Tips/Advice on Coop for 15-17 Chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ELindsay12, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. ELindsay12

    ELindsay12 New Egg

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    Mar 25, 2017
    Hello!

    My husband and I will be converting a 12'x8' shed into a chicken coop. We haven't had chickens before (outside of when he was a kid). Any advice/tips out there for first timers? Things you guys wish you would have thought about? Tips on keeping it clean? I've read they can share nesting boxes? We plan to build a large enclosed run for them for when we aren't home and let them free range when we are home. I'm a bit worried with coyotes, bald eagles, etc...We can hear coyotes at night and we have eagles all over.

    We currently have 15 chicks in the garage (all different breeds) and might be adding two silkies.

    Thank you guys!! [​IMG]
     
  2. kornelius1

    kornelius1 New Egg

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    bury the wire in the ground a little too discourage diggers.
     
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  3. kornelius1

    kornelius1 New Egg

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    covering he top of the run with wire, will help with predatory birds.
     
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  4. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raise the coop onto cinderblocks that way animals don't start living underneath it. There should be 1 nesting box for every 4 chickens. Make sure you have adequate ventilation. Make sure the roost isn't too high. Sometimes they can hurt themselves when jumping off high roosts. For the run, you should definitely dig around the perimeter of the chicken run about 12-8 inches and burry hardware cloth, cinderblocks so that animals won't be able to dig underneath the fence. As for the run itself, I recommend chain link fence. That is what I use. IMO I think it is the best ways to go. Other people on here use a wood frame and staple/screw hardware cloth to it but that doesn't seem as strong as chain link to me. The roof is sometimes the hardest part. once again, some people use hardware cloth for it but I don't see hardware cloth as a good protector. Then that leaves you with building a wooden roof for the run which can be expensive and a lot of work.

    Adding silkies may not be the best idea. Silkies tend to get picked on by other breeds since they are "different". They also sometimes don't go on perches at night leaving them on the floor to get pooped on by the others. If you are dead set on getting silkies try to get them while the others are still chicks and you should make accommodations to the coop for those little guys.
     
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  5. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Only tips away from the necessities (https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...ks-the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens) I can think of are:

    1. Provide Electrolytes & Probiotics for at least the first three days, along with clean plain water. I provide ACV in their water daily (after the first three days of Electrolytes & Probiotics).

    2. Provide light dirt for dust bathing on day one. A pie dish works well.

    3. Provide appropriate size grit at one week, will strengthen their gizzard for healthy adults.

    ETA:

    4. Use nipple waterers to prevent spills from bowl type waterers. Horizontal nipples drip less.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  6. ELindsay12

    ELindsay12 New Egg

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    Thank you! This is very helpful! As for the silkies, my husband as always wanted them. The other 15 I currently have hatched on 3/2 and 3/9, if we picked up the two silkies early next week and kept them separated at first (as recommended), what would be the best way to introduce them all in your opinion? Our thoughts were to introduce them once the coop was finished and all set up and move everybody over at once from our garage. Bad idea?

    I definitely want all the gals to be happy. If it's too risky maybe we will wait.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say try and get silkies around the same age/ size if you can and introduce them sooner rather than later.
     
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  8. barred2rock

    barred2rock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Tip #5:

    Feed the chicks/chickens fermented feed. It will reduce feed consumption & cost while providing a healthier feed.


    Edited: typo
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  9. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Use 8x8 of your coop for the birds, and 4x8 to organize feed, bedding, supplies, etc.
     

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