I just can't wait to get started!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MicheleCarelock, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. MicheleCarelock

    MicheleCarelock Out Of The Brooder

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    So, about a week ago my husband and I agreed one getting chickens. I told him I just wanted between 4 and 6. I've kept chickens for a short time once before but life happened and I had to give my flock away :-(. I cried like a little baby. My husband and I don't have much money to build a coop or brooder for our soon to be new babies so we are looking for used wood and pallets to use for building. My husband can build just about anything! I am going nuts. I want to get started so bad but I can't do anything until the coop is built. The plan it to have a section of the coop divided off and set up for the chicks as a brooder untill they are older. We are looking at building an 8x8 coop with a 16x8 run. Any advice on anything? Also any advice on not going crazy having to wait?
     
  2. Lozuufy

    Lozuufy Pigeons are nutty Premium Member

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  3. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    no help in the not crazy department. Sanity is over-rated. Meanwhile some brooder pics.

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    put a broken fridge on it's side or back and cut a hole so that the little birds can get out into their attached yard. The great thing about this is it's great in all weather no matter how extreme and is 90% built already before you start. It is free because a want ad or a quick look at your favorite auction site shows lots for 99c. The chicks love them and I think the best thing is this:

    You pop a little light inside it just for night time if you think the chicks need warmth. You have to use a timer or thermostat because it can get very hot very fast inside. You should probably just go for the low power CFL lights from the start. But here is the great thing, if the light is yellow or warm color, then it looks fantastic at night, like a little gnomes or elves home from a fairytale. The light attracts flying insects for the chicks to eat, they do so much love the moths and every little critter that flies inside, and being chicks, they are fast enough to grab them. Every little chick should grow up this way. I think it is the equal to a fun childhood.
     
  4. MicheleCarelock

    MicheleCarelock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your reply! I'm in southeast Ga. so the weather is a bit unpredictable at times. We have some months that get pretty soggy and some that are really dry. We have temps in the winter down in the twenties on occasion (that's rare) and then in the summer temps can reach over 100 with an even more blistering heat index. We are only about an hour drive from the Fl. line. I've picked out a couple spots by the tree line that look promising. Both give plenty of shade, but I'm worried about them not getting enough sun. We are going to prediture proof the coop as much as possible, but the main concern we have in that area is dogs.We are basically in a open field with a small patch of pines behind our home.
     
  5. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh i forgot to mention that the chicks know it is night time even though the lamp is on. They sense the outside light and conditions. flying insects don't go all night, they only use the first few hours after dark when conditions are still warm enough for insects then they become too lethargic to fly. That's why birds sing so much in the morning, they are awake but cannot hunt until the insects warm up in the morning sun enough to move about and get hunted. Birds pass the time in song.
     
  6. MicheleCarelock

    MicheleCarelock Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Now I can't stop picturing little chicks hopping around trying to grab bugs. It's a really nice image to have stuck in my head :). I can't wait to vet some babies!
     
  7. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh there is nothing so awesome as seeing something so cute do to the flies what nothing else seems able to do, get rid of them ! I do like to see any of the little ones chase butterflies across the yard, and I dream sometimes of making little houses like dolls or elves houses for the chicks at night to roost in. Like a miniature fairy tale township sort of thing, with lots of little lights.
     
  8. MicheleCarelock

    MicheleCarelock Out Of The Brooder

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    That would be too cute!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    You can do plenty to start planning the size and shape of your coop on paper, then start gathering the materials to build it.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You've got lots of reading to do between now and the arrival of your chicks! Check out: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    Also, you might want to read about deep litter for use in both the coop and the run. Many chicken runs quickly become void of all vegetation, turning into dust bowls, or mud pits, leaving the chickens with little to do other than standing around in stinky dirt. You can give them a healthy environment in the run by adding lots of mulch materials to the run, after they remove the vegetation. Aim for a 6" layer in the run. It will keep the flock busy, and it will attract beneficial insects, bacteria, fungus, and worms. Birds who have access to a compost/mulch situation like this will spend a good part of their day searching out the nutrition available. Easier on the food bill, as well as giving them a healthier gut. Other topics to research: Fermented feed. Check out the many coop designs in the coop and run section. Be sure that your coop is predator proof, and has plenty of ventilation. This means that you'll need 1/2" hardware cloth over all openings, including windows and any vents. Chicken wire will keep your flock in, but will not keep them safe from predators. Henderson's chicken breeds chart. You might just find a breed that you absolutely must have. Finally, you might even want to check into the option of hatching your first flock. It's super easy to build your own incubator!!! You're gonna have lots of fun with this, and it's wonderful that your husband is on the same page with you!
     

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