Returning member....with questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by llama-mama, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. llama-mama

    llama-mama Hatching


    I was a member a while ago but left when I got out of chickens. I am now getting back into chickens....looking at getting about 100 in the spring. I am looking for coop and run ideas and bedding ideas. We have an enormous amount of coyotes and wolves were recently spotted so they will have to be locked in at night. I have cedar shavings readily available and that is what I use in the barn, but know they should not be used for chickens.....altho I have in the past with no problems. Other bedding is limited.

    If my memory serves me correctly they need 14 to 17 hours of daylight and 60 degree temps to lay year round (I would like them to lay over the winter months and well we get pretty darn cold here).

    Thank you for your input....

    Kena in Michigans Upper Peninsula.
  2. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I'm no expert, but I know the light is more important than the heat. We haven't been much above 32 degrees for weeks and these girls are still laying with just a heater for the water. They've been getting 14 or so hours of light a day though.
  3. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    If you buy Rhoide Island Reds they tend to lay all year. They may drop production but my girls have only missed 2 days since Jan 1. That is about right in good weather and it has been extrememly cold here until this week.

    How many chickens are you getting because I made a coop by myself (I am a grandma) out of 5 sheets of plywood (4'X8'). I basically made a box with a few openings one window and a door on one side the whole side of the unit for easy cleaning and on the other end I put two beautiful nesting boxes that they do not use [​IMG] I put it up on stilts and attached plywood as a sheild so they have a place to go in poor weather and I put a run all the way around but not over the doorway. This way I can open the door and access the nests and to clean it out without them jumping me. [​IMG]

    I hope this sparks an idea.
  4. seagullplayer

    seagullplayer In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    I have never used heat with mine but do need to keep 14 hours or more light on them. You will need to make sure they have water and hi protein feed.

    We don't get as cold as you here in Indiana, but no way my house stays 60 F.

    And if you put up a roosting pole, it can't be metal.
    I normally use straw for bedding because its everywhere around here.

    Good luck, do you know what breed you want yet?
  5. llama-mama

    llama-mama Hatching

    I would like to get some RR's and some Araucaunas.

    I am looking at ordering 100 chicks from McMurray for spring, but hopefully I can pick up some pullets locally for immediate eggs.
  6. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    We don't have light or heat and we have only missed one day 3 days in the last several weeks. And two of those days were when we switched coops. And the 3rd day, we let them out early and I think she laid somewhere outside. Regardless, I think you should be fine even without the light or heat.

    Welcome back!!
  7. llama-mama

    llama-mama Hatching

    I can't go with out both.....we get to -20 F sometimes here during the winter...not lately however but last year most of the winter was that way!! YUCK!!

    Previously I had a light on a time set to run for about 14 hours and a heater we had temperature controlled.
  8. I found this at He uses Electronet with great success.

    My solution to the attack on my mobile pen was to “wire for defense”: I mounted a small battery-powered fence charger right on the pen, and ran single-strand electric wire around the pen, both at nose level near the ground and about 12 inches up, standing it off from the pen with insulators. I never again had an attack on a movable pasture pen with a functioning electric defense.

    I have, however, experienced two successful dog attacks on chickens inside fencing. One was from a wily old grump and her year-old daughter (kept by a neighbor but not especially well fed, I suspect—these dogs were hunting not as fun and games, but out of hunger). Again, that pack mentality came to the fore: One dog would rush the fence, spooking the chickens inside into panic flight over the fence—right into the waiting jaws of the other dog. Another case where the animal control officer came riding to the rescue, and hauled the marauders off to jail.

    I once lost a young goose inside electronet to two dogs who obviously were wise to the sting in the net, but who used the same cunning to rush the geese in a narrow portion of the fence, forcing one to panic over the net and meet its doom. Since then, I avoid net fences with corridor-like portions, but configure them with plenty of interior space into which the birds retreat when threatened from the outside from any angle. If you are installing fixed runs with conventional poultry netting, I recommend wide and roomy over long and narrow.

    I have heard reports of large dogs (or coyotes) jumping over electronet, which is usually 42 inches or so high. Certainly large canines can jump that high; but in my experience, they tend to lead with the nose. Once that sensitive probe gets a jolt from the fence, they do not back off and think, “Hmmmm, if at first you don’t succeed—” but rather, high-tail it into the next county.

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