My first chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cjhixon, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. cjhixon

    cjhixon Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Bonsall, CA
    My wife came home to 4 baby chickens in her bathtub a couple weeks ago. [​IMG] I've been reading about it and talking about it for several weeks. I went by a local feed store just to look. The next thing you know I was leaving the store with 2 barred rock, 1 rhode island red, and 1 Americana. I live in San Diego so the weather is usually pretty nice but, we were having a lot of wind and rain so I put them in the bathtub lined with news paper. A space heater kept the room nice and toasty. We played with them constantly. Boy they grow fast. After a week it was time to move them out to the barn. Now they are in a 12x12 stall. I have a brooder lamp in the corner and a place for them to roost that's ony about 6-in high. They seem happy. During the day I open the door to a 12x12 outside pen so they can come and go as they please-at night I keep them in the inside stall. I've had coyotes in the barn hoping for a tasty meal at night; they've given up and focus on the rabbits that are so prolific around here. As soon as they are fully feathered, I'll move them out to the coop. Although I have some questions about that.

    The coop that came with the property is a circular wire fenced pen with an 8ft satelite dish for a roof. It has 4 elevated nesting boxes in it. That's it. There isn't really any place "indoors". I assume that this is okay for San Diego since the previous owner had chickens in there for years. What do folks think? The idea is that they spend the night in there and then free-range about the property during the day.

    Carl
     
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    Sounds drafty.
    Open pens are ok for mild climates; however, you do need to be able to keep the winter drafts off of them still. If they are moved in winter to the pen you probably would want to wrap the north westerly sides in plastic/tarp to keep the cold drafts off of them.
    Is this pen predator proof also? You may decide to do some upgrades on it.
     
  3. cjhixon

    cjhixon Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Bonsall, CA
    I am worried about the wind myself. The pen is definitely predator proof. It has a concrete footer around the permiter and double wire fenced sidings. I'll have to keep thinking about a clever way to make some indoor space for them. There is no hurry to get them out of the barn.

    Thanks for the reply,
    Carl
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Chickens have a lot more trouble with heat than cold. It sounds like a wonderful place for them. They need shelter from rain, of course, but they will appreciate any breeze in summer.

    They will be fully feathered around 8 weeks. In San Diego, I wouldn't worry much about a little wind on them, though of course a windbreak on the windward side would be nice. Perhaps a few bales of hay? Because you may well want to remove it in the heat of summer.

    I love the big old satellite dish!
     

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