New to chickens! :)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ClydesdaleSocks, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. ClydesdaleSocks

    ClydesdaleSocks Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 17, 2013
    South Carolina
    Hello everyone!

    My husband and I just purchased a 17 acre farm and also bought a huge chicken coop (picture below) that came with 3 Buff Orpington hens (18 months old). I have a BS in Animal Science but my background is horses and cattle - I have no chicken experience. The guy we bought the chickens from said he would get 2 eggs a chicken a day in the summer and an egg every other day per chicken in the winter. I thought the stress of moving would cause the ladies to stop laying for awhile but they started laying a couple days after we moved them, albeit less than expected. The last coupe days they've picked up to their expected "winter" rate - we're getting 2 eggs a day now. They get complete free range during the day and are locked in the coop (with it's attached 8 foot enclosed run) at night. We've been told the coop could easily hold about 20-25 chickens.

    So I guess my first question would be how do I know how much feed to give them? I know they're going to supplement with their foraging.

    Oh and we're located in upstate SC so we have pretty mild winter and hot, humid summers. [​IMG]

    I look forward to talking to everyone and learning about chickens! :)
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Congratulations on your new home, and welcome to BYC. OK, an egg a day is the maximum that you can reasonably expect. If they were mine, I would provide ad lib layer pellets in a sheltered place. Enjoy your flock. You don't give dimensions, but that coop and run look too small for 20 or so birds.
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! sourland gave you good advice good luck to you.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Generally you want to have 4 square feet of floor space per bird in the coop, and 10 sq feet of run per bird. Your coop looks like it is about maxed out with the birds you already have. Fortunately it is easy to add on! (well maybe not easy but certainly possible). And yes, at the most one egg per day - and as birds age they lay fewer, and some stop laying completely in the winter when the days are short.

    The Learning Center has all kinds of useful info for new bird owners.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from New Mexico!

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy BYC!
  6. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
  8. 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 her bird in the coop and 10 sq.feet per bird in the outdoor run. You may get by with a tiny run like like yours if they continue to be free ranged. It is always good to have a backup fenced/covered good sized run for days when they will confined because of too much. predation. Everything loves to eat chickens.
  9. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    Hi and :welcome

    It's a nice coop! If they're only sleeping there at night I guess you could get a few more in - we have a small coop too and let our chickens have the garden by day.

    When we had 3 chickens we fed them about two cupfuls of layer mash a day. (I'm not sure how to describe its size... one of those cheap polystyrene cups one gets; about that size) In the winter we feed them once in the morning (they've gone to bed by the time we get home) and in the summer we split that into two halves, once in the morning and once in the evening.

    Good luck with your birds!
    Enjoy the site :D

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