Hi from a newbie, intro & questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by julnjake, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. julnjake

    julnjake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2011
    SW PA
    I pasted my post from the intro board so if you missed it you'll know who I am [​IMG]

    Hi everybody! I'm a newbie from SW PA. I live on 14 acres with my DH, 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 horse, and just newly added 19 chickens! My BIL (weenie) moved from his house beside my MIL and abandoned 20 chickens, 2 cats, and a dog! I've been wanting chickens but didn't want to spend the money on the chicks and the coop (we're in the process of rebuilding our barn and rennovating our basement right now!) So when hubby heard mom was having trouble feeding all the abandoned critters he said "Juli wants chickens!" and I said "Yes I do!" So we spent the evening rounding up 20 chickens and loading their "coop" in the bed of our pick up! Little did we know about chickens one week ago and we took the dog crates up to load them in, we put food in them and got 3 or 4 chickens but it certainly wasn't working to load the whole lot into! I asked DH if we could just pick them up and put them in but he said he didn't think so. After an hour or so I went to feed the poor kitties and suddenly I had 20 chickens at my feet! So I just bent down, picked one up and put it in the dog crates! We got most of them loaded fairly easily! There was a bit of chase and corner with the few remaining buggers but they're all safely here in their new home now!

    1. Can you tell if this DE food grade? https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/7317/

    . Our "coop" is not a coop I'm learning, it's a raised bunch of nesting boxes! It's on 4 legs, about 6' long and 2 1/2' deep, with two rows of nesting boxes. We are trying to free range the chickens during the day which so far is working pretty well as long as I keep them fed enough with layer mash (when I wasn't they were heading off to the neighbors). My dogs are loose (and very well chicken behaved) so it seems there's at present no threat of predators during the day.
    Questions about the "coop":
    It's pretty stinky & dirty, it has straw in it now..... would that affect their laying?
    And tomorrow I plan to clean it, from what I've read I think I'll use vinegar & water 50/50, any opinions? It's all wooden.
    Monday we're going to add on to it so it's more of a true coop instead of just nesting boxes. I've been looking at all the pictures of coops here. I'm not seeing anything incredibly important that I should know before we starting building on. We plan to put the boards (we are using the same rough cut lumber that is going on the barn) 12" deep into the ground. Right now you just walk up to this long box sitting in the air with a chicken door on the back with a ramp and drop down doors on the front for egg retreival. I plan to extend and enclose the front about 4' wide from the existing front with a man door on the side so that when you walk in to your left will be perches and to the right will be the existing nesting boxes with room to move between the perch area and nesting boxes. Thoughts?

    Thanks so much for this wonderful forum. Sorry if my very first post was overwhelming or not in the right place........
  2. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
    Welcome julnjake to the wonderful world of chickens! From the last 2 lines on the description of the DE, it appears to be food grade DE. As far as the dirty coop, happy chickens lay happy eggs so give them a clean home! When discussing coop building, as long as they have someplace to roost and nesting boxes they should be set, usually 4 sq ft per chicken with outside run or free range. Just make sure it's critter proof. Weasels especially can get thru 1 inch holes. Good luck and Happy Chicken Raising!
  3. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    Your DE link is for food grade DE: "These products also meet the specifications outlined in the U.S. Food Chemicals Codex (FCCV) for use as a filter aid in food processing

    Use of these products in Animal Feed are suggested at 1-2% by weight of DE in ground, dry feed, and 5% by weight in stored grain"

    A general rule of thumb, four square feet per bird is the recommended indoor space per LF chicken. 20 birds x 4sq. feet = 80 sq feet coop size. If they are free range you can get away with somewhat smaller. Do yourself a favor and really peruse the coop & run section for more specifics - there's lots of excellent info there. Good luck! [​IMG]
  4. julnjake

    julnjake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2011
    SW PA
    Thank you very much! I have a local feedmill checking on DE for me if they cant get I'll order from Azure, gives me a good excuse to get a nice big organic order in! [​IMG]

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