New to chickens in Ohio

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by wetzelbuilt, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. wetzelbuilt

    wetzelbuilt Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2017
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    We just got 10 layers and a coop for free. We are new to this world. Not sure what type we have and have lots of questions. My biggest questions are on the coop size and ventilation. The chickens have been living in this coop for a while with the previous owners and were laying ( they aren't currently) Can anyone help me with how big the coop should be and vent placement as it doesn't seem to have any?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  2. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi and [​IMG] from KY! Sounds like you scored, getting a free coop and chickens. [​IMG]

    What I learned in retrofitting a shed as a coop is that you will need a lot more ventilation that you might think. There are articles in the Learning Center that specifically address your questions about the optimal amount of space per bird as well as coop ventilation: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/housing-and-feeding-your-chickens. For best results, you may want to post to the Coop & Run forum: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance.

    As to breed, there's a forum specifically for that purpose, too: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/15/what-breed-or-gender-is-this. There are a lot of knowledgeable folks here, so you should have a good idea in short order.

    Glad you joined the BYC community - I hope you enjoy your chickens!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. wetzelbuilt

    wetzelbuilt Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2017
    Northwest Ohio
    Thanks for the info.
     
  4. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The recommended amount of space per chicken in a coop for large fowl is 2-3 square feet. Of course, if you have the big girls - orpingtons, brahmas, etc. - you might want more. In a run, it is 10 sf per chicken. Also, consider how much time your chickens will need to be in the coop due to climate and weather. I live in Alaska, and my flock has lots of indoor space and they need it. All the vents I have seen have been at the very top of the coop, and the best have something to shield the vent openings from strong drafts.

    Do tell us more about your chickens and the coop. Do you know the ages of the chickens? Any idea on breeds?
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under wetzelbuilt [​IMG] Welcome!

    You might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you ‘Find your State’s thread.

    As you have already received some great advice I will just send you and your flock best wishes.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
  6. N F C

    N F C Happy T-Day! Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG]

    The more coop space you can give your girls, the happier they will be and the less chance they will harass each other. I'd recommend 4 sq. feet per bird for dual purpose breeds. Give your birds a chance to get used to their new surroundings...moving is stressful to chickens and it can take a little time for them to get settled in but once they do, they'll start laying again for you.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  7. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

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    WV boy here!
    Welcome to BYC! Looks like you've gotten some good info already so I'll drop it here...
     
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, wetzelbuilt, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our flock! Looks like you've already received a lot of great advice so I'll just say best wishes and good luck on your chicken endeavor!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Eggsakly

    Eggsakly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know what your winters are like in Ohio, but when planning your coop it is essential to know whether you plan on heating it. My bantams have 5.7 sf each on the floor and an additional upstairs lounge above the nest boxes. But . . . my coop is enclosed inside an insulated outbuilding that has electricity, and I give them a heat lamp. (They are delicate, they say, and if temperatures in their coop drop much below 30F, they devote themselves to warm-bathing in front of the heat lamp.[​IMG]) If the coop were outside, even insulated, which it is not, with that much space per chicken I don't think my chickens could keep warm in our -20F to -30F temperatures, not even with a heat lamp.

    There is a balance between space for the chickens, and as much as possible is indeed best, it very much does help them get along better, but where I live it is also essential to ensure that the the chickens can keep comfortable in cold and snowy weather without breaking the bank in heating bills. Chickens can keep warmer and keep each other warmer in a coop when the coop is proportionate to the number and size of the chickens. Chickens keep warmer in a coop that is 4 feet or 5 feet high than they do in a coop that is 8 feet high, something I thought about when building my coop. Coop space is generally spoken of as "square feet per chicken," but cubic feet matter, too. In my area I see a lot of chickens with frostbitten combs and toes, and I don't really want that for my chickens; it must be quite painful. I would like to put a wood stove in the outbuilding where I have the coop, but then I'd have to use room I want for more chickens!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Living in Aus, I am probably the last person you would expect advice from regarding heat lamps but I did just want to ask you to please be very careful; these two sad events are just from your current winter and I believe there have been a couple more and they are just the one’s we know about; many more from previous years:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1145874/only-joined-after-my-coop-burnt

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1145876/dont-use-heat-bulbs

    Also, of late, I have read of a coating on some of the bulbs which may be connected to the death [fumes] of some chicks.
     

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