New to raising chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Greg M, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Greg M

    Greg M Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I am just getting into raising some backyard chickens and received the above fabricated coop from my wife for Christmas. I have already made contact with someone to get some Iowa Blue pullets that will be between 2-4 months old in the next month.

    I have looked at a lot of the coop examples on this site and have some curiosities about the coop I have. I thought I'd reach out for some advice and feedback, since there are obviously a lot of folks on BYC that have a wealth of knowledge and experience that could help a newbie like me hopefully. So here's my inquiries:

    1) this coop does not come with a cover to the door. Do I need to make one to place over it at night when the go in it to roost?
    2) Do I need some type of protection from predators? I live on 3+ acres and know for sure there are coons, foxes, opossum, coyotes, hawks, and owls around.........to name a few. What would I need to do to protect my chickens? I have a dog kennel I thought I would start it off in that has a fenced run. And I have a solar electric fence I could utilize. Any suggestions and/or thoughts would be appreciated.
    3) As the house is somewhat limited, can I put the feeder and water outside the house on the ground? I guess if having no door is ok, then it would allow them access to both 24 hrs. But if I need to add a door, where do they need the food and water?
    4) Should I add some roosts to the cage? Will they roost outside the house, or do they mainly roost at night........which would be inside the house?
    5) Thoughts or ideas for making this coop into a tractor, where I could move it around the yard? I've thought about a couple of wheels on the house end. Also the possibility of just adding a treated 4x4 all around the bottom, with the ends curved on one end to be able to move it around with my 4 wheel drive Deer tractor.
    6) If/when I move the coop out of the kennel and into the yard, what would I need to do to help keep predators out? Can they lift some thing this heavy to get in? Again, thinking a door to close them in at night could be beneficial in protecting the chickens.
    7) Does this coop appear to be good for raising chickens? It's not cheap (like $350 which includes attachable roosting boxes). It's made by Ware Manufacturing, so would expect they know what they are doing. But curious as to why no door to close at night?
    8) Lights.........very limited space inside the house; concerned about what kind of light and if there is enough room to provide a light inside, especially with shorter days. I want fresh eggs.

    Sorry for all the questions. Hopefully I can get some feedback and start making some progress soon. I would like to get my pullets in the next 2-3 weeks, and need to get it all prepped and ready for occupancy.

    And oh yea, I am in Iowa and it is COLD! tonight supposed to get down to -14 degrees by 9pm. So any and all considerations should encompass set up for this years arctic chills! Surely more than ready for spring! Cheers and thanks!
     
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes put a secured door on for sure, the kennel is a great way to have security with a top and an apron around the outside, I would put the feeder under it to keep the food dry,they won't need food or water at night they are basically in a coma when they sleep, adding a couple of roosts in the dog kennel isn't a bad idea it will give them something to climb around on, I would keep the coop inside the kennel it is way more secure inside it,you can install a small light Lowe's has small led's I used really flat one only an inch wide and it lights up the coop perfectly, all in all you will find yourself wanting something bigger and I guarantee over the summer you will be building something, hope this helps.
     
  3. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  4. Greg M

    Greg M Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback and help. Appreciate you taking the time to help!
     

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