Outgrowing Brooder, and bad habits / questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by higgy62, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. EggWalrus

    EggWalrus Free Ranging

    Aug 14, 2017
    Southeast Alabama
    Most of my chicks follow their moms up and down the ramp within days. The ones I've raised without mommas can usually get the hang of going to bed on their own within a week. There's always a few stragglers I have to pickup and trace out the path up the ramp to get back home. They want to be with their siblings and once a few do it, they all will do it.
    Chicken see, chicken do!
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I have never heard of a chick picking at her own vent....

    That is odd.....

    As to the ramp...

    Maybe put a little block under the end so the ramp isn't as steep.
    ValerieJ likes this.
  3. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2019
    Green Acres, Florida
    You make a good point - it is 4 x 8, with lots of inside head room.
    The chicks won't be overly large - 12 total, 5 x black sex link (stars), 5 x Rhode island reds and 2 lavenders.

    After thinking about this - yes, they will have the option of roosting inside the coop or in the run - there is plenty of room. I'll never close the coop door to the run unless there is a storm, or something crazy like that. Even though they have access to the run and coop, I am hoping they get used to the coop and nest boxes (which are currently closed up) to lay their eggs.

    Time will tell for these little dinosaurs. I just don't want them to start with bad habits.
    NHMountainMan and ValerieJ like this.
  4. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2019
    Green Acres, Florida
    Yes, I have witnessed her preening and picking at herself. But the other girls definitely did the damage. And yes, there is a nice cinder block at the end of the ramp making it not quite as steep.
    EggWalrus likes this.
  5. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

    Jul 24, 2016
    Washington State
    You'll know you don't have enough room when they start pecking at each other. Since chickens always peck to vie for top position, it's not a big deal until there is blood. Blood means not enough space. Good luck!
    EggWalrus and NHMountainMan like this.
  6. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    I like your setup just the way it is.
    I kept 13 LF chickens in a 4x8 coop with about 9' of roost space and they did fine. I also had a fully secure attached run where the pop door was never closed. My chicks finished their supplemental heat brooding inside their adult coop. The had heat on them only at night for week 5. At 6 weeks, the heat was removed but I am in NY.
    I would allow them free run of your set up 24/7. When they get older, they will want to go up in the coop to roost. Leave as much ventilation open as possible at all times in your hotter weather.
    EggWalrus, higgy62 and ValerieJ like this.
  7. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2019
    Green Acres, Florida
    Yeah, I know. It should be obvious. I suspect that is what happened with the dozen in my smaller brooder where two of the blacks were picked on. It was perfect size for the first three weeks or so, but after that, they got bored and started at each other. Now that they are outside (in their run) all day, and with the bigger coop, I don't expect an issue. It really is funny watching them on video - they run around the run like crazy chickens (Pun intended) all day long.
    EggWalrus and ValerieJ like this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Still a bit steep.....also would recommend taking off the metal mesh(just asking for foot and toes injuries) and doubling the number of cleats.
  9. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2019
    Green Acres, Florida
    Yes about steep, I am thinking I'll put another cinder block down, or perhaps two making a nice step at the bottom.

    Also, you make a really good point - I was thinking about the wire mesh today - I wondering that too. Note, I have it screwed down really well, BUT... you are most probably right - this could become a real problem.

    The reason I put the 1/2" wire mesh down is that the board is an old shelf from my closet. It is a VERY smooth 1x10 - 6 feet long. I was thinking it could be cleaned easily as it is nicely sealed and makes a good ramp, but it turns out that it is very slick.

    I was thinking ... I could leave the mesh there and then spray over it with some skid-resistant paint and/or rubber spray. It drys pretty solid and is still rough. But then was thinking that might chip off, and the chicks might eat that... which would not be good. I could use some kind of rubber cement to seal it all up... I dunno

    Doubling up on the cleats is easy enough, but it is still pretty slick.. Maybe I'll just rough it up using a sander and/or put some non-skid tape on there. I'll experiment over the weekend and advise what I came up with.

    Thanks for the comment!!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Very nice!
    Watch how things develop when your injured chick is reintroduced to the group. You may have a compatible group, now that there's more space, or not. if you have one or more feather pecking birds, move them out, or get pinless peepers for them. Some birds are like that, and it can be a real problem.
    ValerieJ likes this.

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