Need Suggestions & Advice - South Alabama backyard cooop - 6 - 10 hens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Shakey, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Shakey

    Shakey In the Brooder

    Nov 25, 2010
    Auburn, AL

    I am joining your group to learn about raising chickens. I had bantys as pets when I was a child, but can't remember much about the actual taking care of them. I would really appreciate advice on

    1) how close to the house can I put the coop?
    2) what is the best thing to use on the floor in south alabama? Sand?
    3) Would it hurt the hens to put a 1.5 foot wall around the bottom of the coop so that the hens won't be face to face with my dogs?
    4) Do the laying boxes have to be in an enclosed area, or can they be open on one side?
    5) any recommendations on best types of hens and how to get them??
    6) Preferences on buying live chicks vs. buying eggs to incubate?
    7) Suggestions on how to make the bottom perimeter of my coop impenetrable to predators.

    Thank you so much for any of your knowledge and expertise you care to share!


  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I will first say welcome to BYC

    1 How close will depend on where you live. if you have local zoning issues or laws, ohterwise place the coop where it is conveinient for you and yet still far wnough away to keep the flies out of your house.

    2. I don't know for sure I am in Washington state. I love sand in my run. I use straw in the coop.

    3. I have the set up just as you have described. it works wonderful for the short dogs, and not to bad for the Komondor. Plus it is cute. I can post pictures if you want.

    4.I have my nesting boxes in the coop, and I know a lot of others do to, but it may depend where you live. I would check with the group from Alabama

    5. What kind of hen will depend on why you want chickens. Do you want eggs, meat, both, showing, or just pets?

    6. For most starting out the easiest way is pick up 6 or more chicks this spring at the feed store. Then when you are ready and a bit more experienced get what you really want.

    7. There are a number of threads on BYC that will describe what others are doing for predator protection. Some of it will need to be regional specific.
  3. mgw

    mgw Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    Welcome from Eastern Wa. I agree with the advice justbugged gave you. Good luck with your chicken adventure.
  4. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.

  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Welcome to you. Glad to hear you're thinking about getting back into chickens. [​IMG]
    1. You can have your coop connected to your house if you want; if you clean daily, if they have ample space, and especially if the area is covered (so as not to get rained on a lot), smells are minimal.
    2. Many love sand. So you're talking an open air coop design, no enclosed housing section?? Then I'd think sand would work well. Having said that, I personally still think it's a good idea to have at least part of one end enclosed on three sides for blowing wind/rain issues. Plus it gives a sheltered area for the nest boxes (#4)
    3. Wouldn't hurt the hens, although you won't get to watch a lot of chicken tv. unless you're right there at the coop. I like being able to glance over from a distance and see my birds.
    4. Some birds will lay in open boxes, some may hold out for more secluded, secure looking ones
    5. Are you going for bantams again, or large fowl???
    6. If you incubate, you run the risk of ending up with a bunch of roosters, which you would have to kill or rehome most likely. Are you ready for that situation? You can order sexed chicks, and some places carry sexed chicks.
    7. The main thing I'll say here is to NOT use chicken wire. Use a sturdy type wire, and cover your run (w/roofing or sturdy wire). Use a wire skirt or bury about 1.5ft of wire around the bottom as well. If you're not using a housing, then your run/pen's construction will be highly important.
    Good Luck!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by