Our Babies Have Begun Hatching!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by graygiant, May 31, 2016.

  1. graygiant

    graygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    I just joined BYC a few days ago . . . my child's classroom is hatching chicks and we agreed to adopt a couple. Of course, adopting 2 actually means adopting 2 plus the ones that no one else will adopt! It looks like we'll wind up with 3 or 4! :) We only have school 4 days a week where we live, so we had a 4 day weekend . . . we arrived at school this morning to find 3 chicks hatched and doing great, 1 almost out of the egg, 2 being lazy and not hatching yet, but pipping, 1 just being content to stay in his/her egg a bit longer . . . and sadly, 1 little chick didn't make it out of the egg all the way and has died.

    We're so excited to bring our babies home! We went shopping over the weekend and spent yesterday putting all their stuff together. We have their brooder ready and have begun collecting supplies to build a coop and run for them when they are ready to go live outdoors later.

    I was so excited to see the 3 already hatched this morning, that I completely forgot to take a picture of them! Can you say excited expectant mama?! LOL!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to the hobby and to BYC. I've been at it for years and it never gets old. New chicks are always exciting and adorable. Hopefully you will find it fun and addictive. I always recommend building as big of coop as possible, most are never satisfied with a couple of chickens.
     
  3. graygiant

    graygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm trying to build a coop spacious enough for 4 adults, but small enough to hold in their heat at night while designing it in a way that it can be added onto later if . . . I mean, when . . . we get more chikies. [​IMG] The run will also need to be made big enough for more than just our first ones! We had chickens once before and we've missed them terribly . . . I suspect you're right that it will be addictive.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Chickens need ventilation more than they need heat. Blocking the winds in winter is more important than trying to keep heat in a coop. Nature has blessed chickens with thick down coats, they do much better in winter than in the heat of summer. If closed too tightly a coop will have condensation which can cause chilling and frostbite.

    Adult chickens need room between them. More troubles come from not enough room. They will sit close it the want to, but sometimes some need to get away from the others, if they can't behavioral problems can develop, usually expressed by pecking and bullying. So don't worry about it being too big. My shed is 40x40, around 50 chickens are kept in it with the door never closing. We have brutal winters, and I have zero behavioral issues, and everyone does fine in the winter.

    There's a nice coop building forum with tons of smart builders and people willing to help with any ideas or questions you might have.

    I started with a few birds years ago, now I'm looking at around a 100 this year. It's too addicting.[​IMG]
     
  5. graygiant

    graygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    We're in Oregon where it's very damp and our winters are not what I would consider "extreme" (having lived in Spokane, WA). Based on your advice, I'll just go for it and build a big coop . . . I know for a fact I won't be able to resist more chickens eventually, so I may as well just make a big space right from the get go.

    I've been seeing that the typical space recommendation is around 4 square feet per bird . . . I'll make more than that. I think I'd like enough space (for now) to accommodate at least 6 just in case. I foresee more than just 1 add-on in my future. [​IMG]
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    In my experience the 4 square feet works up to a point. I personally like to double the recommended space, I think those numbers are for production birds who are often debeaked.

    You will definitely want good ventilation in a damp climate. I'm excited for you, I see a fun summer for you.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If I were building a coop with intent to add on at a later date, I'd build a woods coop. You could build the back shed portion, frame up for wide doors on the front, put some high windows under the eaves, and then add the front structure at a later date. Or you could just bite the bullet and build the whole thing at once. (easier that way) Give the flock access to the whole building, or reserve 1/2 of it for storage. I'd also look at options for building it directly on the ground, with a skirt to protect against predators and rodents. Perhaps a block base. This would allow you the ease of true deep litter, which works best on a soil floor. Bee kissed is the queen of DL. She has a video explaining the difference between DL, which is truly an active compost, and deep bedding, which is merely bedding that has been allowed to grow deep over time.
     
  8. graygiant

    graygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    Excellent information, lazy gardener . . . thank you!
     
  9. graygiant

    graygiant Out Of The Brooder

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    I will ensure more than 4 square feet per bird, then. We'll be ranging them during the day, but they will have to be locked up when we're away and overnight as we have neighbor dogs who I don't trust and I'm not positive our birds of prey wouldn't try taking them. Not sure if they'd succeed, but I don't want anyone hurt or terrified.
     

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