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New Chicken "Farmer" in New Jersey

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FarmerFamer, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. FarmerFamer

    FarmerFamer In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2017
    Medford, NJ
    My wife and I recently decided to raise some chickens. On youngest is off to college in the Fall and while we thought we'd be empty-nesters soon, we'll have a 'nest' full of chickens in the backyard to look after now. Our town only allows a maximum of 9 chickens, so that's what we got: 3 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Plymouth Rocks and 3 Gold Laced Wyandottes.

    So far, the chicks are doing great and will be 4 weeks old next week. They loving life in a large dog crate, which I've outfitted with a roosting bar and have them drinking from a nipple water on two old bicycle water bottles. Building a portable run out of PVC pipe is on this weekend's to-do list and a coop we ordered from a local builder should arrive in a week or so.

    Debating whether to do sand or straw in the enclosed run area of our coop. Pros can cons for both, I know, but we're leaning toward straw. Any suggestions? We're read a lot on this subject, but haven't made a final decision yet. But with the coop arriving in a week or so, if we do sand, I'd like to get it most of it down before the coop goes in.

    BTW...This site has been a great resource for us. We've learned so much here already.

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - great that you have joined us. You seem to have made some good breed choices - I'm sure you will enjoy your flock tremendously.

    As to your question re: run bedding - this link of a search may help - https://www.backyardchickens.com/newsearch?search=run+bedding

    If you need any further advice, I'd suggest checking on this forum - https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

    You may wish to consider joining your state thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread#post_3239224

    All the best
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, FarmerFamer, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our community! CTKen gave you some awesome links so I will just say best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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

    So glad you could join our community!

    As with everything there is pros and cons to everything. Straw is nice when it is new, it smells good, keep the floor and coop warm, it's a wonderful insulator on the floor. However it is not absorbent and when wet, it mats and stinks.

    Sand is very absorbent, clean, repels flies, easy to maintain and stays dry when wet, however it is very dusty and dirty. In the winter the floor stays very cold. It is also a heavy material to strip out of the coop and run.

    I have used wood shavings, grass hay, sand and wood chip mulch. Shavings are nice but expensive and nasty when wet. Grass hay was one of my favorite beddings, however my birds stood around and ate it all day long! LOL I used sand for YEARS but just recently I got tired of the dirt and dust. I mean when the wind blows, it's filthy everywhere. So now I am giving the wood chip mulch a try. So far I LOVE it! But I have heard it needs to stay dry or it will harbor all kinds of disease and such.

    There is no perfect bedding out there, but some things work better in certain areas and certain back yard conditions than others. I suggest you give them each a try and decide on which one works best.

    Good luck and welcome to roost! :)
  5. FarmerFamer

    FarmerFamer In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2017
    Medford, NJ
    Thanks for the info! We're thinking about wood shavings in the coop (5'x6') and possibly doing hay or straw in the run area, but I may have to consider putting a roof on the run (which I'm thinking about doing any way) to keep things somewhat dry. We used sand for a while in our brooder box and like you said, it is very dusty. I'd change the sand outside - where I kept the clean sand - and it did stay somewhat cold, even after being in the house. Decisions, decisions...
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I use a roof over my run. It really helps to keep out the weather for the most part. I will even hang tarps on the sides to keep out snow and huge torrents of water if a big weather event is due in. Roofs are fabulous!
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under FarmerFamer [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some good advice and links to some great starting points, I will just wish you all the best.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    If you would like to share pictures and stories of your flock, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out [​IMG]

  8. RodNTN

    RodNTN Hatchaolic

    May 22, 2013
    Serving Jesus
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I am glad you joined us! Best wishes!
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  10. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    As you can see, there are no "one size fits all" answers...do whatever works best for you.

    Thanks for joining us!

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