What to do with an unplanned chicken?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sbonsai, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. sbonsai

    sbonsai Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2016
    So, we started with 2 chickens (Buff Orpingtons) that really grew on us. When we built the coop for them, I had planned on getting 2 more mostly because everyone told me I would. So I build an A-frame coop/run that had 36 square feet in the run and 24 square feet in the covered coop. We now have 2 new Cream Legbar chicks that are two weeks old and they are in a brooder.

    The wrinkle is, my wife has seen silkies and really wants one. I'm not really sure how to proceed at this point with mixing the flock and the amount of space I have in the run. I had done research before I started on the coop and built the recommended 15 total square feet per chicken. I think it's going to be a little cramped with 5, and not only that, the 5th will be a bantam. I will add that they get to free range whenever we are home, but I usually put them up when we go to work because we have a couple of hawks in the area.

    • Any advice on how to proceed?
    • Procure the silkie as soon as possible so she can go in with the Cream Legbars due to socialization concerns?
    • And then the space issue is my real concern. Will the silkie be fine in coop/run, even if I do expand it somehow without spending a fortune tearing out what I have already built?
    • Or just tell my wife that it isn't a good idea and that's not coming from me, that is coming from the experts at BYC?
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal True BYC Addict

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    I think it would be fine, especially if they get to free range sometimes. A small silkie wouldn't take up much space and yes, I would get it as soon as you can so it can go with the Legbars. Ideally you can add a little space but you should be fine with five chickens in there. [​IMG]
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    The coop area will be fine since you have a couple that will not be large chickens. You already need more area in the run but since they get free ranging privilege that helps. I don't know your setup but expanding an A frame shouldn't be too difficult.
    And you might as well learn now that just about no one on BYC is ever going to tell you that getting more chickens isn't a good idea. My best advice is to say "Yes dear" and start planning your 20x40' coop now.
  4. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2015
    Walla Walla WA
    I thought it would take me a couple years to max out my coop. I knew that the most it could have was 12. It only took me two months to go from 6 to 12. And this weekend I'm working on tripling the size of the run. I
  5. sbonsai

    sbonsai Out Of The Brooder

    May 6, 2016
    I'd love to somehow figure out a chicken tractor that could connect to my current setup so I could keep them on fresh grass. I'm a lot more interested in how to lower the daily maintenance at this point so that I'm sure I can give them what they need through thick and thin.

    As far as the number, I think 4 1/2 is going to be my limit (famous last words?). I think the only way I would have more is if they could free-range all the time. Honestly, the only reason I got 2 more instead of 1 is for socialization issues. If I could go back, I would probably buy 3 to start since that would take care of our egg needs.
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    So true so very very true.

    I agree completely.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I'd add that one Silkie is not the right number; two or three would be better, so one tiny flightless bird won't be alone. Bigger coop! Mary

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by