More questions from this chicken newbie + some coop photos

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Jody, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 8, 2009
    Epping, NH
    Well, I got my coop set up.. what a day of work.

    I cut corners as I have no $$ to buy lumber.. for nesting boxes, I used two milk crates with a space between them so that it's like having 3 boxes as I put wood over the space.. Is a milk crate too small?

    Here's photos of my poor mans special nesting boxes, lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ok.. next question...

    I put a perch in there for them too... After finally catching them as they ran all over the yard, I finally got them into the coop. I figured they were adjusting to their new home, but after waiting an hour they still have not perched nor went into a box? Do you think they don't like their nesting boxes and perch? They're just hanging around near the door looking out the little window. A couple of them did peck into the food though..

    Here's a pic of the perch.
    [​IMG]

    Here's a pic of the chickens hanging around on the floor under the perch
    [​IMG]


    Sorry for so many questions in a single post, but it's easier for me that way rather than posting numerous posts..

    I have a total of 3 chickens. How long should a 50lb bag of layer pellets last?
    How much grit do I give them? I bought a 5lb bag and spinkled a few handfuls into the food as well as sprinkled some around the floor.

    I'm concerned about pine shavings becoming a bigger expense than the food. I bought a big square bag.. guess it's called a bale.. I used about 1/4 of the bag on the floor. Do I clean all this out daily? How often do I change it? Or do I sort of try to just remove poop/dirty shavings to try to save some shavings? Considering that 1/4 of the bag covers floor, that means I'd need 7 and half bags per month if I have to clean this out daily.

    Next comes the straw.. I used 1 flake I guess it could be called, to fill the three nesting boxes. How often do I change this.


    Also, about treats like veggies, oatmeal, rice, bread, etc.. Do I build or buy a feeder for this, or would a bowl suffice?

    Thank you
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    They'll probably notice the roost and get up there at some point but you could also put them up on it until they get the hang of it. For grit, it might be better to have a separate bowl in which to offer the grit free choice - they can take it when they need it - rather than sprinkling it on the food. As for treats, any old bowl will do, or you can just put it on the ground - they'll enjoy picking through it. As for the pine shavings, you shouldn't need to clean them out and replace them every day - as you said, that would be cost prohibitive. Some people use the "deep litter method" (use the search function to read more about this) which means they only have to clean it all out once or twice a year. Alternately, you can just spot clean on a more frequent basis.
     
  3. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    best coast
    Okay, take a few deep breaths and I'll try to answer all your questions.
    Quote:Those look okay.

    Ok.. next question...
    I figured they were adjusting to their new home, but after waiting an hour they still have not perched nor went into a box? Do you think they don't like their nesting boxes and perch? They're just hanging around near the door looking out the little window. A couple of them did peck into the food though.

    They'll adjust soon.

    I have a total of 3 chickens. How long should a 50lb bag of layer pellets last?

    It really depends on a lot of factors.

    How much grit do I give them? I bought a 5lb bag and spinkled a few handfuls into the food as well as sprinkled some around the floor.

    Give them some free choice in a dish and they'll eat the amount they need.

    I'm concerned about pine shavings becoming a bigger expense than the food. I bought a big square bag. I used about 1/4 of the bag on the floor. Do I clean all this out daily? How often do I change it? Or do I sort of try to just remove poop/dirty shavings to try to save some shavings? Considering that 1/4 of the bag covers floor, that means I'd need 7 and half bags per month if I have to clean this out daily.

    You only need to clean it out about once a week although more often is better!

    Next comes the straw.. I used 1 flake I guess it could be called, to fill the three nesting boxes. How often do I change this.

    Whenever it gets poopy, muddy or generally a bit gross!


    Also, about treats like veggies, oatmeal, rice, bread, etc.. Do I build or buy a feeder for this, or would a bowl suffice?

    A bowl will do fine.

    Have fun raising chickens! They're great animals!​
     
  4. card5640

    card5640 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bangor area, Maine
    I would put some cardborad on the floor of the crates and out the shavings in there in place of the straw. If you have a poop catching tray installed under the roost bar it will keep the floor cleaner and I just scrap the tray every few days. I collect very dry leaves and pine needles and use them instead of straw on the floor, I do toss in some straw too. The roost bar looks a little thin. A 2x4 works great. They will settle in and do fine eventually, put a fake egg or two in the boxes so they get the hint.
     
  5. Jody

    Jody Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Epping, NH
    Quote:I did

    Quote:Cool.. I wondered about this myself.. I have HUGE piles of pine needles around here. [​IMG]


    Tomorrow I need to do more work on their home.. have to cut out some ventilation slots and build the run for them to come outside to play. I do plan on building them some regular nesting boxes, just not enough time nor wood to do so today.


    It was quite funny running all over the yard trying to catch them to put them inside.
     

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