ok, first actual post on here, a couple questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amandamcgrady, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. amandamcgrady

    amandamcgrady New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Ive been reading on this site for many months, Im moving to the country in The summer (a few months) so I am planning all of this. My first question is

    1. Can you just build a chicken coop and let the chickens out into the yard/forest in the mornings to be free? Why does everyone keep them inside of fence? Are there daytime predators that will hurt the chickens when the sun is up?

    2. I read that they 'put themselves to bed at night" So they would just come out of the forest late afternoon and go back into the coop correct??

    3. last question. Ive been reading all about what to feed and water them and what to use for treats, etc. But the catalogue I recieved mentions buying vaccinations for the baby chickens. Im curious besides food and water what kind of medical care do they need? How often are those vaccinations needed and do you really need them in a small at-home flock?

    4. Also If anyone is in the Greenville S,C. Area I was wondering if you had any recommendations for local places to buy chicken coops, rather than buy online and have them mailed. And also if there are any local meat processers that accept chickens? and how does that work?


    Thanks for any advice, I am moving from the suburbs of a the biggest city in my State (charleston, S.C) where everything is hotels and fine dining to the country/mountians of Greenville S.C. so I am going to be doing a lot of self suffiency type things,such as gardening (already experienced in this) and see how much space I have for animals in addition to chickens.
     
  2. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens can free range during the day and they will naturally head back to their coop at sundown. I'd say letting them walk into the forest to free range will drastically up the odds that they'l get picked off by a predator. You're better off having some type of perimeter fencing to keep them contained. Make this as big or small as you want. You can buy chicks that are already vaccinated, or not, and you can decide to feed medicated chick feed, or not. It's really up to you.
     
  3. tweetysvoice

    tweetysvoice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
     
  4. amandamcgrady

    amandamcgrady New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2012
    Ok, so they do not only lay eggs at night then?? I figured if they were indoors from sun down until sun up then they would lay the eggs in the coop. I did not realize they lay eggs during the day.
     
  5. amandamcgrady

    amandamcgrady New Egg

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    Ok from what you guys said about the hawks I think i will probabally just make a really large enclosure,one that me and the kids can play inside of. I just liked the idea of them having the fresh grass. it looks like they destroy the grass in there cage and figured that they would not have access to bugs after the grass was gone. Maybe i will get them a moveable cage for the daytime so they can play in the grass.

    Once you let them out of there run in the daytime is it hard to get them back into it or do you have to wait for nightime??LOL.
     
  6. amandamcgrady

    amandamcgrady New Egg

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    Do they have to be dewormed regularly like a dog every month? how mcuh does that generally cost?
     
  7. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chickens lay their eggs in the daytime, not at night. Generally, most hens are done laying around 11 a.m., but it takes about 26 hours to "build" an egg, so they sometimes lay later (usually a couple of hours later each day until about 3 p.m.). Freely ranging chickens who have been laying eggs in the coop nest boxes USUALLY come back to the coop to lay their eggs, even if they have been out of the coop since sun up.

    I have just under two-thirds of an acre and mine come out of the coop (through an automatic chicken door which closes just after dark starts and opens just after dawn) to range the fenced property. I only keep feed IN the coop, so they come back to eat and to lay eggs or just to go into the coop for whatever reason. They go in and out all day long.

    My property has a lot of cover for them, so they can hide if there are hawks about. The coop locks up after sunset, so they are safe at night.

    Keep them in the coop for about a week; that teaches them they are safe in there (and keeping food in it helps) and they will naturally return to the coop every night.

    People who routinely worm their flock do it twice a year. Or annually. Some don't worm them unless they see evidence of worms in their droppings.

    Welcome to BYC and good luck in your future flock plans!!!
     
  9. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    gryeyes; by using an automatic door, are you ever concerned about a predator getting in & locking it up with the chickens or a bird lagging & getting locked out at night? i can see what a convenience an automatic door would be, but concerned it would lock out a bird or lock in a predator. what is your opinion?
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I've only had a couple of hens get locked out in the two years I've used auto doors. I just reset the door to close a tad bit later. (Oh, and I opened the people door to shoo the laggards inside the coop.)

    My property is fenced with 5 foot tall "no climb" fencing for the daytime predators on foot. Plus I have a pair of geese who alarm at everything suspicious, as well as the roosters who call out the alarm for overhead, flying predators. Never had a hawk fly through the chicken door. At dusk, when other predators are afoot, that fence keeps 'em out PLUS I also use "Nite Guard" lights on the exterior of the coop and on the perimeter fence. They are solar charged and blink red light to deter predators.

    Most chickens are in the coop at dusk. Well before dark. (My two laggards were youngsters just staying out late like kids do... [​IMG] Neither one ever did it again.)
     

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