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New member and soon to be chicken owner here!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ktmikal, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. ktmikal

    ktmikal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Hey everyone! I'm Mikal, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO. I've been doing research for about 6 months on this site to prep myself to raise chickens. Thanks everyone for the fantastic advice that I've stumbled across, btw! I have a few questions and would love if someone could help me out. [​IMG]

    I just placed an order for 12 pullets, and I should have the lovely ladies on February 10th! I'm so excited. I'll have 4 Golden Sex Links, 2 Easter Eggers, 3 Anconas, and 3 Black Australorps. I'm considering going organic, but I'm concerned about the babies not having antibiotics in their food. Thoughts on chick feed with/without antibiotics? Also would a full size feeder be okay, so I'm not spending money on two? I'll get a baby waterer for them though.

    I'm still working on building the coop for my gals, and I have a few questions. I'm trying to be thrifty when building and any suggestions will help. I got some left over scrap 1x1 boards and was wondering if that would work for roosts or if they'd have a hard time holding on because they aren't rounded.

    I'm also considering doing my composting at the far end of their run (about 10 ft from the coop), so the ladies can assist in my efforts. I've read that you should compost near their housing though due to rodents and what not. Thoughts?

    I also live in an area with foxes, so they won't have free range of the yard unless I'm there to supervise. I'm concerned about foxes digging into the run. Would it be a bad idea to line the entire bottom with hardware cloth? I plan on putting river sand in the run over top the hardware cloth though. Any drawbacks here? I'm trying to avoid digging into the ground to bury the chicken wire/hardware cloth.

    Thanks in advance everyone! I look forward to exploring the community more and learning fun stuff! As soon as I get the babies I'll post some pics!

    -Mikal
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Hi Mikal and welcome to BYC/Chicken raising!

    I have 2 x 4 roosts for my flock (along with various other roosts) and they seem to prefer the 2 x 4s Also during the winter it helps to have soemthing that wide to roost on and keep their feet warm.

    My thoughts on lining the bottom of their run with hardware cloth-how easy will it be to clean? We live in the country and the best deterient we have is our dog patrolling outside and locking them up at night securely.

    Full size feeder-is it low enough that the chicks can eat out of it?

    Good luck and let the chicken math begin!!!
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Mikal, and [​IMG]! Great to have you here! Medicated vs. Unmedicated....there have been many long discussions on BYC on that topic - each side adamant about their belief. You might do a search in the search bar above - type medicated vs. unmedicated and read the responses. It might help you with your decision.
    My opinion on roosts is that 1X1s aren't wide enough for them to secure a proper perch. I know a lot of folks head out and cut down straight saplings or branches - may 1.5 or 2" in diameter and use them as roosts - birds don't seem to mind and it's free!
    Compost...I compost outside the run but my birds range and frequent it and keep it turned. I think rodents will visit it in the run - but a chicken will make short work of a mouse if given the chance.
    Predators...yes - hardware cloth is the answer - I know you don't want to dig but burying it around the perimeter works well. Also run it up the sides of the run about 18" to keep raccoons from reaching and snatching a bird and eating it right through the wire (gruesome). Or, you can so as you say and cover the bottom with HW sloth. That might be a little $, however. Not sure if foxes are the digging type. Don't have many in my neck of the woods.
    Good luck to you and have fun on your poultry adventure!!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2012
    SW Ohio
    Hello and welcome from Ohio....so glad you joined BYC. Cant wait to see pics of your new babies
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
     
  6. ktmikal

    ktmikal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thank you so much for your input!! Now that I'm thinking about it, the ones that I have might be 2x2s. I'll do some measuring and see. Do you put your 2x4s so they are standing on the 4inch part or 2 inch part?

    The cleaning was kind of my concern on using hardware cloth along the bottom. I was thinking maybe a 2 inch or so layer of river sand on top to aid with that. I wish I could convince my dog (Titan, a french mastiff) to stay outside as a coop guard, but he feels like as a member of the family he's entitled to sleep in his posh bed next to me. Haha! My other dogs (Peabody, a 3lb chihuahua) would be fox food himself. He might could even be chicken food!

    The feeder would just be sitting on the ground of the brooder until they are bigger, and I can hang it.

    Thanks again for your advice!

    -Mikal
     
  7. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Oct 3, 2011
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    My Coop
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!! Glad you joined.
     
  8. ktmikal

    ktmikal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thanks for the advice! Foxes are for sure the digging type. They are also agile like cats and happily run across the fence. They are a strange mix of almost dog and cat. Lucky for me though they eat all the mice in the field behind my house! Since they are happy to jump and are regular old acrobats, I'll be fully enclosing the run. There may also be coyotes and hawks. No racoons or other predators are a concern (unless someone in east colorado springs knows better..please let me know).

    After a quick search it looks like I've got a lot of reading to do on chick feed. Good thing I've got a couple of weeks!

    -Mikal
     
  9. ktmikal

    ktmikal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thank you so much! I look forward to being a part of the BYC community!
     
  10. ktmikal

    ktmikal Out Of The Brooder

    90
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    Dec 27, 2012
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thank you thank yoU!
     

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