Newbie needs advice


In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
So, I planned on having 10 chicks... which turned to 20 quickly... which then turned to 30... and now I have an additional 10-12 or so. I'd just like some advice on what everyone else thinks!

1. Does anyone have 40+ chickens and how costly are they? (Just want to know what to budget)

2. I really want to build a coop that looks more like a mini-house, but how big should it be? I have to give my hubby dimensions soon so we can get the lumber to build it!

3. I have a couple of different breeds that I'd like some input on.... Red Chantecler Pullets, Rhode Island White Pullets, Dominique Pullets, and Black Langshan Roo.

4. How many roos should there be in with my girls? I have 3 roos and 40 hens, is that too many roos or will they get along? I have 2 barred rocks and 1 black langshan.

5. Anything else I should be asking that I haven't... I'm learning as I go and everyone on here seems to give great advice!

I'm no expert, and don't run that many birds but here's my thoughts..

1 - 70 quail go through almost a whole bag of feed a week $19.00 so 40 chickens... depends on what you suppliment their diet with. My chickens get table scraps and worms

2 - coop... Big enough for the birds to roost inside. Many a time in the winter mine will all stuff themselves together. The most important part of the coop IMHO is enough room to roost so there is no overcrowding/fighting issues. at least 1/3 as many nest boxes as you have birds, because many will go in right after another hops out, some will pick one hole and not let any other use it, and some will hop from nest to nest. Last thing, proper ventilation and room to clean it out. A disease free house makes for happy birds.
3 - No input sorry.
4 - 3 roos for 40 girls sounds good to me

5 - Are you going to keep your breeds seperated for breeding purposes or let them mix? That requires a different coop and run.....

Welcome to the addiction!
Hello, and
and chickens!!! I am new myself. I have hatched 40 chicks so far and have another 17 in bator now! As for cost im not sure but I think about 1-2 lbs of feed each or 40-80 Lbs a month total. Depending on ability to forage, table scraps, and treets. It may go up or down. I could be way off! Experts here will know more. I am building a 10x10 coop with 12 nest boxes. If half of my chicks are hens I am figuring 1 nest box for each 3 roughly. I know you need 1 roo for every 8 hens MAX. or he will be less likly to be able to insure fertility. I am going to place the 3 roosts 12 inches apart. starting at 16 inches from ground. then at 30 and 42 high. I have JG's they are too big for much higher starting points. Smaller breeds can start at 24 inches up. I am using 2x4's laying on their sides because of their size and weight (JG's). The roost will be the entire 10 feet. Now that I tink about it I am going to need to add another roost. I only planned on 25. But with the addition I will need more. roughly 12-16 inches per bird. You will need at least 1/3 as many nest boxes as hens. They will prolly only use 5-6 but they need to be able to choose. They usually all want to use the same one. LOL How Big will the run be? or are they going to free range? The run I think is 4ft per bird. the coop in 1 ft. thats square Ft of course. Make sure to have enough feeders and waterers. They drink ALOT! Feeders can be a problem if you have some bullies. The lower pecking order birds need to be able to get to the food and not be ran off by the others. If you don't have some yet get some Blue Kote. It will help with any picking and scrapes. They need good ventilation in summer and winter. and need to be kept from freezing. They are really hardy down to zero. aslong as they can get out of drafts. I hope this helps.

Good Luck and God Bless!
I've been stalking this site for all of the information that I can gather!

So far, I am going to have them enclosed completely in the run. We have WAY too many predators here for me to be comfortable with. We live on 4.5 acres in the woods, and I normally have foxes and wolves running through my property. It just seems to make more sense to have them enclosed so that I'm not going to have my investment taken from me!

As for how I got this many... I originally ordered 30 chicks from MPC, but I ended up with 32, which was fine since 8 are going to my hubby's friend anyways. I then received an order from Ideal (which I canceled weeks ago) with an additional 16 chicks. I posted on here that I was giving them away, but when I went downstairs to the brooders to check the temp, a sweet little BO came straight to me... hopped into my hand.... nuzzled up to my thumb... and fell asleep! Now how can I possibly get rid of her???
Since I can't part with her, it wouldn't be fair to her siblings to separate them, so they're all staying now. This is at least how I'm rationalizing it... I'm such a sap!

Oh... is it normal for all 32 chicks from the first batch to fall asleep at the same time? I shut the overhead lights off, leaving just the heat lamp on, and it looked as if I sprinkled sleeping dust over them. In unison they all passed out where they were standing! I barely heard a peep from them all night. I went down this morning and they were all up, eating, and drinking... but as soon as I shut the over head lights off again... it was the same thing! I find it funny... but is it normal?

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