use tarps and mesh netting to cover your run. Netting can be the type used to cover swimming pools from leaves, tarp, can be the inexpensive type , blue or green that will also provide shade but is translucent somewhat. I'm not sure where is best for you to get your birds. Locally would be ideal. Rhode islanders are docile birds and your young child would enjoy them. I have 2 right now. ENJOY YOUR FLOCK. YES IT IS A RESPONSIBILITY.
 

carl0209

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
33
0
34
Thank you, I am looking forward to starting the pen this weekend. Is 6 chicks a good number to start off with and should they all be females or do I need to get a rooster as well?
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Check out / post in your state thread for your best chance at finding local birds and any tips people may have for building your coop to deal with the local weather https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/305793/florida-always-sunny-side-up
Be sure to check out the Coops section for ideas on coops, many of them have really detailed plans https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops
X2 on netting/ fencing the top of the run if you have a lot of predatory birds.
The Red Stars are really nice birds, I do like them better temperament wise and they seem to lay slightly better than the McM hatchery RIR, but they are very similar.
You might also like to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
5 Years
Apr 6, 2014
12,708
34,695
1,127
Melrose Park Illinois
You don't need a rooster, unless you were planning to hatch your own chicks. With a rooster your chickens will have bare spots on the back of their necks,
that is how roosters hold hens during mating,
 

carl0209

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 30, 2014
33
0
34
So I have changed my mind about twenty times on the coop! Did this happen to everyone on their first time? I have a shed that is 10 ft wide and I am thinking why not utilize that wall? It would give me a strong foundation to build off of and I could easily do a slanted roof system and cover the entire pen. This would give me an 8Ft long X 32in wide X 32 in high area for them to come in and perch. Should the flooring under the perch be wire so the droppings fall through?
Then I can do an L shaped area for the nesting area that will be 6ft X 32in X 32in
With a back side hinged door for access to the nest. Still keeping every thing elevated off the ground 2 ft. Any thoughts?
 
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