Information on raising chickens

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by chickens usa, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. chickens usa

    chickens usa Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 26, 2011
    I need some information about raising chickens. I live in the western part of Kentucky,where the temperatures might get to the low- teens. Do I need to insulate the coop? How big should I make the coop and pen for 6 heavy breed chickens. Will a Great Pyrenees dog guard chickens or will I just have trouble with the dog eating them? What is the best brown egg layer? Will the hens need a rooster in order to lay eggs?
     
  2. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    Quote:1. Do I need to insulate the coop? You can insulate the coop and they will be happy as a lark it will make it cooler in the summer and warmer in the cooler weather. You don't really need to add heat though since the teens isn't very low. It gets below 0 up here and my chickens do just find without heat.

    2. How big should I make the coop and pen for 6 heavy breed chickens. For 6 chickens your coop should have between 2 to 4 feet of floor space per bird so your coop floor should be between 12 and 24 feet square. I also add extra roosting space to mine so that they can utilize more of the vertical space. I have a ladder with perches on it and then beside that one each side I have straight perches as well as my nesting boxes so that they have plenty of room to spread out if for some reason (like tons of snow and cold weather) they get cooped up together for a while.


    3. Will a Great Pyrenees dog guard chickens or will I just have trouble with the dog eating them? I think this is totally dependent on the dog and the training that you give them. The GP are created to guard livestock but usually they are raised around the animals they should guard so they consider themselves part of that flock and will bond to them. I think if you could get the dog used to the birds from the time they are little with supervision that it would be fine. I have a doberman and he chases everything but he helped me feed the chicks twice a day and check on them in between and they became "his chickens" and now he goes out with them and will keep an eye on them. He will even break up the roosters when they start fighting over the girls lol.

    4. What is the best brown egg layer? Will the hens need a rooster in order to lay eggs? It depends are you looking just for eggs or would you like eggs and meat? For just eggs The Rhode Island Red is great. They lay well but are rather lean birds made more for laying than eating. I would suggest going to a hatchery website like www.welp.com and checking out the different types of birds you see there in the brown egg section. Find one that you like and that will suit your needs. They usually provide ratings with how good of a layer they are and what to expect as far as cold and heat tolerance and bird size. You don't need a rooster unless you want to let the hens hatch eggs or you have an incubator to hatch eggs yourself. This can be a good thing since when you start worrying that the girls are slowing down you can hatch out some new babies and then wala you have new babies to lay eggs for you once they grow up. If you're okay with ordering more birds as yours get older and are ready to retire than a rooster isn't a necessity though.

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]
     
  3. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon
    I think insulating the coop would be a good Idea, the average coop size is four feet per bird so for six birds you should have 24 square feet, Every dog is different but generally speaking big dogs and little birds don't mix, the best recorded brown layers are Rhode Island Reds and Barred rocks (they are also very sweet tempered), A hen naturally starts laying at around 21 weeks of age without a rooster, the only reason you would need a rooster is if you wanted to hatch chicks, hope this was helpful!

    idy
     
  4. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

    5,422
    11
    233
    Jun 3, 2011
    Em's Dungeon
    Quote:1. Do I need to insulate the coop? You can insulate the coop and they will be happy as a lark it will make it cooler in the summer and warmer in the cooler weather. You don't really need to add heat though since the teens isn't very low. It gets below 0 up here and my chickens do just find without heat.

    2. How big should I make the coop and pen for 6 heavy breed chickens. For 6 chickens your coop should have between 2 to 4 feet of floor space per bird so your coop floor should be between 12 and 24 feet square. I also add extra roosting space to mine so that they can utilize more of the vertical space. I have a ladder with perches on it and then beside that one each side I have straight perches as well as my nesting boxes so that they have plenty of room to spread out if for some reason (like tons of snow and cold weather) they get cooped up together for a while.


    3. Will a Great Pyrenees dog guard chickens or will I just have trouble with the dog eating them? I think this is totally dependent on the dog and the training that you give them. The GP are created to guard livestock but usually they are raised around the animals they should guard so they consider themselves part of that flock and will bond to them. I think if you could get the dog used to the birds from the time they are little with supervision that it would be fine. I have a doberman and he chases everything but he helped me feed the chicks twice a day and check on them in between and they became "his chickens" and now he goes out with them and will keep an eye on them. He will even break up the roosters when they start fighting over the girls lol.

    4. What is the best brown egg layer? Will the hens need a rooster in order to lay eggs? It depends are you looking just for eggs or would you like eggs and meat? For just eggs The Rhode Island Red is great. They lay well but are rather lean birds made more for laying than eating. I would suggest going to a hatchery website like www.welp.com and checking out the different types of birds you see there in the brown egg section. Find one that you like and that will suit your needs. They usually provide ratings with how good of a layer they are and what to expect as far as cold and heat tolerance and bird size. You don't need a rooster unless you want to let the hens hatch eggs or you have an incubator to hatch eggs yourself. This can be a good thing since when you start worrying that the girls are slowing down you can hatch out some new babies and then wala you have new babies to lay eggs for you once they grow up. If you're okay with ordering more birds as yours get older and are ready to retire than a rooster isn't a necessity though.

    Hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Ha! you can just forget about my post because this one is way more helpful!
     
  5. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good advice has already been given. For my part, I would like to welcome you into the BYC family. This is the place to go for everything fowl.
     
  6. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    There is a breeds page on this site that gives lots of info. Also, if your birds will be contained in the coop and run all the time with no free ranging, make both the coop and run as big as possible. The standard space requirements are 4 square feet per bird in the coop and 10 square feet per bird in the run. Bigger is always better and it is always better to have too much space than too little space. Research and read about coops/runs/etc before building hour coop or buying your birds!
     
  7. chickens usa

    chickens usa Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 26, 2011
    Hi.
    Thanks for all the good advice. I have a problem with my coop temperature. It's colder in the coop than outside by about 9 degrees. The coop has a tin roof so I put 1/2" foam board in the ceiling to insulate but it has made it colder. There an air space of about 6 " between the tin and foam. Has anyone every had this problem? The coop is off the ground about 18" could that be my problem? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  8. applefalls

    applefalls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2009
    Cockeysville, MD
    Is this temperature with chickens in the coop or without? I think you'll find that if the chickens are in the coop, it will be warmer in the coop than outside. I have a small, uninsulated, A frame tractor coop and when I reach inside to get eggs during the winter when the chickens are cooped up due to snow, it is toasty warm in there!
     

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