New here with lots of questions

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by FaithM, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. FaithM

    FaithM Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2013
    Hello everyone!

    I am new to BYC, but have been snooping around on here for a few days already and have found some very useful things! I'm not sure if I'm supposed to ask questions in this section, but I guess I'll find out!

    1. First of all, how much space do they really need in the coop? I plan on having a very large run, so I imagine that they really won't be spending that much time in the coop itself, right? I have no limits on space, only money.

    2. I will be moving to 4.5 acres soon, so the run can be as we have the money to make it. We do want it to be as cheap as possible though. I'm thinking of doing a circular run like this one. Do you think we could build it cost-effectively, or should we go smaller/more rectangular?

    3. Can different breeds/sizes live together pretty well, or do they need to be separated?

    4. Are there any tips you have for a first time chicken owner that you wish you would have known before you started?

    Thank you all so much! I'm looking forward to learning more!
  2. Teri Metcalf

    Teri Metcalf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2013
    College Station, Texas
    Greetings from Texas! We share a small motley flock of free range chickens with our neighbors (14 hens, 1 rooster). They include Easter Eggers, reds, whites, barred rock, buff orpington, and some mutts. They all get along together more or less, and seem to continually renegotiate the pecking order depending on age, seniority, breed, and who knows what. There is occasionally some bickering, bullying, pecking, and preening. But as far as I can tell, nobody has drawn blood on anybody else. A couple of times I've interfered to break up a bullying session. But as I say, ours are free-range, so there's plenty of room to share.

    Two of our new girls go into our henhouse at night, and we lock them up and then let them out in the morning. The rest go next door to sleep piled up together on top of an old chain link dog run, exposed to the elements and predators.

    You'll kind of have to figure things out as you go. I've found that it is pretty easy to train them to go to bed at night if they spend their early days and nights in the coop/henhouse. Good luck.
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome to BYC!
    They usually recommend about 4 foot of space per bird in the coop, a lot will depend on where you live and how much time the birds would have to spend locked in the coop in the winter.... if they can be outside all the time, then you don't need as much since they will probably only be inside to roost.
    That is a beautiful run, guess it would depend on how much of the material you would have to purchase, and if you can do the building yourself since a big part of the difference is going to be time/labor I would think. With that many acres, you might also want to consider some sort of portable run / chicken tractor, or electric poultry netting to make use of all the space you have.
    Not counting roosters, with mixed flocks really most standard breeds seem to get along OK as long as they have enough space. With sizes, I have bantams mixed with the standards and they do fine, but I would try to have more than one of a size, ie not just have one tiny bantam. The birds with crests like polish or silkies may have problems in mixed flocks with getting picked on and those do sometimes have to be separated.
    Check out The BYC Learning Center for sure, and believe in chicken math.
  5. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Overrun With Chickens

    May 31, 2013
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Good advice from Kelsie - welcome to BYC.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  8. All Henned Up

    All Henned Up Muffs or Tufts

    4 sq. ft. inside and 10 sq. ft. outside min. per bird. mixing breeds is ok as long as they are same age or size, when introducing new birds to the flock they will be picked on if smaller or younger.
    lots of people put another cage inside with new chickens inside it to protect them for a few days until they get used to there smell. always quarantine new birds away from existing flock until you are sure they aren't sick or have mites, lice and etc..
    Welcome and enjoy BYC
    Steve. :frow
  9. FaithM

    FaithM Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thanks for the advice, everyone! You all have been very helpful.
  10. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    :welcome Glad to have you join us!

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