Upstate NY Spring Chicks

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mrmarolf, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. mrmarolf

    mrmarolf Hatching

    Jan 19, 2015
    I'm looking to start my first coop this spring and begin with 4 australorp chicks. We're still debating on whether to buy or build a coop and are looking over different plan ideas. I'm hoping someone can give me some advice on how large of a foraging yard I should have for four adult hens? Also any tips on picking a coop with ease of cleaning in mind would be appreciated. I've read a couple helpful books, but would like the input of actual owners before we make any decisions. Thanks!
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! A great place to start is the BYC Learning Center, lots of nice articles on all aspects of poultry keeping
    There is a great article in the Learning Center on figuring out space in coop and yard you'd want for the number of birds you want and be sure to check out the Coops section for coop ideas you can usually build or have built for you a much nicer/bigger coop for the price that the pre-fab ones are, a lot of people also convert things like garden sheds if they don't want to start a coop from scratch.
    you might also check out/post on your state thread for chicken keeping neighbors and suggestions they have for your areas climate etc
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    I would definitely check out the Coops page, which Kelsie2290 gave you a link to.

    As for foraging yard area, do you want an area for your birds to range in that stays green/grassy all year? Or do you mean a simple yard that your birds can go out in, get some fresh air, and scratch around in the dirt. The size of yard varies depending on your answer to those two questions.

    In order for chickens to not destroy the grass in their run, they need to have a good deal of space. Unfortunately, I've never tried ranging chickens like that, so I can't tell you exactly how much space each bird would require. I would recommend posting the question in the Coops section of the forums: Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance Hopefully, members there can help.

    If you just want an enclosed run, the general rule of thumb is about 10 square feet per bird. That gives them plenty of room to run around, stretch their wings, and dustbathe. If you can give them more space, that is even better, since more space usually means less fighting and happier hens.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to our flock. Kelsie2290 has left you with some good links to check out. Australorps are my favorite standard breed. I've raised them for years and they are extremely hardy, calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them), and the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. My Australorps are kept in enclosed runs as opposed to foraging, but I do know that the minimum recommend floor space (more is better) is 4 sq. ft. per bird for the coop and 10 sq. ft. per bird for the run. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your Australorps.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Looks like others have given you some great advice!! I might suggest sand as an option in your run. Wonderful stuff sand is! I stays dry even when wet, it repels flies, it is very easy to maintain, it absorbs poop smells and you can hose it down in the summer time and keep the birds feet cool. Cool feet mean warmer birds. Here is a nice thread on sand if you are interested....

    Definitely check out the other links that were provided above for more help and info.

    Enjoy this new journey you are on and welcome to our flock!
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

    My chickens are kept in an enclosed run, instead of a foraging yard. But, the larger the yard, the better. Chickens enjoy lots of space and it prevents picking and injury.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    The above members have said all there is to be said so I'll just say welcome to the flock!

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