Newbie with some very basic questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Stormy, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Stormy

    Stormy Chirping

    Jun 7, 2008
    South Carolina
    Well they will seem basic to you all but to me they are making this venture complex!

    1. What are roosting boxes and why do I need them

    2. How important is it to cover the TOP of my run? Is this to protect them from flying creatures? Or can possumn and racoons get in I don't cover the TOP of the run?

    3. How is an infrared light different than a regular light bulb? And can I use a regular light bulb for heat for new chicks?


  2. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Nice Heinlien quote!
    Roosts are poles that the chickens can sit on. Kinda like a roost for a parakeet, but bigger and fashioned so that several birds can huddle together.
    Nesting boxes are personal places were a chicken can lay an egg. There are a number of designs, most important is that it seem enclosed.
    The run question is a little out of my depth, since I haven't let mine outside yet. I know top covering is supposed to protect vs. flying predators. I have a very large tree over my run area, so I'm not planning on covering the run. I do worry that something will be able climb the fence, which is why I'm looking into electric enhancements.
    The infrared light helps to keep everyone calm and not so cannibalistic. It works quite well vs. the white light.
    Regarding the use of regular light bulb, if you're brooding them indoors, they will likely need a heat lamp. Depending on were you are, it may be warm enough outside without the heat lamp.
    There's a lot of good info on this sight that's easily accessible using the search function. There area also a lot of good books on the subject.
  3. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    As far as the run question goes, it's best to have it covered. hawks can get them from above, and raccoons and opossums are extremely good climbers. It would be easy as pie for them to climb over a wire fence to find a tasty dinner.
  4. BantyHugger

    BantyHugger Songster

    May 23, 2008
    The nesting boxs and roosts just make the birds comfortable. Most chickens like to sleep off the ground (on the roost). If you don't want to do roosts and boxes you can do shelves. My chickens were happy with those for years. I added roosts last yr for Christmas.
    I free range my chickens after 3 months. Most hawks around here aren't big enough to carry off a full sized chicken. We had 1 try but my standard RIR hen was just too heavy. None of the other birds have been bothered by hawks. I think that 1 was just young and unexperienced. If you close your birds up at night you shouldn't have problems with coons and possums. I don't think the top on the run is nessisary. you may want to build a small cage or run to keep chicks in until they are a few months old.
    I use a 60 watt light bulb and a flood light. I don't see any difference in it. Just watch and make sure your light is far enough above the chicks so they don't over heat.

    This works here in Texas. I can't say that it will all work in Illinois. Hope it helps though. [​IMG]
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    A tree is only an invite for a hawk or owl to sit in it and fly down on your birds or other critters to climb and jump into the pen. Not any protection. If you have large chickens flying critters might not matter as much (a large owl could still haul them off but they aren't out much during the day) but if you have any bantams or young chickens and you see hawks or owls around you should probably cover it. Even loose netting will work. For possums and coons I think your best just locking the chickens up at night. They'll break into all but the sturdiest pens.

    In Iowa I found a 60w bulb did not heat my brooder enough. It barely did anything at all to the temp unless I put it really low. It would be even worse outside since our weather in the midwest has fluctuated a lot and is currently barely make 80s with 60s at night. I replaced the 60w with a 100w worklight bulb sold in the shoplight section at walmart and the brooder is up to 95F.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: