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Roosts, Run, & Brooder Q's

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by france, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. france

    france Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2009
    North East
    I have 6 standard breed chickens and 7 yard candy bantams due in 2 weeks [​IMG] (orps, EEs, silkies)

    I am planning on starting with a rubbermaid tub for the brooder. How long with that group of 13 last in it? A week, 2 weeks? I am wondering if I can go right from tub brooder to brooder set up in the coop. Otherwise I will have to come up with a bigger brooder from the get go. I want to limit how much I move them around.

    The coop is a mini horse run-in we are modifying. All set with ventilation, doors etc. What do I make the roosts out of? I have read and seen everything on here from flat boards so they can sit flat to tree branches and shower rods. How many roosts at 6' long? How high? I plan on making a ramp for the bantams in case they want to roost and expect someday to probably have more standard chickens.

    How big a run do I need? Is there a formula of a per chicken square footage? We are putting up 2 runs. On permanent year round and one around the garden so when we are done they can head into that area too from sept - may. We do not want to free range at all.

    Thank you!!!
     
  2. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    I'd say two weeks tops. You should be able to move them into a sectioned off part the coop with no issue.

    Roosts can be standard 2x4's laid on their side. 13' of roost space 2' off the ground or so will be more than enough if all your birds were standard size, so you can work that down to size without issue.

    Run space is 10 square foot per standard breed. Not sure for Bantams, but if you go 10, you'll be fine, so you're looking at 130 square feet.

    I stuck with standard breed figure since you'd said you're looking at getting more standards. 4sf coop, 10sf run.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I am planning on starting with a rubbermaid tub for the brooder. How long with that group of 13 last in it? A week, 2 weeks?

    I'd plan on 1/2 square foot per chick for the first two weeks then 1 square foot per bird until they are feathered out. As half of yours are bantams, you can probably stretch that time in the tub by several days. As you probably know, if they get crowded they tend to cannibalize each other, so keep an eye on it.

    I am wondering if I can go right from tub brooder to brooder set up in the coop. Otherwise I will have to come up with a bigger brooder from the get go. I want to limit how much I move them around.


    Depends on your climate and how draft-free you can make it. If you can keep them draft-free and stabilize the temperature in the coop, they can start out in a brooder in the coop. You could possibly build a temperary enclosure (leaving plenty of ventilation) in the coop to help retain heat. As long as you can meet their basic needs, chicks can adapt. Stabilizing the temperature is very important, but make sure it is not too hot. That is worse than a little cool.

    The coop is a mini horse run-in we are modifying. All set with ventilation, doors etc. What do I make the roosts out of? I have read and seen everything on here from flat boards so they can sit flat to tree branches and shower rods.

    Wood is highly recommended. Most other things are too slick for roosts. In colder climates, which includes you (Thanks for showing your area in your profile. Makes it easier to answer this question) many people use 2x4's with the top corners rounded and laid flat. That way the birds can sit on their feet when they roost and protect them against frostbite. If you use tree branches, you need to remove the bark. Red mites hang out in crevices and cracks in wood during the day and attack the chickens at night. It's easier to treat for them if the bark is removed.

    How many roosts at 6' long? How high? I plan on making a ramp for the bantams in case they want to roost and expect someday to probably have more standard chickens.

    The rule of thumb is 8" to 12" for full sized birds and 6" to 10" for bantams. In a cold climate, the birds tend to huddle together to stay warm. On hot sticky nights they need to be able to spread out a little. As far as how high - they need to be clearly higher than anything you don't want them to roost on, like nest boxes. 12" higher should be sufficient.

    How big a run do I need? Is there a formula of a per chicken square footage? We are putting up 2 runs. On permanent year round and one around the garden so when we are done they can head into that area too from sept - may. We do not want to free range at all.

    The run size depends on different factors. As DarkWolf said, 10 square feet per bird is a good number.

    Have you considered a chicken moat? I'll include a link. It sound like it might work out for you. If you set it up right, the inner fence can be a lot cheaper, like chicken wire or or plastic fencing as you are not trying to keep predators out but are keeping chickens in. Remember that raccoons and possums can climb, so setting it up right may include an electric fence. The gate can be a weak point if you are not careful. I'll add that it is hard to predator-proof any run of a larger size. Electric fences can fail. Most climbing predators normally (but not always) attack at night. I'm not saying that the moat is right for you or that you want to save money on the inside fence. I'm just presenting ideas for you to make the decision.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1988-05-01/The-Chicken-Moat-Enclosure.aspx

    Hope this helps
     
  4. france

    france Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 2, 2009
    North East
    Thanks for all the info! That really helps.

    I remember seeing the chicken moat idea and could not remember where. This time I bookmarked the link. I also forwarded to my husband to see how possible this may be for this year. Has anyone on BYC made one?
     

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