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I Need Expert Advice Please...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by herefordlovinglady, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    My DH built me a coop for Christmas. It is a 10 x 12. I still need to get it painted and all. In the meantime, I need to figure out what I am going to put in this lovely coop.

    I want a variety
    How old should they be to start out with
    I want them to free range -- how will they know to go into the coop at night?
    How many should I get.

    Currently, I have three game hens, one game/barred rock cross hen, and Dominecker roo. They all free range and use the trees for roost -- will they eventually go into the coop? they are pretty wild and I cannot get my hands on them.

    any suggestions are very much appreciated.

    Oh, and where to buy from????
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    If they are roosting in the trees it will be harder. I usually kept mine in the coop/pen for a week so they knew where to go. I think you can start by going "here, chick chick!" a few times during the day, and rewarding them with a snack like a small piece of bread. Then before the sun goes down, do it in the coop. So they follow you in. That's what I would do. Or leave them penned or a week with access to the coop, or both.
     
  3. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    Can you bribe them in with a treat? You'll have to get them in there for at least a few nights. Once the habit is formed, they'll do it on their own. Maybe you could move their food and water in there, too. As for new birds, baby chicks from the hatchery or feed store are great fun. Also try the "For Sale" section on here. Welcome to the addiction! lol
    ETA: The coop will easily shelter 24 birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  4. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    [​IMG] 24 -- I was thinking maybe 5 - 10... wow I have lots of room. Still wonder what kind. I do not have a run attached, but we have it in the old dog pen. I guess my question is without a run, will they be okay in the coop for a couple of days till they get used to it (the new ones)...?
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,686
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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    You can bribe them in, but you need to set up their response in advance, teach them the word that means treat. Then call them into the coop a few times during the day without closing the door till they get that down pat. Should work!
     
  6. twister

    twister Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2009
    Mississippi
    24 sounds a bit high to me...but maybe someone w more experience can tell you for sure. I would ck around on here for the GA folks to chime in...there are a bunch of them that have very nice quality birds...there should be a GA thread to help you in that search. As for going in the new coop.... I read this in a book and implemented it..works like a charm...., place a light in the coop and turn it on just a few mins before roost time...they will go to the light... it worked for my new ones that I integrated into the flock..(.after their 30 day quarentine time period ...that is really imp too, if you buy birds you need to quarentine them from the flock for at least 30 days... but you prob already know that, being a cattle rancher, yourself! ;-) rather nice avatar there too, i must say.
     
  7. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    Quote:Great advice and thank you.
     
  8. twister

    twister Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2009
    Mississippi
    YW, forgot to say... after they were drawn to the light and roosted/settled, i would go in and turn it off ( to prevent pecking and fighting through the night) ... I only lighted the coop mins before dusk for 3-5 days , until they really got the hang of it. Thats all it took! ;-)
     
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    If you're going to free range during the day, then the "official" standard for indoor coop space is 4 square feet per bird. In a 10 x 12 coop you'll have 120 square feet of floor space, so that means 120/4 = 30 birds. And you can stretch that a bit further by adding roosting perches. Of course, that doesn't mean that you HAVE to have 30 birds -- it just means that you don't have to feel guilty about putting that many into your coop. Enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  10. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    Quote:Thank you
     

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