New member, new chicks, old coop...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nothingman, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. nothingman

    nothingman New Egg

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    Jun 23, 2010
    I have moved on to a piece of land currently owned by a family member who is letting us set up our own homestead here. He currently has old chickens who are going in the pot soon, and I'm picking up my batch of day-olds next week. The problem is, I'm not happy with the set up he used for his chickens and he's not happy with us changing too much of the basic infrastructure. I also hate how dirty everything currently is.

    With the current batch of 3yr olds the barn door is opened in the morning, chickens have the run of 150 acres of land, they're roosting by 7pm and he hasn't lost a chicken in years, probably helped by a couple of guard dogs. I would love it if our chicks can free-range as healthily as the current batch

    The barn
    [​IMG]

    Getting closer
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    The front of the barn, the main front doors and the door in this shot are closed at night. The flooring in here is full of dustbath holes, the current batch seem to spend the majority of the day in here.
    [​IMG]

    The barn proper. Has housed horses in the past, will house my two Nigerian Dwarf buck goats in here. The chick coop is on the left enclosed by that plastic sheeting just in shot
    [​IMG]

    The coop
    [​IMG]

    Okay, okay. The set up. The fencing splitting the coop in two has a gap at the back for the chickens to pass from one side to the other. I want to remove the divide completely but he wont let me. I can close the gap if I want though. I am going to get those darn nesting boxes out of there. They're filthy and not used anyway. The few eggs we manage to find are either in the corner of the coop or behind the barn door. My new boxes will be raised off the ground behind some of those 2x4's on the right. I'm thinking of snipping a bit of the fencing to make them accessible from outside the coop too.

    Now then, can anyone give me any good suggestions on how to set up this coop. We're getting 21 pullets, 2 roo's. Would you close the walk-through and keep the roo's seperate in their coops even though they will be free-range all day long, or let all chickens mix it however they want? How high from the ground can the nesting boxes and roosts be? If the nesting boxes can be set up above the roosts that would give me a lot more space to get in there and move around.

    The current batch are also barely given any chicken feed. They get a scoop every now and again in a feed trough on the floor of the coop, and they get some leftovers, but that's it. Just how advisable is that for our new batch?

    Thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. nothingman

    nothingman New Egg

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Some more searching tells me that chickens will roost as high as they can. So my new question is, do you think they could reach a 5ft roost in my coop, which is only around 4ft wide. Is that enough room for them to get that high?

    Thanks
     
  3. Animallover606

    Animallover606 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2008
    [​IMG] If you don't like how dirty it is then tell him/her about that and or clean it out. Alot of people give them little feed because they have alot of time to eat whatever they want when they're freeranging bugs grass ecetera so they shoukld be fine unless the feed is gone as fast as it is put there than more feed ias advisable. Hope I helped. Once again [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I have had ones roost as high as they can fly so yes I think yours shoukd be find. My highest was probably 12ft in a shed that tall.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010

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