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My small poultry setup

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by draag80, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2016
    Islamabad Pakistan
    Hi Everyone. This is my first post on backyardchickens. I am from Islamabad Pakistan. Since a long time I wanted to have a small scale poultry setup at my home. I always thought its a good source of food and secondly chickens are fun to have. They dont let u get bored. But I did not have any backyard land. I live in an urban area so I had to dedicate my front lawn section to the project.


    At the beginning I had plans of 30 hens and 5 roosters. However, just one more , just on more eventually hijacked my mind and I ended up having 150 with approx 135 hens and 15 rooster. But it was a huge mistake and I soon realized it. I did not have prior experience of poultry so I did not know its really a science to keep hens healthy and happy. you really have to understand the dynamics and be a psychiatrist to keep the hens stress free and productive.

    [​IMG]

    The portion of the lawn near the small wall was selected for the hen house.

    [​IMG]

    Another view of the selected area.

    [​IMG]

    The Raw Material

    [​IMG]

    After two months of hard work I finally managed to construct the Hen House.

    [​IMG]

    The Hen house was finally completed. Initially I bought 2 months age of chicken. Some of the hens started laying after a month. Others are coming on laying stage with the passage of time.

    [​IMG]

    The inside view

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    Early morning.

    [​IMG]
    panoramic view.


    Initially I brought 45 hens. But later on added more in 3 different stages. I did not realize the mistake I was making at that time. When I brought them they were weak and stressed out and it was really cold. So an outbreak of IBV broke out in the flock. With good care only 2 hens were lost. The others recovered and became healthy. I was happy that I most of them survived. As they became healthy severe pecking order problem broke out. Every morning I used to find one or two hens severely injured and bleeding. I still have that problem as depicted in the picture below. I had to shift the injured ones in seperate room in the backside of the house.

    [​IMG]

    An injured hen with her back side almost eaten.

    I spent almost US$ 1500 on the construction inlcuding the cost of the chickens. But now this hobby is turning into a nightmare. I did not think in my wildest dream that hens actually do kill each other.

    Currently I get about 30 eggs daily. Some of the chickens have not matured yet but I think stress and severe pecking problem is also keeping the newer hens to lay eggs.

    I will share some more pictures and detail of my design if anyone is interested. Its all constructed out of heavy metal coz wood does not survive here due to termites.

    Also please help me in getting the fighting and cannibalism down. What steps can I take to reduce these evil habits.
     
  2. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Florida
    Hi! Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]135 hens and 5 roos sounds pretty hard for beginners.

    Cannibalism is probably due to too many hens and not enough space. I've seen hens cannibalize each other, so I know how awful it is. :/
    Also, boredom can cause that. Try hanging broccoli or cabbage in their area for them to peck at (careful where you hang it, you the last thing you need is hanged chickens).
    Here's a great article by @Mountain Peeps for preventing boredom in winter (but of course you can use it all year long)
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/tips-for-preventing-chicken-boredom-in-the-winter

    Good luck!
     
  3. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2016
    Islamabad Pakistan
    HI Silkiecuddles. Thanks for the reply. Its actually 135 hens and 15 roosters [​IMG].

    Yes cannibalism is awful. I spent so much energy and time in saving the chickens from viruses and cold weather only to find out that eventually they will start attacking each other. Its depressing. But its actually my faulty not the chicken's. I over crowded the coop. Now I have dedicated the lawn to them also so they have ample space now.

    One of my hens have become broody and I let her sit on 16 eggs 1 week ago in a seperate secure room. I know this question must have been asked a thousand times before, but do I need to vaccinate the naturally hatched chicken for Mareks, NDV and IBV.

    My flock is vaccinated for all above viruses. There is presence of Mareks in the flock coz two of the hens became depressed, stopped eating and became weak and mareks took them. All others are healthy active and imune. but what about the chicks ?
     
  4. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2016
    Islamabad Pakistan
    A little video review of my Hen house.



    Please pardon my spoken english.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. HiddenFlockEC

    HiddenFlockEC Out Of The Brooder

    Welcome Draag80,
    Not sure what run dimensions you have for that many birds but I think the recommended space per bird is 10 square ft in a run.
     
  6. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2016
    Islamabad Pakistan
    my posts are not showing in the forum. I dont know where they are getting lost.

    Also shared a video link of my chicken house which also hasnt showed up [​IMG]
     
  7. potato chip

    potato chip Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    You've got a link to your youtube video in post #4. Are you refreshing your web page? That could be why you are seeing a previous version.

    You certainly didn't go into chicken keeping by halves, did you? They certainly made light work of removing your lawn. :D

    I saw a post/recommendation recently where somebody watched who was doing the attacking and removed the aggressive ones. Unfortunately I can't remember the specifics. It could be they are just overcrowded, as suggested.
    EDIT: I like the part in your video around 2.15 where you go "hello girls" and one of the chickens sticks her face up and at the camera. It's cute.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  8. draag80

    draag80 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2016
    Islamabad Pakistan
    Thanks Potato chip,

    Yes the link has showed up after a few hours.

    about the lawn, lol yes they have made it barren as a desert. There is plenty of fertilizer(poop), plenty of sunshine these days and I water it daily but the grass isnt getting green.

    The cannibalism has certainly reduced alot after I gave them some free space to roam around.

    As regards the video, you wont believe when I get home from office they all gather around me as if they recognize me and if a stranger comes in the house they start giving warning signs and run away lol. Seems like chickens do recognize the owner and can feel the love and care.

    When it comes to keeping something alive in the house, I do as much care for them as I do for my self and family. Otherwise I dont keep them at all.

    I remember one of the hens got severely injured by pecking. I shifted her to a room at backside of my house. It was cold and I kept the heater on for only one hen for 14 days which cost me may be 20 times more than the cost of the hen. But I take them as beautiful creation of God and I am responsible for their care. cant just leave them to die.

    I will share details of my hen house soon.
     
  9. potato chip

    potato chip Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    In the first photos it looks lovely, sitting out there having tea. Then the people went away and the chickens took over. LOL

    It won't grow while they are using it. Fresh chicken poo is caustic, it'd burn any blades that popped up and weren't immediately nibbled away by a chicken.
     
  10. silkiecuddles

    silkiecuddles FortheLoveofSilkies

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Florida
    Oh wow.
    Personally, I'd remove those eggs and stop the incubation process unless you know someone who wishes to buy chicks or chickens from you. Not to sound harsh, but I think the last thing you need is 16 more chickens, at chick stage. :)
    I don't vaccinate my chickens or chicks, as preference, but if you have it present in your flock you may need to.
    As soon as a chick steps onto the dirt it will began building immunity to diseases that are living in the dirt (good as a vaccine, IMO; of course I know many others would disagree.) That's one reason id recommend putting a clump of the dirt into a brooder if it's raised or indoors.
    Typically older chickens don't get Mareks. Chicks and juvenile are more susceptible to it.
    Also, I'd do as potato chip said and watch for the chickens that are doing the cannibalizing. At this point you'd be saving more lives by disposing/selling the meanies.
     

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