Post by Meadow Creek Mama on Dec 25, 2017 14:29:08 GMT -5
How ever many chickens you need, think of having space for double that because they'll eventually retire and you'll need to raise up the same amount again and both flocks might have to share space for a bit.
Homestead wife and mom to three kiddos with #4 on the way. Jerseys milk cows, pigs, chickens, geese and gardens.
Forgot to say that I also wish our current coop had an easy way to partition off groups of younger birds when they get introduced to the flock.
I'll also just throw in that after a few years of using an eggmobile, we decided that a stationary chicken house makes more sense for us because the area where we run our chickens is only about 5 acres, and the chickens roam to the far corners of it regardless of where we put their coop. We used to use electric netting and move it with their coop, but that's a hassle in tall grass and winter time. So we built the huge stationary coop, with a real fence around it, and we can let the chickens out in to the field to range during the day.
We have sometimes temporarily housed our chickens in one of our garden hoop houses so they can clean up weeds and "till" up the soil, and for the most part I love the idea of hoop houses for winter chicken housing since it is so sunny, warm and spacious, but the air gets really dusty in there. simplynaturalfarm--how do you deal with good ventilation for your chickens in hoop houses. Do you have fans on them?
I have never had a dusty environment so I wonder if it isn't the extreme cold here? I can't say that I have addressed it with fans etc, but I can share I do not try to conserve heat with the birds as I had more problems with air quality when I had a low roof smaller coop to keep birds warm. Similar to problems you can have in a calf barn with higher humidity and with chicken it was ammonia smells even with lots of bedding.
They actually do way better with the cold than one would think. My hoophouse has enough cracks and with the open door for them, the air quality is always great. Only time I had issues is when I had pigs in with the chickens and then I put a window on the end and opened it - pigs kept it so warm in there the water rarely froze but then the air quality was very bad.
I also use straw for bedding and top it off weekly. Because the hoophouse is 10 feet tall, I can do deep bedding and just keep adding more thick layers. That maybe also helps with the dust - my brother uses wood chips and the dust is horrible.
At night they hunker down and snooze and can't say they ever seem cold - they seem way happier in the hoophouse than they did in the wooden low roof with Windows. Mine are allowed to free range during the day and while they venture out for a bit, the cold snow stops them and I don't want them to have frozen toes. If I put hay on the ground, wind would blow it away immediately. I can't get away with 1.5 sq ft per bird at any time of year. Knowing my birds may be inside for 4-5 months, I aim for 5 sq ft. Then cleaning is optional as it breaks down constantly.
My 20*50 hoophouse cost me $1000 to build so I'm happy with having more space and letting them wander (mine do like kind and range on 15 acres - they go everywhere). I also run extension cords which get tiring but such is life.
I had a fence dividing my coop into 2/3 and 1/3 Rd so I could put new chickens in there or divide some off if need be. Haven't added it to the new one as I ran out of time.
It is lack of ventilation that causes problems; not cold. This house has awesome ventilation - the moist air off the birds rises and is trapped in the clerestory section. As it cools it settles down but can't settle down on the birds because the new warm air pushs it - so it flows down the front roof and out the top part of the open front. Fresh air comes in the bottom part of the open front but never fast enough to be a draft because the three solid sides limits the rate of air change to the amount moved by the heat the chickens generate.
It has been used with excellent results far north of Calcary.... minus 20 or more F for days in a row with not a single case of frost bite or respitory problems. And the same results by many, many other people in Canada and the northern US. And southern US, for that matter - in summer or warm climates you open the clerestory windows.
I would modify the Woods' design in one way - I'd change the floor to accommodate a deep litter system. That means two different things, depending on who you are talking to. One is just thick litter. That is second best. The best is the thick litter on dirt. That is usually meant as natural dirt but I worry about predators so I'm working on getting the right microbes in on a sealed floor. People have had limited success with that. The keys seem to be to get enough shovels of dirt in to start with and then to keep it moist enough - especially with the Woods' coop because it is so dry.
I also have a great concepts for automatic door openers and for a winter water system but I don't have them here - I'll add them next week.
Not part of housing, but you might check out some of the fermented feeds threads on the chicken boards.
or the following isn't compatible with fermented feeds but is worth checking out anyway. I imagine it would work just as well with smaller barrel for fewer birds.
Post by canesisters on Dec 27, 2017 7:44:41 GMT -5
1. that poop shelves sound like a great idea.. but create ONE MORE daily chore that ISN'T necessary 2. that I would want a place for a broody to set, hatch and raise her brood without being pooped on & harassed by the flock 3. that electricity in the coop is a 'luxury' right up until that moment when it's NEEDED 4. that my '6 hens max!' would turn into 25 5. that it takes more room that I it seems like it would to maneuver tools like rakes, brooms, pitchforks, etc.. 6. that tossing bedding out the door to the wheelbarrow creates an IMPRESSIVE 'dust' cloud!!!! (be able to get ALL your tools inside) 7. that they will lay eggs in the most unreachable spot regardless of nice nest boxes... (make sure there AREN'T any unreachable spots.. under, behind, etc...) 8. that I would want to store a set of tools nearby so that I wouldn't be tempted to put off chores because all of the tools were WAY over in the barn 9. that a nice comfy chair in the yard/run would be a great place to nap 10. that chickens make a lovely 'white noise' that is great to nap to
11. back to that electricity thing - the only reasonable time to do 'maintenance' on chickens (worming, dusting, trimming butts, etc..) is while they are roosting - which is when it's dark... and is easiest with 2 people. Unless you have a sling/hammock.
12. like someone said - automatic doors are GOLD!
13. exterior nest boxes are wonderful, if they will USE them
~ Debbie Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Last night we spent a long time talking and sketching the coop and run design and incorporated some updates...
- making it bigger than we had originally planned - adding a way to partition the coop by adding a second door - after coop construction is done, we are going to build a portable chicken tractor for some daytime grazing in the yard - leaving more space underneath the coop for ease of cleaning
The weather is looking really cold here (for central North Carolina standards at least), but we're going to start some construction today!!
grew up with pets cows, current cow admirer, raw milk buyer and hopefully future cow owner
To make the coop workable for me. We converted a wooden swing set. The coop is head high, with small doors. It's awkward to rake out and clean. Even with two doors, I have to use a small shovel to reach the far corner where eggs are laid. Other than that, I should have made it bigger. Best of luck with your birds.
Well, we don't call our chicken house Fort Bantam for nothing... We have a pretty ideal setup - I know it's not practical for most to have a coop this large, but it certainly allows a lot of flexibility.
Ours started as an old gutted house (now 120+ years old). Rather than bulldoze it, my parents turned it into a chicken house for us kids (this was 17 years ago). It has painted drywalled walls and ceiling, and is divided with chainlink panels and gates. There's an entryway and half of the space is humans-only while the remainder has four chicken pens (24x10, 6x18, and two 6x6). The two big pens each have two external chicken doors - one leading to outside for true free-ranging, or for shoveling bedding out into a cart (the ground is several feet below making cleaning easy).
And then each pen has a second door that leads to the aviary, a large wired run that is predator proof (1x2 rabbit wire, wire also running 2 feet into the ground for digging coyotes). Currently the chickens in the big pen get to free-range outside, while the medium pen is opened to the aviary. I reserve this pen for bantams (too easily picked off by hawks), broodies and their chicks, and young chickens (so they can learn about the great outdoors/hawks/etc before they are let out to free-range). I also keep my special breeders that I can't afford to lose in that pen.
I use the two smaller pens for breeding pens, or for hens and their chicks (that first week before they can get in and out of the aviary easily), or for adolescent chickens (including meat birds, before they are old enough to go to the chicken tractors).
Chicks are started in a large water trough or apple crate on the main floor outside of the pens. Sick or new chickens can be kept in cages at an adequate distance from the other birds.
There are several wired over windows for ventilation (hardware cloth). Plenty of outlets for heat lamps, or a fan in the summer. You'll probably want to set up some lights on a timer for encouraging laying in the winter. I use long cedar limbs for perches.
I know this is excessive (well, chickens are addictive, and you may get into showing chickens and breeding multiple types...), but I think the most important detail is to have at least two spaces (preferably 3-4) so that you can have different age groups separated as needed.
Belle - Normande x Jersey cow Willow - NZ Jersey heifer Pringle and Bandit - heifer calves
Kelsey, I think I speak for everyone when I say we need pictures of this.
Yes, Yes! Photos ASAP please!
Milking, Breeding & Showing 40+ Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats ADGA Performance Herd on 305 day milk test doing Linear Appraisals with SG, SGCH & Elite does Aberdeen and grade beef cattle Way too many Muscovy ducks, chickens, pea & guinea fowl 1 naughty English Shepherd and a some sweet barn cats www.cabochonfarm.com
1. that poop shelves sound like a great idea.. but create ONE MORE daily chore that ISN'T necessary
Poop hammocks actually save a lot of daily work - we clean them out maybe once a month. In the meantime, they keep the floor/shavings a LOT cleaner, so we can clean out the coop much less frequently. I have some permanent shelves too and use a hoe to scrape them clean, they scrape right into a wheelbarrow, so it's just a couple minutes work and the savings of not having to haul over as much shavings.
Likewise, electricity is necessary for almost 6 months out of the year where I live, so something permanent would be rational in my situation. When I lived in MD, electricity wasn't needed much.
Jersey cow family: Samson's Rosita & Virtuoso Briar Rose An Akita, some kitty cats, Border Leicester sheep & hens
claytonpaul: A bull was put on her herd Late Last May so she was expected to be due between May1 and August. They quoted me August so I wouldn't be disappointing by a late arrival.
May 23, 2019 13:07:11 GMT -5
Trim: I'm baaaaacccckkkk!
Aug 31, 2019 17:57:22 GMT -5
alpacalexi: My mini jersey cow is pregnant, however the last couple days her udder has deflated. My vet saw her on the 23 and said delivery in a couple weeks Is there a reason for her deflating?
Oct 2, 2019 17:17:00 GMT -5
Trim: She probably aborted a while back. That happened to one of my animals. She was bagging up but within a short while of her "due date" she began to deflate. I had no idea what had happened. I was seriously bummed out.
Feb 8, 2020 20:46:23 GMT -5
mamacherri10: good afternoon! I have not been on the website in a long time. Have a new jersey milk cow and am looking to see how long she needs to be dried up prior to calving? She is due the third week of May.
Mar 10, 2020 14:33:11 GMT -5
steven888: Dry her up now, she needs 6 wks of rest.
Apr 1, 2020 2:05:11 GMT -5
highlandteen: five to six weeks is generally suggested
May 7, 2020 14:39:23 GMT -5
biubiu: I think that CBD oil will be more popular. Because in is nice product for medicine and for simple guys.
Sept 15, 2020 14:31:42 GMT -5
guernseygirl: Can someone let me know if my pictures are showing up in the Auction Barn post? There should be 5 photos
Sept 20, 2020 20:58:54 GMT -5
wyatt: I treat cow s like people when doctoring.
Dec 15, 2020 22:54:52 GMT -5
ashlyn911: This is Fern! She’s an almost two year old heifer (Jersey/Brown Swiss). Her due date is Sunday.
Jun 17, 2021 0:49:56 GMT -5
hjp: Any tips on how to add a photo to a post?
Aug 24, 2021 18:13:11 GMT -5
correll17: We just purchased a dexter cox that is bred, due in April. We brought her home and was walking the fence, head butting the fence, so we got another dexter, now she is constantly headbutting her. Any ideas?
Sept 20, 2021 10:14:56 GMT -5
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