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Newbie questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Agilityscots, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Hello everyone...I've been reading this forum for a while now, and finally took the plunge and ordered four chicks! They should arrive this week, and I'll have a brooder set-up ready by the time they arrive (luckily I breed and show Scottish Terriers, so I have stuff I can put to use!).

    Here's my question...I don't yet have a coop, but was planning on ordering a small one from Mypetchicken.com:


    I don't have a lot of money to spend on purchasing or building a coop, and this one seems ideal for the price and just a handful of hens...is it okay? Can I place it in full shade? Any thoughts?

    Next, is a run necessary? I live on 3.5 acres in central Ohio, and I would love to let my girls run the yard during the day ONLY if they'll be safe. We do have Red-tailed and Cooper's hawks in our area, which I'd guess are the only daytime predators I'd have to worry about, right? My husband can make a run to go with the coop if it's necessary, or I can buy one to go with my coop.

    Any help or guidance on coops and runs would be much appreciated...I'm VERY excited about this new adventure! I can't wait!

  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Hi Amy, and welcome!! You will want to have a covered run for the little ones. Hawks will take them even if you are out there with them! They dont scare too easily....when they are hungry...or feeding babies. Besides....with a covered run, you can let them out during the day all day long, and wont have to be right there with them. Just be home, close. Once they are full size....you can let them out, when you are there in the yard with them. Good luck with your new experiencs...and be carefull...ITS ADDICTIVE!! I started wanting 6 or 7...now I am at 60 PLUS!!!
  3. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Thanks so much, Deb. I had this idea that it would be so neat to just let them roam where they wanted on the property, but I guess if they do that, they'll be someone's lunch! :)

    WOW, you have 60--amazing! It took a lot of convincing to get my husband to accept the idea of getting four chicks, so we'll have to wait and see what he thinks once they get here. He's a sucker for super-cute and fluffy baby animals, so here's hoping!

  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2007
    I would buy a small dog house before the coop you posted, IMHO. You could even purchase a dog run at Lowes for less that that and put a dog house in it for a coop (that is what I have). dont get me wrong, it is a cute little coop, but for the price you get get a lot more space. You can buy a Xtra lagre dog house kit online for $125 with shipping and a roll of wire is even cheaper....

    Good luck though!!! Welcome to our addiction!
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Hi Amy! How exciting that you are getting your first chickens! I think your husband will like them a lot, once you get them.

    I think that hutch as it is, would work much better for a person in a warmer climate. You'd be fine in the summer, but doesn't it get pretty cold in Ohio in the winter? What are your winter lows? I think you'd need to make modifications to close it up, to keep them warm enough. Wire is hard on their feet normally, but I would really not have them on an open wire floor during a cold winter. I'd have them on a solid floor covered with litter, like pine shavings.

    You also need to make sure you have latches on all the openings, so that raccoons can't get in. I would definitely build a run. Even if you want to give them more freedom, there will always be times when you need or want to confine them.

    I think the worst daytime predators are hawks and dogs. Weasels, coyote, foxes, raccoons and opossums have also killed in the daytime, although nighttime is most common for most of those. It just depends on how hungry they are, especially when they have young to feed. Owls, skunks, cats, snakes and if they are young, rats, are the other potential predators. What a rogues gallery!
  6. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    The coop you linked to looks like it is about $50-$60 of materials. If you have a few tools and some time to build your own, I would highly recommend it! You'll save money and probably build something sturdier and nicer.

    There is a plan for a really nice little coop on Ebay that I know a lot of people use- perhaps that one would work for you. The link is;

    and there is a new one on Ebay, too. Different shape, same concept;

    I can't vouch for either of these, but if you are willing to build your own I'm sure this is a good start.

  7. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Wow, I knew I was in the right place for help! Thanks to everyone who's responded; our winters can get pretty cold (down around zero during the coldest times, but typically in the twenties). This is exactly the type of information that I need, because I just don't know that much about chickens (even though I'm reading a LOT!). I want them to be safe and happy! I love the idea of a dog house and will check that out, as well as the links to coop plans. You guys are the best!


    P.S. I bought four chicks: two Dominiques, a Buff Orpington and a Golden Laced Wyandotte. Anyone have any "insider" information on these breeds? [​IMG]

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