Outgrowing Brooder, and bad habits / questions

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

  1. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    If that closet bar isn't wood, get rid of it. I use saplings or straight branches, bark on, and some of my birds roost in the coop rafters, which are either 4" fence posts (old section) or 2"x8" boards (new section). The saplings are 2" to 3" diameter, and work fine too.
    Chickens are meant to roost in trees, and I'm not sure where this whole 'flat board' roost movement developed. The birds seem to be able to adjust to anything, but metal or plastic is still a bad idea, especially in winter.
    Lighting all night isn't so good, but lighting that comes on in the morning is fine.
    Egg production is light dependent, and 14 to (best) 16 hours of fairly dim light is good. The birds molt when they are in the mood, and stop laying, mostly, during that time.
    I've never seen an actual study comparing birds who have lighting during the winter, with those who don't. It's likely because commercial birds, who would fund most studies, don't ever live beyond 18 months of age, so there's no incentive to do this.
    The way to get real information, not hearsay and wishful thinking, is to fund research!
    A backyard chicken organization? The money has to be put up for research that impacts our concerns.
    Mary
     
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  2. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

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    No freezing issues here in South Florida. I stay away from plastics and metals in my construction in general - AND, other than the 4x4 boards against the ground, everything in the coop and run is not pressure treated - I don't want to introduce chemicals like those found in pressure treated woods. Yes, I did do painting (exterior only)... don't kill me.

    The roosting bars are all wood, and yes, I consider the two closet rods I have in there as a "bark free - very straight branch". So to speak. I have some smaller branches in there (both the run and the coop) from a wind storm knock down from one of my pine trees - the girls like those and play on them, but they are small.. only about 1 inch in diameter. I think of them like "starter roosting bars". I love the idea of using a thicker branch for a roost - when one drops, I'll use that instead of the closet rod. Looks better also. It is just a matter of time, I have a lot of trees on my properly.

    One of the larger branches I have in the run is about 3 inches around and just laying on the ground. It dropped from a tree about a year ago. That branch started originally at around 6 feet long, but has split and broken into many smaller pieces. It is starting to decay. I spy on the girls once in a while (Chicken tv) and have watched them jump on it and roll it around and get the grubs from under it. Very cute.

    I've read a lot about light - which is why I asked - I do like the idea of having some lighting in both the coop and run which I can control the intensity of. Time will tell, but at 6 weeks old, have quite a while before worrying about egg production and number of hours of daylight. This is a hobby and not a business, and as much as I want them to lay all year long, I'm not sure I want to do anything "unnatural" which might mess with their cycles.

    In fact, they will be ready to lay around Christmas time (If my math is right) - the shortest amount of daylight of the year. So I'm not sure about production, which is fine.

    Winter time is beautiful here, low humidity and still very warm during the days - in the 24 years I've been coming to Florida, I can only remember two or three freeze warnings at night which might have hurt the orange crops. The windows on the coop can be closed to block wind or if it gets too cold outside, but I don't expect that I'll ever need to close them for weather - I prefer keeping them open for ventilation purposes.

    I'm fairly sure the girls will be able to handle that kind of temps with no problems.
     
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  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

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    The lights in my coop go on at 5 pm (6 during summer) and go off at 8:30. Like I said, my coop is dark. Walk into a closet and close the door - dark. My birds will not enter a dark coop. If you have windows, it won't be that dark in your coop. I have the light come on at 5 am in the morning because they get up with the sun. Their only window faces east, but even though the rising sun will shine in the window it does not light the floor area very well.
    This time of year, when the chickens see the light in the coop pop on - they go into the coop. The sun getting low in the horizon and their run has been in full shade for over 3 hours already.
     
  4. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

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    Green Acres, Florida
    I see, ya, I certainly don't have that issue. Wyoming - I was in Colorado for years, and know about that area of the country and how long/low the sun can get. Not an issue down here in the south (tropics).
     
  5. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

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    NE Wisconsin
    Actually, we are in northeastern Wisconsin now, so we have it worse with the low sun in the winter.
     
  6. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

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    Green Acres, Florida
    Oh, brrrrr, I assumed you were in Wyoming from the name. Didn't notice your location in your profile. I understand the need for light there. Thanks for the feedback :)
     
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

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    BTW, the picture with the kids is so cute! That needs to go in the scrapbook for sure.
    Great way to raise kids. I can remember Mom yelling "Wash your feet!" when we would come inside during the summer.
     
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  8. higgy62

    higgy62 In the Brooder

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    Thanks! Yea, these two are adorable, and are learning to be gentle. Now that the girls are getting bigger, I don't worry about the kids hurting them, squeezing too hard, etc. Plus, and as they are being socialized early, both are learning to be in each other's space. Being a photographer, I'm taking advantage of the chicks and the kids as much as I can. Definitely a scrap book photo (well, an electronic one these days anyway).
     

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