New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mamanite, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. mamanite

    mamanite Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2012
    Hi everyone! We are starting our chicken journey in the spring and I'm so excited! I've been wanting chicken for a few years. We are buying 8 to start with, I'm hoping that most make it, but we are planning to make a coop and run that will hold 10 chickens. We live in Indiana so I am worried about winters. I would like some thoughts about our coop size. We are looking at the coop being 4ft x 8ft and the run being 8ft x 10ft but I'm thinking that may be too small of a run. Our 2acres of land is completely surrounded by thick trees so I'm afraid to let them free range and they run off in the trees or jumping the fences. I'm not even sure if that would be an issue?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  2. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens

    Your coop and run size sound great. It is recommended that each chicken has at least 4 square feet of room in the run, so 8-10 sq ft is even better.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Rule of thumb is 4 sg.feet per bird in the COOP, and 10 sg.feet per bird in outside RUN. Your dimensions are just right for the amount of birds. If you live in an area of severe, inclement weather - where birds will be cooped inside for days, then a little more room in coop would be beneficial. Tempers flair when birds have to stay inside and that leads to pecking, feather pulling, and sometimes much worse. On inside days it helps to throw in some chicken toys, like a cabbage head on a string, that they have to jump at to eat. or even things like kong toys for parrots and dogs etc. where you stuff some food in openings and they have to figure out how to get it.

    Mealworms are fun for them(and I suppose tasty [​IMG]), some black oil sunflower seeds (called BOSS on here), chicken or turkey carcasses (no joke) they will pick the bones clean and have a riot it doing so.

    Some chickens will even chase a ball and have fun with that. Or you could dump a shovel full of leaves in the coop- now and then - so they can scratch and peck to their hearts content.
  4. mamanite

    mamanite Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thank you for the warm welcome! Love all the ideas for indoor fun for them, I can't believe they would want chicken carcasses. That's crazy!
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. 'Running off into the woods' and not coming back will not be a problem. The problem will lie in predation by the many things that eat chickens.
  7. mamanite

    mamanite Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 18, 2012
    Yes I am worried about hawks and raccoons! Another reason about run. I'm planning to have a covered run.
  8. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    That's very good that you did research on that before an accident happened. Also, are you planning to dig and put wire under the run too? This is totally your choice, just asking.
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC!

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