Wanting more hens, grow out pen questions

Mama Kay W

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
112
2
91
Northern Idaho
I have been reading a lot on here on adding more chickens to an existing flock but I have some questions, hubby won't let me get more unless I can figure out how to do it.
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The coop I have is a 4' X 8' with 2 New Hampshire's and 2 Dark RIR. I would like to get 3 black sexlinks and 2 EE.

They have an enclosed run (too many predators for free range) right now it is 4' X 14' figure I can expand it to a 9' X 14'. Would this be big enough for 9 chickens?

My questions are after the chicks are old enough & feathered out enough can I put a dog kennel (about a 3' X 4') for the chicks to be with the older ones inside the run? Would this size kennel be big enough for 5 chicks? I've read this would be good to do so they get use to each other for a few weeks.

I can't really set up a separate area inside the coop for them til they get big enough, I was hoping by the time they are feathered out enough I can put them outside, but I don't know if it would be warm enough for them to stay outside at night? I would be in June/July (which would be about 2-3 months old then) so it would be in summer (I'm in Idaho about 60 miles from the Canadian border).

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and/or help?
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Amina

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2013
508
50
156
Raleigh, NC
The rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per chicken in the coop, and 10 sq ft per chicken in the run. So yes, a 9' x 14' run is plenty big enough for 9 hens. The coop on the other hand is a little bit cramped for 9 hens. 4'x8' means an 8 hen capacity.

About the dog kennel, I don't know. Someone with more experience than me with chicks will have to chime in, but my inclination is that it sounds pretty cramped for 5 growing pullets. But how about using some temporary chicken wire fencing inside the run to divide the old from the young birds? That's what I'm planning to do when I get more pullets. Just make sure it's tall enough so that no one can hop over to the other side and wreak havoc. You're talking about some light-weight breeds, so this might require fencing all the way up to the ceiling. But it's still a fairly cheap solution.
 

Mama Kay W

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
112
2
91
Northern Idaho
Thank you for your response, I thought maybe the coop would be a bit on the small/cramped side. I can't really see building another coop, I was trying to keep the cost down. If I had the money I would of rather have a nice 8' X 8' coop with an enclosed run, I have a perfect spot at least for the coop but trying to cover the run would be way too much. We usually get 4-6 feet of snow every year.
I was wanting about 5 more so I can have eggs, with the other 4 I already have only one is laying (they will be 3 in June) and that's only been since April this year,(they stopped last October) she's only laying 2 eggs a week
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One of them I think is either internally laying or has cancer, but she is eating/drinking normally, so what ever is wrong with her is stabilized (for now) but for the 2 RIR nothing, their combs are just pink not red and they eat/drink/act normal too.
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I was thinking the dog kennel might be too small too when they get a bit older. Back to the drawing board
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Amina

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2013
508
50
156
Raleigh, NC
Chickens naturally have about the life span of a dog... 10-15 years. So at this point, you have a choice. You can cull your non-laying hens and get lots of new pullets to maintain high egg production. Or if you don't want to do that, then you need to be plan out a long term flock rotation. You've already got 4 hens. One of those hens might die of whatever is ailing her in the nearish future, but the other 3 might live another 10 years. You can only get 4 more with the current coop. What I would do if I didn't want to cull any is add 2 new pullets this year, and add 2 more new pullets 2-3 years from now. Hope those thoughts help!
 

Mama Kay W

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
112
2
91
Northern Idaho
Yes it does help. I would really rather have a bigger coop but don't have the money to build one. I don't know how well adding 2 new pullets to the flock would work too good, my RIR are a bit mean with something they see as new. I put the sick one back in the flock when she seemed to be doing much better and they pick on her a lot, all she does is sit up on the roosting bar in the run.
 

Amina

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2013
508
50
156
Raleigh, NC
If you have a bully, remove her from the flock for several days out of sight of the flock and it will do wonders for her attitude!
 

Mama Kay W

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 22, 2011
112
2
91
Northern Idaho
I'm gonna have to remove 2 of them, it's both of the RIR. One of them was on the bottom of the pecking order and now she's the one that picks on her the most, the other one tends to join in and team up on her. The one I returned to the flock was in my office for 2 weeks, she was at the top of the pecking order.
It's not bad pecking, a bit here and there but she just runs from them and jumps up on the roosting bar and stays there. Right now they are all up on the roosting bar together.
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Chicken logic.
 

Apexbest

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 11, 2014
6
0
8
Tropics of Africa
I'm new here too. I just got my first layers today. yellow coloured chicks. I
need to know what breed they are, and the best ways to keep them healthy,
happy and kicking. I love my chicks.
 

Amina

Songster
7 Years
Jul 12, 2013
508
50
156
Raleigh, NC
About covering the run in preparation for a lot of snow... What about having mesh as the ceiling in the new area? The snow wouldn't cave in the roof that way, and the chickens would still be protected from hawks
 

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