New to this!


In the Brooder
Mar 3, 2018
Hey! I live in MA and just got some chicks! Super excited! 4 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Golden Comets and 2 ISA Browns. I'd welcome any advice you all can give.

I do not have a coop yet. They'll be in the brooder for a few weeks so I was planning to build one instead of buying a pre-made. Any tips or suggestions?

Any tips on next winter? Our breeds supposedly do fine in the cold, but anything special we should do?

Much better to build your own coop. The pre-mades are cute but, lacking in substance (they cannot stand up to weather extremes) and they overstate by far, how many chickens can fit inside.

Please check out the coops sections here to discover many sizes, shapes, and styles- some even have step by step photos and plans available.
I agree that prefab coops are cheaply made. Quite often you'll have to repair and redo on those models.
Chickens that are cold hardy will do fine in your climate without much assistance from you. We live in MI and I rarely need to do anything special in the winter.
Enjoy your flock and best wishes to you!
I strongly recommend a walk in style, at least 4 s.f. of open floor space/bird, nest boxes within the footprint of the coop, but outside access, lots of natural lighting, and ventilation = to 10% of floor space or 1 s.f./bird. GFCI outlet will allow you to safely provide winter lighting, heated waterer, and best of all, brood your future chicks in the coop! Take a look at the Woods open air coop. by far the most sensible design for all climates.
Thanks for the advice. I was already concerned that a pre-made coop wouldn't be great quality, glad that was reaffirmed. If I'm going to do this, I want to do it right.
The only other advice I can give you before you build your coop is this....make room for more chickens than what you're currently getting :celebrateThey're so much fun and so addictive that you'll be up to 20 before you know it haha :jumpy
G’Day from down under KKirshenbaum :frow Welcome and Congratulations!

I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

I note you mention you are in MA but if you include your general location on your profile, this will assist others. Location, climate, season etc can be important factors when members are responding to any questions you may have and vice versa.

You might want to also Find Your State Thread and pop in and say hello.

BYC has a Learning Centre and also Topic of the Week discussions which I have found to be a great resource, informative and sometimes entertaining; so definitely worth checking out. These are just a few examples of topics which may be of interest to you at this stage:
Topic/Question of the week - Brooding and supplementing heat for chicks
Topic of the Week - Raising Chicks
Topic of the Week - Getting Started, Keeping Chickens
Topic of the Week - Keeping the Flock Safe from Predators
Topic of the week - Winter chicken keeping

This is a good article also: How Much Room Do Chickens Need

If you would like to share Pictures and Stories of your flock, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out ;)

Best wishes and good luck!

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