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New "Mommy" here with lots of questions.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dmadden3, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. dmadden3

    dmadden3 Hatching

    Sep 10, 2010
    North Nashville
    Hi all.
    I live in Goodlettsville tn and we are just starting on our road to chicken ownership ( not quite legally but they will have to get over that) . We currently own 6 hens--pullets. THey are all still living in our garage in rubber made containers and get to go outside supervised for a little each day. I feel like I am a nervous new mother again! Always checking on them. They are now starting to fly to the top of the containers to perch on the edge. Now I am more nervous once again. The ages range from almost 2 weeks to 5 weeks. When can they all safely go outside? I would like them to be acclimated soon. before it gets to cold--right now it is about mid 60's at night high 80's during the day--so it is pretty nice. Other concern is that the hen house has a steep high ladder--they can't go up it themselves yet--to tiny. I was also wondering when they can start spending the night out there. It is a pretty large run--any ideas what we can use --not to expensive to get it cover? The size is about 20 x 30 or so. it has a chain link fence around it with chicken wire around that to help keep them in. I know that snakes will be a problem, but theat should be it once it gets covered. Any and all ideas would be helpful so I can relax a little better during the day.
    We love our " Baby girls" and want to make sure they are safe--they are just so small right now.

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Hi! Yes, it's definitely a good idea for them to acclimate a bit to the weather. Your 5 week olds, if feathered out, would probably do okay in the coop now, if the housing is nice and tight - draft free. But the two week olds would need a lamp. If you have electricity out there, or can run an outdoor rated extension cord, they should be fine in the coop as long as you kept a heat lamp out there (very securely affixed). That way only the ones who needed it could get under there...the others could spread out as needed. My girls were out in the coop by three weeks, and it was Fall, so cooler temps had set in. I just used the lamp out there.
    As for your run, that's a hard one to cover at that width without some kind of bracing. If you just go with some kind of light netting, you could probably run heavy wire strands or heavy fishing line or something back and forth across for support. But with heavier wire you would need to do more work. If you go with something light (including chicken wire), be sure to shut their pop door every night, because something as light as chicken wire will not keep raccoons out.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  3. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    First of all -

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Welcome from Central FLA!!

    The poster above had good advice for you about aclimating your 'kids'. Just be very careful making sure your light is secure, like they said. I am paranoid about lights and fire, so I would make a hardware cloth box to put the light in and secure that above the perch and a safe distance from the ceiling.

    Good Luck with the kids!!
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
  4. Great advice from those posts above. So [​IMG] from N.W. Tennessee
  5. shareverwonder

    shareverwonder Chirping

    Sep 9, 2010
    Northern Ohio
    Welcome!! [​IMG]

    I'm a newbie as well. Our first batch of girls and one rooster are 7 months old now. When we first got them we spent more time in the garage with them than we did in the house. We put them outside after about 4 weeks (we had to, they kept getting out of the box). That was in April (here in Ohio the weather is still pretty cold). We put the heat lamp out in the coop and they did just fine.
    Now, the rooster is a little ornery and the girls are doing just fine, laying an egg everyday. YUMMY!
    We also started raising meaties this year too. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Lady Marmalades

    Lady Marmalades In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2010
    [​IMG] G'day from another Newbie....I know what you mean when you say you feel like a new mum again...I am exactly the same:jumpy
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Welcome from an imp in Washington

    Glad you are asking questions, and getting such good advice.


  8. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    Welcome!! I live in Van Buren Co., about 100 miles from Nashville, and have a brother in Nashville. What kind of chickies do you have?

    Just read your first post again. My hens are in a 10x10 chain link dog run. We wrapped it with chicken wire after a coon attack in July 09. Haven't had a problem since. The top of the run is covered with chicken wire, with shade cloth over that, and now a heavy duty tarp also, to protect from rain. We live on the edge of 275 acres of woodland with coyotes, coons, possums, skunks, and God knows what else out there. haven't had a problem, except for the 09 coons. I just shut them in the run every night.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  9. dmadden3

    dmadden3 Hatching

    Sep 10, 2010
    North Nashville
    Thanks for all the great advice. We had the chicks outside yesterday while we were gone for a while. When we got home there was just 5 chicks not 6. Can not find a trace of the 6th one anywhere. Lots of Hawks flying around though. Needless to say our babies are staying inside today--we have places to go. We have got to get this coop covered ASAP.. Thanks for all the advice. We have some ideas now need to see which will be most cost effective! TO answer the question of what breeds we have--we have-- 1 New Hampshire Red(was 2--lost one yesterday--literally!) 1 rhode island red. 1 gold laced wyandotte, 1 light brahma, one barred rock. What a variety. we would also like a couple buff orpington's.
    Have a great sunday all.
  10. riverpie

    riverpie In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2010
    Hi neighbor. I live in Goodlettsville too. I am fairly new to chickens and glad this site is available. So many people to answer your questions and give advice. The guy I got my chicken from said he used hardware cloth at the bottom of his coop to keep the coons out.

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