Please comment on my "Chick plan"

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FirewifeJess, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all, I'm pretty new here and have learned so much lately, thanks for all the friendliness. I just wanted to get some "old timers" to chime in on how things sound over here, thanks in advance! Right now I have 15 chicks...too many so I'm working on getting rid of a few. One is sick (I can't figure out how to help her, she's just not growing anymore and she's still eating and drinking, but not feathering and is half the size of all her sisters) so she'll be staying here while I try to help her out. I plan to sell at least 4 ASAP though, leaving me with 10 healthy 2-3 week olds and one sickie.

    My coop - raised 5x7 shed, entire floor space usable once they can go outside. I know this is enough space to brood them in, so they were just moved out there tonight with the lamp in place hung by heavy chain. I have a 4-nipple bucket waterer hung from the ceiling as well, and a feeder in place on some bricks on the floor. Roosting bars will go in next week (with 20+ linear feet of roosting space). There are 2 12" square vents at the top (one on each side of the coop for crossflow) covered in hardware cloth, and another 12"x18" vent around floor level with hardware cloth covering it, and a hatch on the outside to close during storms. It is currently closed with the babies inside so they don't get chilled by a draft but will be open full time in a few weeks. I am using the deep litter method using pine shavings mixed with diatomaceous earth for dust bathing. Some of my girls are already really into that! LOL For now the next boxes aren't in the coop to reduce mess but I think I'll put them in (the will be mounted on the back wall (4-5 of them) about 2' off the ground) around 18 weeks old...ish?

    My run - not yet built, but it will be approximately 250s/f for no more than 10 birds. We plan to keep them in the coop/run about half the time, and let them out to free range our half acre a couple full days each week, or if DH can stand the poop, then I'll be letting them free range a whole lot more. Also about 1/3 of the run will be covered so they can stay out of the rain and their food can stay dry. I plan to keep all food and water outside the coop as soon as they're ready for that, perhaps about 10 weeks old.

    OK I think that's it! Please know that I'm new and still learning and don't need to be harshly judged, I really am just asking for advice and hoping my "plan" doesn't need too much tweaking! ask questions and chime in, I need input!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds pretty good!

    The only thing I'm not sure about is a floor vent. Vents are for letting humidity and ammonia escape and need to be up high, preferably the highest point of the coop. There's no need for a place lower down to let air in, for exchange purposes; the air will exchange at the high vent. The only reason to have a low vent would be to cool them off in hot weather, that I can think of.
     
  3. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah I was thinking it wasn't terribly necessary but I ended up with a coop that had 2 chicken doors and of course we only needed one. Also, there isn't much light in there with only a tall skinny glass in the door (you know the kind in classroom doors?) and the vents up top. To make it usable I just put the hardware cloth over it and now it's a window with a hatch that can close. I guess if I just don't ever end up using it the only cost was the hardware cloth, no biggie.
     
  4. cmfarm

    cmfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your run really doesn't need to be so big. That is big enough for like 25 chickens.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a 70'x70' run (yard) and 11 chickens. They go all over it, and keep the grass eaten. Maybe not needed -- but they sure use it.
     
  6. Actually like the floor vent. I found cool air is drawn in during the warm months and takes up ammonia and humidity out the upper vents via natural convection. What I did was go down and get a crawl space vent that opens and closes by itself depending on the temperature. They are surprisingly cheap. But if you have a swing down cover on yours it might even be more secure than mine when closed.
     
  7. FirewifeJess

    FirewifeJess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the help! Here's what the vent looks like and right now that piece of wood just pops over the hole, but we will put hinges on it so it can close or open easily. Yes, that's 1/2" hardware cloth over the hole.
    .[​IMG]
    Here's the coop:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. red hen in the rain

    red hen in the rain Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the look of your coop! Nice to see little peeps in the big house, makes me more confident that yes, they can go out in another week or 2 if they have the right stuff in place - lamp, etc.. Just gotta finish my coop. Worked on it all day. And I agree with flockwatcher, a big run is not a bad thing. If you have the space and the fence and netting, make it as big as possible, your chickens will enjoy it and it will be less likely to turn into a barren dirt patch.
     

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