New to chickens - need advice.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by terischickens, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. terischickens

    terischickens Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 24, 2012
    Central, Louisiana
    My family and I are planning to get some chickens within a few weeks. I don't really know where to begin. It gets really hot and humid here in Louisiana in the summer. We live in a rural area with over 3 acres, so space isn't an issue.

    The children had a couple of pigs a few years back. This is the old pig pen that we planned to use. My first idea was to add on to it. Although, after more thought, it seemed better to tear it down and redesign it using as much of the materials as possible. Any thoughts on how best to reuse the pen?

    There used to be a chicken coop back there when we moved here 6 years ago. In fact, most of the structure for the pig pen was part of the old coop.

    My questions are this: What is a good amount of chickens to start with? Should we get adults or chicks? How large does the coop need to be? Since we have the space, I would like them to be as "free-range" as possible. How do we go about doing that?

    I am completely inexperience when it comes to raising chickens. Any advice anyone can give me would be much appreciated.
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    You have many questions and I am going to direct you to a thread that can answer many of those for you. In fact, it was started for just such persons as yourself. It will be a lot of reading but in the end you will have gotten a lot of information and you might even want to write down points of interest as you read, as you won't want to have to find it again in all those pages!

    BTW, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    If it were me, I'd keep your basic structure of the roof and support posts/beams and go from there. It looks to be a good size and big enough for a decent flock.

    First, you really need to decide what your goals are for your chickens, how you want to manage them and how you are going to keep them safe before you ever get them. Until you have those things setled in your mind, implemented at your place and the coop is ready for occupancy, I wouldn't get one bird. You'll be happy you waited because it is much more heart-breaking to learn the hard way that you should have been more prepared.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  3. Chicky-dees

    Chicky-dees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2011
    Yay! Another chicken obsessed person in the making! Don't for get to check the pages on this site for all of the REALLY AWESOME chicken houses members have built and posted pictures of. I am in the process of building a new coop for my birds using some ideas gathered from different members. There are so many ideas! Being in Texas, I understand the heat and humidity issue - a good box fan up in the rafters helps and it looks like your pen has lots of shade, too which will be a big help.

    If it was my pen, I'd keep the roof and general structure and replace the side walls all the way up to the roof with hardware cloth and build them an interior roost that can be closed up during cold weather. Need to keep racoons out, hawks and owls and hardware cloth (centimeter square openings) is too small for snakes to get in and steal the eggs. But that's nothing compared to what other folks have done - there are some really creative and talented folks on this site.

    Good luck!

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