long awaited chicken mama. information overload

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by kptwin, May 21, 2016.

  1. kptwin

    kptwin Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there new flock friends,

    I live in a small coastal town in central CA. The weather is relatively mild. Summer yields fog until early afternoons then mid 70-s to 80's. Winters drizzly, however minimal rainfall thanks to el nino.
    After 5 years of begging for chickens and making no headway with my husband, he started working with 2 men who had backyard chickens and voila! (insert loving eye roll [​IMG]).
    I am now the proud mama to 5 chicks. 1 is 6 weeks old, the other 5 weeks.
    After much research here, I opted to have it built vs kit. While as an ER nurse I can put people back together, I have no ability in construction but finally found an experienced coop builder. I have spent hours scouring the forums and reading several books. I am having a 4x6 raised coop with a 10 foot wire meshed run. Run will be covered. Additional square footage will be available as the coupe with be enclosed . Mesh will be buried as we have the sneakiest raccoons ever and a boxer who's attempt at playing with likely result in dead chickens.

    I am using pine shavings in my brooder. Stinky (although indoor laundry room probably doesn't help) after 3 days. I pick out as much poo as possible with a cat litter scooper daily but still find myself needing to completely change it after 3 days. I also note a lot of wasted chicken food/scratch even though I have the feeder raised as they grow.

    I have read tons about coop bedding and little about runs, and perhaps I am now on information overload. Please just help me out with this one in new to chicken raising language. :) I am leaning towards the deep bed method but am not currently composting and taking on both new projects seems overwhelming. Is there a suggestion on how to prep both coop and run flooring/base? I have read mostly suggestions on coop. I have three children and a full time job which definitely means I need the most efficient methods.

    Would it be better to post this separately in a different thread?

    I have fallen in love with my chicks and want to take the best care of them as possible.


    Thanks so much.
    kptwin
     
  2. kptwin

    kptwin Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2016
    And the family photo!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. kptwin

    kptwin Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2016
    Is this post moderator approved? Can't tell from mobile.[​IMG]
     
  4. ADuckOnQuack

    ADuckOnQuack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it is
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and [​IMG] - glad that you have joined us. Possibly the best place to post your question is the "Coops and Runs" forum. I personally use dry grass clippings and leaves as my bedding for the coop - about 6 inches deep and rake it over every day (5 seconds job) and change it totally every 4 months or so.

    Best wishes
    CT
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    what beautiful chicks you have. Have you checked out the coops section - some have plans to go with it and step by step descriptions that your builder could follow. It's generally best to build larger than you think you need. Chickens are very addicting and soon you will want more and more. This is perfectly normal behavior for chicken folks and to be encouraged. We will never say you have to many.

    A covered run can provide some shelter from rain, snow, hail as well as keep out climbers, jumpers, and raptors. Please know that chicken wire ONLY keeps chickens inside. It does NOTHING to keep predators out. The gold standard of wire fencing is 1/2" hardware cloth to back windows, or other fencing so raccoons etc. cannot reach in the bite off body parts. They are one of the very worst predators. Running hardware cloth from ground up 18-24" inside your run perimeter will keep your chickens a lot safer. But has to be securely affixed to frame with more than plastic ties.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    PS some chicken folk like to toss some PDZ(I believe it's called) around coop to keep down odors. It is a product used in horse stalls.
     
  8. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    drumstick diva is right about PDZ, love that stuff. Read up on the DLM, I was torn between the sand & DLM, leaning towards the sand but someone peeped in, noticing I'm in Hawaii (rain & humidity) suggested DLM. I'm so glad I went that route! Also glad I learned about a "poop board" under the roost, makes cleaning so much easier. Yup, there's a lot of reading but so much valuable information with great help from the BYC members :)

    Chickens are addicting! They are my Pets with Benefits = entertainment, bug control, stress relief & eggs!
     
  9. kptwin

    kptwin Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2016
    Thank you!
     
  10. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     

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