New chicken keeper in michigan

ckalisz

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
31
0
22
Little background, we have lived in our home for 4 years now and for 4 years my wife n twins wanted chickens. Why you ask? Well because our new home had a coop and run already on it.

Well I've been anti chicken because of "all the work". We already have 2 dogs 2 cats and 2 fish tanks and I didn't want another "pet" to take care of. Well this winter my neighbor went out of town for 10 days and asked if I'd get the eggs from his chickens while he was gone. Well those were his only instructions. Ever couple days grab eggs. No need to feed. No need to water. No coop to clean. Heck that's easy. Well as of a week ago we hatched 8 baby chicks and bought 4 more from tsc.

I've been reading away on here and the web learning every thing I can. So far the coop and run have been mended. I'll be building nesting boxes next week.

Couple of questions:
1. At what age are the chick a little less skittish? If I lay my hand in coop with food they will run right up n eat but if I try to pick one up the chase is on. Or if I walk past the brooder they run to the other side.

2. My coop had an enclosed run attached. Even has netting over top. Do I need a door where the birds enter and exit the run from the coop or can I just leave an opening there.

I ask because I will allow them to free range most days an didn't want to have to chase them into the run and coop and have to close two different doors. Or can I put like a pet door or plastic flap there to help with drafts and they can come and go as they please


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drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium member
10 Years
Aug 26, 2009
125,959
178,807
1,857
Out to pasture
Chickens generally have a pop door in one side of the coop and come and go into their run as they please. They soon learn to return to the coop at dusk, then you should close the door securely for protection from predators that all "love" chicken for lunch.

If you intend to free range to have to expect losses to predators from the ground and the sky., sometimes even 2 legged predators who appreciate free chickens.
 

darren

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 13, 2012
20
1
26
I'm in Michigan also I'm using a Chuxaway automatic door opener
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might also like to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping and there are several in the Raising Chicks section on taming or socializing chicks. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
What you will want to do with the coop/run openings depends on what sort of predator problems you have, X2 everything likes to eat chickens as mentioned, and they are very vulnerable at night since they don't really react. Most people will close the coop itself up, but if you have a secure run or have predators under control it can be left open (netting is not going to stop any predators except flying ones). The chickens will learn pretty quickly to put themselves to bed at night even when free ranging, so you shouldn't have to chase them down.
And it is always fun to check out your state thread for chicken keeping neighbors https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697050/michigan-thread-all-are-welcome/0_20
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
41,107
62,460
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

I don't trust automatic door openers, being the worry wart that I am!! LOL So I do it the old fashioned way and close my birds in at night. Even though my run is built like fort knox, I still close them in at night. But there are some nice auto doors out there and some people swear by them. It is a personal choice really. Just make sure nobody gets locked out at night when the door closes.

Great to have you aboard and enjoy your poultry adventures!
 

darren

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 13, 2012
20
1
26
Yeah my birds aren't in a run fenced in yard with pit bull .dog house is next to coop
 

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