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mommacassey

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
63
3
33
Southeast Texas
We ordered a coop from TSC because we're not really in the design or construction know. We got word yesterday that they're going to be delivering it next Tuesday. I'm really excited about it, and my husband's just glad I'm not asking him to go to the hardware store to buy stuff, or that I want him to come up with something on his own.

We tried to stop by the feed store yesterday, but they were closing--I know I need to get some pine shavings for the floor, and I'm guessing some straw for the nest boxes, even though I know it might be a while before we can expect much nesting or eggs. I've been reading here on BYC about processes for keeping everything clean and dry, but I would never turn down advice from anyone on the basics I should have for my first steps into chicken-raising.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
You can use the pine shavings in the nest boxes, too.

Have you looked at our learning center? There's an awful lot of information there.

Be sure they are cool enough in the summer. They are much ore sensitive to heat than cold, and reuire shade and breeze in the summer. You can add your general location to your postbit; this helps with a lot of questions. And give them as much space as possible. Good luck!
 

mommacassey

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
63
3
33
Southeast Texas
Oh no! We just got a call from TSC saying they went to load up the coop I ordered, only to discover they didn't actually have any...

For its size, and based on the reviews, it was The One I Wanted. Now, I might have to work on getting a coop built, instead, because nothing I'm finding for sale suits my desires and needs.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
You'd be surprised how many people here have put together a coop as their very first building project, perhaps not perfectly, but to their chickens' delight..

Ah, I see you are in a hot climate, similar to mine. You actually only need a three sided structure, to let them get out of rain and wind, and to keep your feed dry. These are really quite easy to build yourself; errors are easily fixable, especially if you build with screws instead of nails.

In the south, a standard 4 sided building is too hot for them most of the year. Chickens tolerate cold just fine, but have a lot of trouble with heat, and will require good shade and breeze for most of your year. You and I don't get any weather that a chicken would call "cold." Please glance through this thread for the sort of structure I'm talking about, that is ideal for our climate:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/163417/please-show-me-your-hot-weather-coops/0_20
 

mommacassey

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
63
3
33
Southeast Texas
Thanks, Judy! That thread is awesome and you've definitely given me more to think about. I think this past winter and last year's winter have left me traumatized, and I had not thought about keeping the hens cool nearly as much as making sure they're warm in these strange, wintery days we've been having (40 degrees this morning! What?)
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
Haha, that isn't even cool to them! Their homegrown winter coat is plenty for that.

We get down to 20 or so for a few nights at least every few years. I think we hit 14 recently (probably for about one hour, lol.) I don't even close up the very breezy coop, just have the roost is a more or less unwindy area, by more or less cutting off the main flow from one direction. I know they must be grateful for the breezy roost in summer. All three other sides still have large open air areas all year.
 
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