New to raising chickens in Southern California

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TheDietTech, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. TheDietTech

    TheDietTech New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2014
    ~~Hello everyone, I am new to raising chickens for eggs, also they will be pets, I have some questions. What should be on the inside of the coop itself beside the nesting boxes? The size of the coop itself is 4'x 6' x 4' and the run is 8' wide and 27' long with a pond. I am planning 4 hens. Should I just feed the what grows naturally in the run? I have planted natural growing seed in the run. What kind of garden scraps do they eat? I was told that I could build a insect domain in the end of the run would this provide enough food for them? Thank you for the feed back.
    Also I have pictures of our coop on my profile page
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Well, you will need a roost bar in the coop. For the larger breeds, a 2x4 with the 4 side up is good. If you have bantam chickens, a 2x2 works well for their smaller feet. The larger fowl do better with a lower roost bar so they don't have to jump or fly down so far. You can always put a ladder up for the high roost bars.

    Also, leave some space for storage for yourself in the coop for keeping things.

    You can leave the run natural for them, or plant things for them. Keep in mind that chickens will denude the entire place in short order however. LOL You can lay down sand for the if you wish. I am a HUGE fan of sand and use it in the coops, runs and even nest boxes. It is easy to keep clean, it stays dry, keeps the flies down and the smells.

    Use your imagination. Chickens love to climb up high, so you could put outdoor roosting areas for them to look out over their territory.

    Good luck and enjoy your babies!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2013
    Hi and welcome to BYC!

    My suggestion is to build a coop somewhat bigger than you think you'll ever need... because sometimes chicken math strikes, and there's no denying the call.
    What's chicken math? Glad you asked. Case in point- originally, we wanted 20 chickens...lol- but we ended up with 80. lol Although our numbers are extreme, chicken math is a very real thing!

    You will need suplimental feed beside what you will naturally be providing as they can eat much more than you would think and be destructive to plants with scratching. Yes, work on the pond- the pond will attract delicious bugs for your flock. Having an indoor mealwork farm can be good too for protein treats during winter. The seed will be good feed for spring, but by summer, the whole area will likely be completely barren of grasses and small plants as chickens scratch everything. We are in No. Ca., so we also created a slightly swampy area, and grew mint (which we let go wild) in a shady area near fruit trees (no citrus- bad for chickens). It attracted bugs, the chickens rolled in it, hid in it or slept in it on hot days, and ate leaves and seeds and the mint grows back- huge hit with our chickens and very inexpensive.

    Also, grapevines and appletrees, thornless raspberry/blackberries on trellisses in the pen/run for shade plus easy spring-fall treats. There are early and late varieties. If you find bare roots at your local nursery, they can be under $10. each for nice varietals. One variety of apple tree we thought was superb for Ca., was "Anna's apples." Huge, very delicious apples, even the first few years. Most varieties have few, tiny apples on a young tree, and can take years to become mature. Some people grow oilves, mulberries and cherries too, but staining and shoe contaminations can be an issue. We use outdoor croc clogs for dealing with chickens and change shoes.

    We also had a summer garden... tomatoes, strawberries, squash, carrots, watermelons (huge hit), cantaloupe, pumpkins, corn, and black oil sunflower seeds (Best protein in fall for molt and growing in winter feathers.) There are other crops and cover crops that can be grown too (like alfalfa, rye, etc.). Also, chickens need grit for grinding up their food and at point of lay, hens need oyster shell calcium for eggs. Happy Chicken keeping!
     
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    First [​IMG]

    I see you have a good start on your coop why not
    take a couple of minuets and post the photos so
    everyone can see without going to your Profile and
    looking then going back to your post [​IMG]

    Now TwoCrows gave you some good information [​IMG]






    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  5. TheDietTech

    TheDietTech New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2014
    thank you
     
  6. TheDietTech

    TheDietTech New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jan 3, 2014
    thank you
     
  7. TheDietTech

    TheDietTech New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Jan 3, 2014
    thank you
     

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