The size of a grow out pen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ajlynco, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. ajlynco

    ajlynco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2011
    Reno, NV.
    I currently have 11 hens that are 13 months old and 2 weeks ago I recieved 15, 1 day old Easter Eggers.I only want to keep 4-5 chicks so in a couple of months I'll be rehoming the rest of the newbies. I have a couple of questions; How big should I make the grow out pen? How soon can I put the new chooks with the established flock. I'd like to build the grow out pen right next to the main run so they all can interact through the 1/2" hardware cloth. Any other tips, advise or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thnx folks.
  2. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi - I will be growing out 83 chicks - splitting them up between two rooms that are 8 X 10 each.

    DH attached a set of wooden stairs, turned upside down to make roosting areas and attached them to one of the walls - one set in each grow out room. The chickens love them.

    I also make 'natural' roosting, socialization and play areas for the youngsters with huge tree limbs from trees around our farm that have fallen due to storms that I set up for them in each room.

    I hang the big - 40 lb capacity - metal feeders from the rafters - one in each room - with a very heavy duty chain with which I can continually readjust so the feeder is the correct height for the growing chooks.

    I use the big plastic three gallon screw on top waterers that I purchased from TSC and I always add Apple Cider Vinegar - With the Mother - a generous tablespoon for every gallon of water.

    All my chicks think that's just what water tastes like as I start them on ACV from day one forward as it seems to be a good preventative and 'tonic' that keeps them healthy and vigorous with gorgeous sheen to their feathers - at least that's been my experience.

    I set my waterer up on something - like several large bricks - sometimes I use an inverted large metal tub to place it on - something that will keep the hay/pine straw or whatever you put on the floor of the grow out coops AND their poop from getting into the trough they drink from.

    There is a plywood wall that goes 2/3 of the way up the wall between the two grow out rooms with the upper 1/3 of the wall space being hardware cloth.

    My growing pullets rarely seem to show any interest in the 'girls' in the next room but seem to bond with the ones in their 'own little flock'.

    I've never had any problems adding pullets to my main flock ( 4 Roos and 40 Pullets & Hens of various breeds ). I decide when to add a young pullet depending on size of each bird and their
    demonstrated ability to be able to keep their place in a pecking order adequately.

    Usually it is around 15 weeks of age for my standard size Heritage Breeds and EEs.

    Most of my young pullets 'pair up' with another of their own breed or another pullet and I make
    sure to add them in 'pairs' to the main flock - usually close to roosting time but enough daytime
    for them to find their way around the larger main coop and to scope out hiding and roosting
    places for themselves if feel threatened.

    Remember that the young pullets need to continue to have access to the Starter Grower Crumble and make that available to them in the
    pen with the Layers that are eating the Layer Pellets.

    Hope some of this info has been helpful to you. I use the deep litter method in both my main
    coop and indoor large covered run areas as well as in both of my grow out rooms. I use dry
    leaves from our property, hay, pine straw and wood shavings from my husband's professional
    woodworking shop.

    I use pine straw in all of my nesting boxes for the laying pullets and hens and they love it -
    just keep adding fresh and the eggs are rarely soiled at all.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013

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