1. warsaw

    warsaw Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    May 31, 2008
    rural Ohio
    I've ordered my chicks but they won't show up until the 12th of next month. I have worked out a deal with a friend of a friend (who is already set up to brood chicks) to raise them until they are old enough to go into the coop and the tractor. Thanks to this site, I've narrowed my coop ideas down to what I'm wanting but I still have some questions.

    1. For 15 Golden Comets, how much yard/space do they need outside of the coop? I live out in the county so I have ample space but I don't want to give them more than they need.
    2. How much water do they need per day (even on super hot days)?
    3. Where can I find instructions on how to make a gravity feeder with a float?
    4. Would three laying boxes be enough for 14 pullets?
    5. Does it matter if I make their yard in a field where it's wide open all around it or if I butt it up against the woods? It will be fenced in and it will be locked down at night, regardless.
    6. When I get the chickens, they'll be approximately 6 weeks old. What feed do I need?
    7. My family and I have dirt bikes/ 4 wheelers--we go fast and they're loud. Is this going to freak out the chickens and cause them not to lay eggs?
    8. I'm thinking about putting the coop closer to my house than originally planned. The place I'm considering is rather grown over with weeds, etc. I'd have to brush hog it a couple of times. Will the briars and that sort of overgrowth matter once they're in there?

    I know these are a lot of questions but you all are the "eggsperts"! Thanks!
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    24,442
    49
    371
    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to BYC. Lots of info and knowledge to glean here.

    Quote:House + Run = Coop

    When figuring for chickens you should given them housing at 4 square feet per bird. An 8 x 8 house will house 16 birds. However I would never put that many birds in that size space. Close quarters begs for illness and diseases.

    I wouldn't build anything less than 10 x 12. Eventually you will may want to add a few more birds and you will be thankful for the space. Give them at least twice as much outdoor run space.

    If you are going to hedge on giving them 'only what they need' then you have to question why exactly do you want chickens. Providing more than they need helps insure their welfare and general good health. If you don't have the space, time and money to provide well for them cut back on your numbers. When animals are well taken care of it shows in the way they are able to give back to you. Top quality eggs and meat is what I want so I make sure my chickens are more than well cared for in terms of their needs.

    Quote:My 25 hens drink nearly 10 gallons of water a day in hot weather. You can set up autowatering or use waterers. If you use waterers clean them often and keep them filled. I use galvanized waterers because they need the same clean, free flowing water in winter when everything freezes. It is easier for me to use a little heat to thaw a metal waterer than it is a plastic one. A plastic waterer will burst/crack after a few freezes. I just don't bother with them.

    Quote:Keep your feeders full. Most people use a hanging feeder or a wallmounted feeder. You don't need a float. Hanging feeders come usually in 12 lb and 22 lbs feeders. Meaning they hang and will carry the weight of 12 and 22 pounds of feed. I use two 22 lb feeders in my main laying house.

    Keep your feeders full. Don't let them run out of feed. Young chickens eat alot.

    You can make your own hanging feeders out of 5 gallon buckets and a pan with an eye bolt. There are several 'how to' instructional threads on the forum. Use the search feature and look through the learning center and you'll find a wealth of useful help and knowledge on more than feeders.

    Quote:Sometimes you will find that they all want to lay in 1 box. LOL I would suggest you put in 5. Just incase you want more hens at some point or you get picky hens who refuse to let another hen into their box.

    Quote:The woods will provide them with much needed shade and cool spots on the ground. make suer you use good fencing and welded wire and line a good 6 inches deep eblow ground. Fuzzy critters in search of a chicken dinner won't give up easy.

    Quote:Starter/grower (some places have starter and grower available and some have a combo starter/grower don't fret over it) give them a good starter and/or grower type ration until you see eggs. Then switch them over to laying feed. You can give corn as a treat in cold weather months. Corn is candy to them. Not a staple. They will also enjoy kitchen scraps. Especially meats.

    Quote:They will get used to the common noises around your place and be just fine.

    Quote:Ha! Give them time and it will be completely bare earth with NOTHING growing at all. They will scratch, pick, peck and eat until nothing green can survive there. they are almost as good as a herd of goats! [​IMG]
     
  3. Anny

    Anny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    yippy! new chickens!

    On the space for the chickens they normally say 4 square ft per chicken inside the coop. 10 outside. Although I've seen small. Bigger is always better. I've heard not to keep more then 1 rooster per 10 hens.

    For the water I would just give them a large water (like the hanging water containers) Fill when needed. The larger the water reserve the less you'll have the fill it.

    For the nesting box I've read 4 bird per nesting box is the norm.

    About the loud noises, chicken do get used to noise over time, I mean I'm not saying you should zoom past the coop super fast or anything, but the humming and buzzing of the bikes will become something that they are used it. I'm sure it will freak them out at first.

    If you put the coop in a over grown weeded area, that is fine, just mow it down and then the chickens will eat, dig and roll around and they normally do a pretty good job at turning anything green into complete dirt. haha


    I hope that helped. GOOD LUCK!
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, since Miss Prissy and Anny already covered your questions, I'll just say... [​IMG]

    You are going to LOVE having chickens! I will second the 'bigger is better' notion. It seems that nobody here (guilty as charged myself) stops with that X number of chickens they said they were going to have...
     
  5. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

    735
    1
    153
    May 4, 2008
    you've already gotten great advice. just wanted to chime in that we too have four wheelers, snomobiles etc..., use them to go out to the coop each day (well, not the sleds yet:)) and the birds are totally used to the ruckus. now, if a crow caws above them or any other bird they all go flying for the coop door, we've actually witnessed 'log jams' as they all try to enter at once:lau


    enjoy the chickens, you're gonna love them!
     
  6. warsaw

    warsaw Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    May 31, 2008
    rural Ohio
    Missprissy said

    If you are going to hedge on giving them 'only what they need' then you have to question why exactly do you want chickens. Providing more than they need helps insure their welfare and general good health. If you don't have the space, time and money to provide well for them cut back on your numbers. When animals are well taken care of it shows in the way they are able to give back to you. Top quality eggs and meat is what I want so I make sure my chickens are more than well cared for in terms of their needs.


    I should have re worded that ..I was trying to say something along this line...I dont want to give them too much room ...like 10 pullets in a 300sq. ft run



    Thanks for all the answers. they are very helpfull
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by