New idea

unbaked pegga

Songster
6 Years
Nov 22, 2014
399
165
181
Mt Juliet Tn
I am thinking about brooding outdoors in my run but I need ideas on how to design the brooding area so I can be eye level with the chicks and not have to risk getting down on the ground and having a difficult time getting up, I don’t know if it is possible going into fall (if you can even find chicks now) my real concern is being able to bond with them. Do they have to be chicks in order to bond with them. I have 2 Orpingtons so I would need a run in which the Orpingtons can be around them to integrate with the new ones but not get to them. I am enclosing of the run, it is 4’x12’ Any thoughts would be welcome. I will have to get a handy man to build one or add onto the one I have
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    704 KB · Views: 16

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,846
21,981
907
Southeast Louisiana
Do they have to be chicks in order to bond with them.

No, with food and patience you can bond with older chickens, but it is easier if you start off when they are chicks.

I am thinking about brooding outdoors in my run but I need ideas on how to design the brooding area so I can be eye level with the chicks and not have to risk getting down on the ground and having a difficult time getting up,

I'm not sure how tall that run is. Can you stand in it without bending? How hard would it be to run electricity to it safely? How many chicks do you plan to help determine brooder size? How big is that existing coop in feet (I assume that is a coop)? It looks big enough to maybe put the brooder inside the coop. Your run is only 4' x 12'. That's kind of tight to add many more chickens. Not sure what you mean by enclosing the run? Is that going to be the coop and you will build another bigger run?

I'm not real comfortable that I know what you have or what your plans are so I'll try to be more generic. One big issue when brooding outside is temperature swings. The brooder needs to be set up so you can keep one area warm enough in the coldest weather and an area cool enough in the warmest weather. I do that by making it big enough and ventilating it well enough that by putting heat at one end the far end cools off to ambient temperature. My brooder is in the coop so wind isn't really a factor.

Another possible issue is rain. You do not want rain to get the chicks wet. Again, if you build it inside the coop that is not an issue.

To help with integration, you want at least one wall of the brooder to be wire so they can see each other. If you build it outside rain or wind may be an issue.

You want it at a comfortable elevation so you don't have to get down and get up. My knees certainly understand that.

My first thought is to hang a box under the run roof that takes care of rain and wind. Make the floor a convenient height for you. That 4' wide run does not give you much room to hang a box and get around it. Maybe put the brooder next to the coop and cut out the wall between the brooder and coop. That's where your wire wall would go.
 

unbaked pegga

Songster
6 Years
Nov 22, 2014
399
165
181
Mt Juliet Tn
Yes I understand. I don’t know quite what it is I am wanting myself. In the picture, the chicken coop is on the right. That I can stand up in. It is pretty good size. It has 2 roosts that run the length of the coop and 2 pretty spacious nest boxes on the front with a lift up lid. There is a door I can easily go through on the right side of the coop and on the left there is a small door that opens down and has steps, kind of like attic steps. The run is 4’ wide and 12 feet long. It has a corrugated metal roof put on it after struggling with vinyl for several how nice that roof is. No I can’t stand up in the run. I am bent st the waist. I rake it out every day and when I had 5 hens it was a job. But with only 2 there is less than half the cleanup as there once was. Someone here told me about having them brood with the he big girls outside but a chick is so delicate I was a little uncomfortable with that. I normally get the chickens I have bought about the first of April. Year before last I got four, one month old hens in February. That didn’t work out very well. I had them in the huge dog crates (2 per crate) in the garage and I kept a warming light near their cages and the all cozied up to it but I ended up losing all but one. I was planning on making the run twice as long and wide which would make it ‘8x24’ and maybe a door I could enter the run on one end and have some temporary fencing to separate the big girls from the little ones. They could look but not touch. They could get used to them over a period of time. I don’t know if I could afford to have a run built that I could stand up in. Yes to have them even close to my eye level in retrospect doesn’t sound like it can be done. Maybe I could bond with 5 more month old chicks wit patience and food as you said. I am outside most all day with my chickens in the summer. The 2 I have are still skittish and one of them is 4 1/2 years but I got them as juvenile hens. They were pretty good size when I got them. If I have any dusting for mites or giving meds I have to wait until they have been in bed a couple of hours because there is no way you can catch them during the day. I didn’t get to bond with them and I want to be able to with the next ones I buy. So if I have a hinged door on the end of the run that I could get through do you have any idea of what type of door I could put in the middle? Something that once they were integrated wouldn’t be in the way but could be used again for say a bully chicken. I hope I haven’t asked too many questions
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,148
33,656
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Why can't the run be built tall enough to walk in? Take off the roof/top covering and double the height of the walls, and that might be enough? I cannot imagine trying to maintain a run even that size, bent over.

I would also definitely increase the floor space in the run if possible, mainly because it's overall going to be small for integration and 4' is very narrow which will cause problems especially during integration. The overall small size of the run also restricts how much "clutter" you can add, to provide hiding spaces for new additions.

I do brood outdoors but I've only ever gotten chicks during late spring, when it's a little warmer (like 50 degrees+).
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,846
21,981
907
Southeast Louisiana
Thanks for that information, it helps me understand better what you want to do. Not that I have a lot of brilliant ideas, my situation is so different to yours that I doubt many of my ways would work for you. I still don't know how big that coop is, in feet, or how it is laid out inside. I tried to scale the length off the photo compared to the 12' run and I'm not sure it's as big as I came up with. I came up with an 8' long coop. That just doesn't feel right looking at those nests.

You are talking about five chicks already a month old. In Mt Juliet, if you wait until May to get them they should not need any heat. That eliminates one of my concerns. In Arkansas, I'd brood in the coop, taking chicks straight from the incubator to that brooder even when the outside temperatures were below freezing. You don't need to do that. Avoid it. That way, yours won't need brooding, just integrating. Integrating is where I see most of your issues anyway. That run is really small.

I don't know why you lost three of the four you tried brooding in the garage. If you feel you need to provide heat and you have electricity at the coop, you can do it out there, you will need a shelter for them anyway for integration. Or you could brood in the garage. If we knew what happened when you lost those three we may have suggestions on how to avoid that.

When integrating you might be able to section off a part of the coop, maybe using framing and chicken wire, to house the chicks. Or you could put a door in the far end of your run, fence off a section of your run (a 4' x 4' section would be enough), and put a shelter in there so they can sleep out of the rain. If your run is predator proof you can just use chicken wire, but you might want to lock them in the shelter at night if it is not.

I'd house them across wire fro at least a week, two might be better. Then I'd go with the safe haven/panic room concept. Out a hole in that wire big enough they can get through but small enough that the adults cannot. Then let them mingle as they will. after you are comfortable they will not be harmed by the two adults take he wire down. I don't use this concept but in your situation I think it might be a good idea.

If your coop is big enough you may be OK with seven chickens in there. It's not how much room is in the coop separate from how much is in the run, it's how much room total they have available. And the quality of that room. That's what Rosemary was talking about with clutter, do they have places they can hide behind. If you try this later in the year that outside area will be available every day all day. In the winter that may not be true. Your room is tight but not hopeless.

I don't bond with my chickens to the point I can just pick them up. Others do. If I were to try that I'd bring a chair and read a book around them. Bribe them with food to keep them close. Don't try ti pick them up from overhead (they think that's a hawk) but pick them up from the side. Be patient and let them come to you. It's not going to be a one or two day thing it will take time.

Good luck with it.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
18,344
67,956
1,167
SE Missouri, USA
Good for you! One thought: you should not have to wait several hours after your chooks have gone to bed to handle them even if they are not bonded to you. DH and I wait until ours are well roosted, shortly after dusk, and then go out and check on them, clip their wings, or whatever we need to do. I recently purchased a $2 LED head lamp at Walmart that leaves my hands free and keeps the birds pretty much in the dark so they don't get too agitated. Works great! Good luck!
 

unbaked pegga

Songster
6 Years
Nov 22, 2014
399
165
181
Mt Juliet Tn
Good for you! One thought: you should not have to wait several hours after your chooks have gone to bed to handle them even if they are not bonded to you. DH and I wait until ours are well roosted, shortly after dusk, and then go out and check on them, clip their wings, or whatever we need to do. I recently purchased a $2 LED head lamp at Walmart that leaves my hands free and keeps the birds pretty much in the dark so they don't get too agitated. Works great! Good luck!
I think they pick up on my nervousness in handling them. But they don’t like being bothered and Orpingtons are such a docile breed. They are very sweet unless you even act like you might reach them they are off like a rocket. I don’t know if they were traumatized before I got them but the first time I tried to pick one up it was Katy bar the door. And after chasing them until I was about to keel over she stopped, probably to catch her breath and when I reached down and picked her up I didn’t have one wing real good and she started squawking and flapping that wing and wriggling until I just turned her loose. Now even if I go in the coop late at night to give them a shot (for example) my blood pressure goes up even. And I was a calm and steady nurse before I retired. Now I have ptsd
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,157
138,537
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I think they pick up on my nervousness in handling them.
Absolutely.
..and it's pretty hard to calm yourself with a flapping bird in your arms,but it can be done.
Handle them more often, off the roost at night, just holding them for a minute.
Touching them, talking softly(to calm them and you) then back on the roost, practice for you and the birds.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
18,344
67,956
1,167
SE Missouri, USA
@aart is absolutely right. You might try going out every night, when you don't have to give a shot or do anything to them, and just touch each one lightly on the back, then you're done. When you and they are comfortable with that, try giving each one a few strokes down their back. Next, try putting your hands on them *as if* you were going to lift them like a football, enclosing both wings, gently but firmly, just so they get used to the feel of your hands around them, just for a moment. This might take many days, even weeks. The point is that you reduce your anxiety, as well as theirs. Eventually you will feel brave enough to lift one, wings firmly enclosed, and tuck her under your arm, like a football, while you treat or examine her.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom