Longtime reader - now dream is reality

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Fringe, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Fringe

    Fringe Chirping

    Aug 23, 2014
    I've been reading on this website for a longtime (and dreaming) and now it's happened. Coop is in building mode right now and in a few weeks or so I plan on having 3-4 laying hens!

    My mother's family raised a large (back then) flock for egg production. My father's family had enough layers to supply the family with eggs to eat, some to sell and for Sunday dinner. I remember as a kid helping my grandparents collect and grade eggs. My parents (now in their 80's) are cracking up (pun intended) over the fact that I'm getting chickens. I guess the "egg" doesn't fall far from the chicken!

    I will certainly post these questions on the proper forums but figure I will throw them out here also.

    Anyone have any suggestions/advice on the interior layout of a coop and what they would or wouldn't do. The footprint of my coop is 4x5 and about thirty inches off the ground (bad back, easier to clean - no stooping). On one end will be 3 nesting boxes with a flip down, latching side. In each one will be a plastic tub type tray with bedding for easy cleaning and access. On the other end is the pop door to an outside coop area that is completely enclosed. On the third wall will be a poop shelf under a roost, each removable for easier cleaning. Under the shelf will hang the feeder and possibly the waterer. This wall will have a big door that opens to the floor for easy access to coop/feeder/waterer and cleaning as I'm going to use the deep litter method.

    No real pictures to show yet but wondering if this sounds like a good setup? I've read of many people lining floor with linoleum? I've also read of some people using waterbased roof sealer? I live in cold and windy CT. Do I need to caulk and seal up every crevice? I have 3 windows and some vent holes that can all be opened safely.

    My last question - I'm planning on buying pullets. I have the name of a guy that seems to be a reputable breeder. Is there any way to tell a pullet from a hen that might be a bit past her prime? I could obviously be easily duped on this.

    So there is is! After 50 years I finally get my chickens! Never too late, right? It's just a number. At least that's what I tell myself some mornings. LOL!

    Thanks so much and I look forward to "meeting" many of you!

  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop

    Glad you've joined the flock!
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    It sounds like you have a wonderful coop set up planned. Your ideas sound perfect. The things I would point out are just to make sure there is ventilation and enough nest boxes. (2 for every 2-3 hens.)

    Pullets are easily recognized as they are smaller and their combs and wattles are paler and smaller. When they reach the laying age their combs and wattles will get big, glossy and red and they preform the egg squat.

    Here are some good pic differences
    Buff orp hens
    Buff orp pullet

    Feel free to ask any other questions!

    Good luck and best wishes!
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Because you live in a cold climate, I would suggest you build your coop tall and keep the roost bars low to the floor. The reason behind this is that when chickens sleep, they release a LOT of moisture through pooping and breathing. This warm moist air needs to go somewhere and of course because it is warm, it will go up. If you have a low ceiling or they are roosting high, this moisture is doing to fall right back down on them as frost or water making them very cold. You will also want plenty of ventilation in your eaves or ceiling for this moisture to go out of. I had a tiny coop similar to yours when I first started with not enough vent space in the ceiling. When it got down below zero, frost was forming everywhere and the birds were getting frost bite.

    So there needs to be plenty of space between the heads and the ceiling and somewhere around 1 square foot of venting per bird in your ceiling. And no matter how cold it is, these or most of these needs to stay open. You are not trying to hold heat in, as the birds themselves can release enough heat to keep each other warm. The venting is there to get the moisture out. And you don't want them up near it with the moving air.

    So roosting low in quiet air, moist warm wet air rises and gets sucked out the venting and your birds will stay incredibly warm and dry. I moved my girls into a new coop with an 8 foot ceiling and never once have I had another case of frost bite.

    Good luck on this new adventure and welcome to our flock!
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  7. Fringe

    Fringe Chirping

    Aug 23, 2014
    Thanks for the welcomes!

    TwoCrows. Very interesting information. I kept wondering why all or most of the coop plans I was looking at had what seemed such large spaces at the roof. You've just answered that question. So the ceiling height from the floor of coop is going to be almost 6' at the tall end (sloped roof). The nesting boxes will be at floor level with a divider and then the roost will be along a different wall than the nesting boxes and I was going to put it 18" off of the floor. So that should be more than enough height to the ventilation area. Plus I will have 3 windows that can be opened if needed.
    This is wonderful information you've given me! More food for thought! I still have time to make changes.
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
  9. arkansas55

    arkansas55 Chirping

    Aug 23, 2014
    hello[​IMG],sound's amazing and i just learned alot,thank's Mountain Peep's,my Buff's look just like your's! also thanks TwoCrows,great info,hubby did exactly what you described!,i'm so learning alot,andFringe i too finally have chicken's again in my 50's,so i feel your happiness!
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    2Crows gives excellent advice, and your plans sound great. If you think at all, that you may want more birds in the future- it's easiest to just make the coop larger now. Otherwise you will need an addition or a second coop later.

    Glad you joined the flock

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