I am so nervous!! UPDATE: Girlies r in the new coop!!


8 Years
Mar 25, 2011
Hagerstown, MD
When the DH talked about getting a few chickens last year I didn't really think anything of it. Just thought it was a passing thought. Then things happened and we ended up having to move in with my mom to take care of her. So I'm back in my childhood home, out in the country setting I love with the family I love and the dogs I love. So, DH starts talking about chickens again. Now we live in the country. I told him that the smokehouse my Daddy built years ago would be perfect for a chicken coop. All we would have to do is make a run. So, about 11 weeks ago we started researching...and 8 weeks ago we got our first 5 chicks, one died the next day...7 weeks ago we got 15 more chicks, all alive and healthy...6 weeks ago we got 7 more chicks, and one of those just died yesterday (got piled on and broke its back)...and then 5 weeks ago we got our last batch of 4 chicks which were already about 3 weeks old, one had to be re-homed, but everyone else is doing well. So I now have 28 chicks and 25 of them have been raised by me & DH since day olds. WOW! The two big things in that was 1) chicken math was already at work b4 I even knew it. We originally only wanted 6 hens but once we started to see all the adorable breeds ended up with 28 chicks! 2) We raised 28 chicks from babies! We only lost 2. Very hard still and I cried still, especially over my little polish I lost yesterday...but we still did it! Now comes the worrisome part. We r going to finish up building a nice enclosed run this weekend. We have to put 2 windows in the coop and their chicken door and we r done and the girlies can go out into their new home. I kow I need to get them out of the basement...but I'm so nervous about them being in the coop by themselves! But, I know that we have done everything possible we can to predator proof both the coop and the run. We have taken every precaution that we possibly can...and I think they will b very safe. I just know I'm gonna worry!! Our bedroom faces the coop & run...but I won't b able to see in the coop because the door is solid.

So I have a few ?'s left as we r finishing up the coop. I have the nest boxes done and the roost. The floor in the coop is concrete. We were mthinking of putting down sand first, then a straw and pine shaving mix. Is this ok? Is there a better way? Is there better materials to use? Help me finish my coop so that my girlies will b happy in there new home!
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I can't answer your questions, but I can sympathize with your fascination with all the different breeds. I had NO IDEA that there were breeds of chickens, let alone the number of breeds! I originally only wanted 3 or so chickens, but am now up to 7 after researching different breeds and there are a few more breeds I'd love to get, but figured I'd better stick to the 7 first to make sure we enjoy them as much as I think we will...get hubby attached and then maybe in the future add some more
Is the concrete just in the housing part (the old smokehouse), or is in the run too??? If you're talking about the housing, just several inches of bedding (pine or something similar) would work fine, unless you have water issues (water doesn't get in when it rains?). Now, many people put sand in the run area, or leave it dirt/grass. Boy, you guys did jump in with both feet, didn't you???
My coop used to be concrete, it basically was an old shed before we bought our new coop we got last year. I would just use woodchips. we used enough to make about 6 inches deep and cleanup was easy. Gl with the chicks!
Yes Teach1rusl...we both jumped in with both feet! LOL The concrete is just in the coop and there are not any water issues. My Daddy built it about 40 yrs ago on top of a hill behind our house. The building isn't going anywhere and there is no water getting in. So the sand with some straw and pine bedding would be ok?? The run is covered in grass right now. Once they break that all down and it becomes muddy we were thinking of putting down pea pebbles?? That is probably the hardest obstacle. The coop is on the hill so the enclosed run is on the side of the hill. When it rains it will wash the sand away. That's why we were thinking that smaller rocks would b harder to wash away during rain, and could be raked back into the run. I think it will take a little while for them to break down all that grass in the run tho. I love my chickies and want them to be comfy and like their new home! Thanks!
I was really nervous too putting my first girls out and it was still winter! Even with a heat lamp they huddled together all night--yes, I went out and check 3-4 times that night. WE added another heat lamp and they were already adapting. I did go 2 times a night to check. Just had to.

On the concrete floor, most often it should be sealed to keep out the germs. My girls love the pine shavings and wiggle and squirm to take a dust bath. Comical! THey can also dig in the run also, and they have pits to lie in. SIlly birds! Love 'em.

I would say no to the straw or hay in the bedding! just pine shavings and sand.

And dont worry. The joy you are giving them to be outside and have more room is SO worth it.
We have sand in our coop and it is a breezy to clean! I can fully understand you being nervous, I was a wreck for the first few nights that my babies were out in the big girl coop but after a week they are starting to roost and are so happy to play all day in the run! When they are older I will be all nervous again when they start to free range,
but I am sure I will get over it.
I would just put some 12" wide lumber or some other type material along the bottom of the coop so the sand doesn't wash out. Then it will stay in the coop and you can just rake it back as needed and won't have to add to it so often. Small rocks as a base would probably be great too though.
Thanks every1! Sunday is going to be the big day!
I know they will b ok tho and I know they will enjoy the big girl coop and run to play in. I'm off to go get the supplies to set their coop up!
My girlies r growing up!

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