New chicken owner with many questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dbmkay, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. dbmkay

    dbmkay Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Hello everyone! I have wanted chickens for awhile now and my husband finally built me a chicken coop! We bought four chickens off of Craigslist and everything is up and running! But now that they are here I have many questions! Like what kind of chickens did we buy as we didn't bother to ask. But the more I read the more I want to know! And now that they have been here for a day, there is already poop everywhere! So how do I clean my coop? Inside and out? I've read of the deep litter method but it's still a bit confusing. And should I pick up the poop outside of the "barn" where they walk around? Or should I just leave it? And darn it, when will I get my first egg? lol! I think that's what most of us get excited about when we purchase chickens! Hopefully I didn't buy a bunch of duds! Anyhow...here are some pics of my coop & my chickens. Please give me any advice you may have. I don't want to do my chickens wrong and I want to fix anything that may not be right!

    [​IMG] This is where they live! The gate (which is hard to see because of the sun glare) opens into a larger area that we open up for them during the day so they have room to roam!

    [​IMG] A closer view.

    [​IMG] The lay boxes.

    [​IMG] Our chickens!

    [​IMG] Another view...

    [​IMG] and another one....can you give me a guess on what kind of chickens I have? Three lay brown eggs & one lays white eggs...at least that's what the guy told us. I hope they still do!

    [​IMG] Inside the coop.

    [​IMG] Another view.

    [​IMG] The poop that is starting to accumulate in the coop.

    [​IMG] More poop. Should I scoop out the poop daily or just stir it in the shavings?

    Yesterday we realized they could fly to the top of the coup and fence so we clipped them so they can't fly. One thing we learned by "flying" by the seat of our pants with this! lol!

    ***UPDATE***

    [​IMG] Thanks to everybody for your awesome advice to this chicken newbie....we have added a roost. This angle is looking in from the top.

    [​IMG] and this is looking in and up from the outside of our coop where they walk in at.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  2. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    I'd get a different waterer....(you may have already been planning too) they'll knock it over, poop in it and you'll have to constantly be filling it.
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    What I do is stir it into the shavings, then add more shaving, sprinkle some DE on top, and change it all when it just gets too poopy. By then it's a nice thick layer though. I try to just do it once or twice a year. You can search on here for "deep litter method".

    Sometimes hens quit laying when they are moved. Also some take a break for winter and slow down a little in fall.

    Where are their roosts? Did I miss them?
     
  4. dbmkay

    dbmkay Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Yes, I am planning to get another waterer...next week when the restock them at our feed store!

    No, we have no place for them to roost! Ugh! I just thought we needed the boxes for them to lay eggs. Should we build some above the lay boxes? What exactly is a roost so we know what to build!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  5. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    DOn't put them above the nesting boxes unless you want to clean constantly (their droppings will be all over the place)
     
  6. rebecky1305

    rebecky1305 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    Lansing, MI
    Try to put a board under their roost. This will catch most of the poop and then you can just scrape off the board every few days. Keeps the rest of the coop clean longer. I put a few handfuls of litter on the board after I scrape it. Seems to work well for me.
     
  7. Louieandthecrew

    Louieandthecrew I am actually a female!

    Bad news : I'm almost possitive that two of those pretty chickens are roosters! That means NO eggs ever from them (But they will make your hens lay fertile eggs that will hatch if you let them!... I don't know how much you know about chickens so I'm just going all out! [​IMG]
    Good news : looks like you have two hens, one being a Leghorn! That means one eggs a day from her! The hens will start laying when they are 7 or 8 months old!
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:How much headroom would they have if you put board over the nest boxes and then they sat on the board? If there is enough room, what you can do is use that board as the "poop board" (do a search for poop board on this message board) and set a 2 x 4 turned so they sit on the wide part right on top of the board (just to have something to grasp onto and get off the poop).

    Then, they can stand out of their poop, and they will naturally gravitate to the highest point in the coop to sleep at night. The 2 x 4 is to keep their toes warm in the winter (their feathers cover their feet as they sit if the roost is wide enough).

    Please ask if you don't understand my post!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  9. dbmkay

    dbmkay Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Oh boy...we've been had! lol! I had a bad feeling about this person but it was close to home so that's where we got them. Kind of frustrating but that's what you get when you do something with little research. But they do entertain my children which is great! I have no idea how old these chickens are. Oh boy...I knew we should of driven the hour to the more reliable person!
     
  10. dbmkay

    dbmkay Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2010
    Quote:How much headroom would they have if you put board over the nest boxes and then they sat on the board? If there is enough room, what you can do is use that board as the "poop board" (do a search for poop board on this message board) and set a 2 x 4 turned so they sit on the wide part right on top of the board (just to have something to grasp onto and get off the poop).

    Then, they can stand out of their poop, and they will naturally gravitate to the highest point in the coop to sleep at night. The 2 x 4 is to keep their toes warm in the winter (their feathers cover their feet as they sit if the roost is wide enough).

    Please ask if you don't understand my post!

    There might be enough room...I will have to check. I think I understand your post...hubby wants to know if the roost has to be in the coop or can it be outside somewhere?
     

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