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New Coop but so many questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pmanseenus1, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. pmanseenus1

    pmanseenus1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2012
    I have almost completed my chicken coop but I have a couple of questions. Please forgive my ignorance if my questions sound dumb, Im a newbie :)
    1. why do some people have a chain on their feeders? Can you just have it sitting on the floor or do you have to put it on chains?

    2. what to put on the floor? I have lined the inside with linoleum but I have heard that sand works good? But also some people say shavings or hay? Im confused as to what works best? Which is the easiest to clean and how often do you clean it?

    3. The door for them to go out into the run...if it is not automatic what time do you have to open the door each morning?

    4. What should be placed in the run? They will be in it most of the day while I am at work but will allow some free ranging when I get home.

    5. Is a door outside necessary in order to collect eggs? or if I have the nesting boxes inside the coop can I just go in and collect? and is it true not to put out nesting boxes til they are closer in age to start producing eggs?

    Whew Im sorry for the all the questions but any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
    [​IMG] Thanks
     
  2. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

     
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    1. I place my feeder on top of a cinder block. No need to hang it, you just need to get it up off the ground.

    2. The inside of my house has about 1 inch of pine shavings over a vinyl covered floor. About every other week I just open my large access door to the house and shovel out the used shavings. Then I replace with new shavings. The ground under the house and in the coop, as well as the run, is dirt covered in straw. Same concept as the shavings... shovel out soiled straw and replace with clean.

    3. We open the house door around 8 to 8:30. They put themselves away at sundown and then we close the door sometime before we go to bed.

    4. Again we use straw in the run. We also have the waterer in the run also on a cinder block. Some people place some a branch or perch bar in their run so they have something to jump up onto. They really don't need anything in the run. We just throw them some scratch or other food items so they have something to scratch at.

    5. You can have the nest box where ever you want it so it's convenient for you to get the eggs. We've never blocked off our nest boxes. Our hens have always found them to be the natural place to lay.

    One thing we do that you might think about is we confine them to the house portion of the coop for the first week outside. I think this helps them acclimate and imprint that the house portion of the coop is home.

    Click on my BYC page below for pics of my coop and run.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  4. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Placid, FL
    These are great answers and I will only add one thing. I think that using pine shavings in the coop is the best idea. I am one of those that cleans out the coop almost every day and I usually mix some DE with Seven dust into the pine shavings. It not only acts as a deterent to bugs but it makes clean up very easy. All I do is add some pine shavings once in a while. As for the floor of the run I can only recommend sand as it is very easy to keep the run clean and the chickens love it. I am concerned about using straw because of impacted crop.
     
  5. pmanseenus1

    pmanseenus1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2012
    Thanks so much for all the helpful information....Taking it all in
     
  6. pmanseenus1

    pmanseenus1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 27, 2012
    Ok so when you say you clean everyday do you just scoop out the poop parts and add some more shavings? And how much do you spend on shavings? I have a 7x6 shed converted into a coop for 9 chicks. And where can I purchase DE and Seven Dust, how much of that is used? Thanks for all the helpful info
     
  7. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Only gonna touch on a couple of the questions because you already have some good answers. The food/water should be elevated to keep them from getting as much stuff (shavings/sand and poop) as possible in them. On what time to let them out, way too early.
     
  8. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Placid, FL
    I go in the coop area every morning with two small garden shovels. Now maybe I am lucky, but my hens all roost in the same area and they poop directly below so all I do is scoop out the poop and a bit of the pine shavings comes along with it. I toss it in a pile and every once in a while I rake it into a big pile to break down and be used as mulch or fertilizer. The DE I get at any feed store and I buy it in large bags. Be sure you get food grade DE. Sevin can be purchased in any garden store. I mix it about 20 parts DE to one part Sevin and sprinkle it around the floor of the coop. Never had a problem with mites or any bugs in the coop and the pine shaving make it smell reall nice. I use a 2500 cubic inch size bag of pine shavings about every two weeks and I think that size bag costs about $3.00. If you are careful in cleaning the poop out you wont get much pine shavings waste. Me, I am always in a hurry but, at most, it only takes me about 30 seconds to clean. Initially I put about 4 inches of pine shavings on the floor of the coop and usually keep it that way. I like my system and if I need to skip a day or so it never gets too messy and is always easy to clean. I have a difficult time thinking about using the deep liter method even though a lot of people swear by it.
     
  9. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK... I'm confused! What is "way too early"?
     
  10. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I think he means the chickens like to be let out well before he likes to go and let them out. I used to let mine out around 7:00 AM when I was showered and ready for the day, but they would like to cackle at each other so I decided to wait until 8 or 8:30 to minimize noise to the neighbors.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

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