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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,I have been lurking here for some time but just recently registered.
I could really use some serious hands on help here.I may need so mentor/teacher/sponser here.

My wife and I decieded to jump into the world of chickens and turkeys.3 months ago when we where just flying along with the full renovation of our new farm house,we called a very reputable farm and ordered 25 buff orpingtons and 4 turkey poults.We have been so busy everyday with the house and property that I am not ready for next weeks arrivals.
Now we did go to "the farm store" and bought a heat lamp,small feeders and water thingy's.We also bought a fairly large plastic kiddie pool.
We do have room in the house to keep them until I have the coop built.I still have to find a design that is nice enough looking for the wife and the appropriate size.
I will also have to build one for the 4 turkeys as well.

Sooooo,I guess what i am asking is, is anyone here in the know,willing to see me through with help from getting ready for day olds to building the coop and run...and everything in between
We have been saving for the supplies for the coop and as soon as I find a design I will be purchasing and getting started on building.

Thanks folks, I really appreciate any and all advise/help.

Brothers.
 

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If you are going to build a coop, I suggest buying a book on it. My husband & I built our coop in March of 2012. We bought books with different ideas. The books helped guide us in the right direction. We ended up using a template out of a book and just skewed a few dimensions to make it fit our needs.
 

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I had a similar issue. I built the run first and just dragged everyone indoors at night (in rabbit cages) until I had the coop properly set up. This can buy you a little time if you're building runs (you didn't say if these were free range or not.) I don't know what you are looking for coopwise but besides books there are also a lot of templates for sale online. I suggest finding one you like that doesn't exceed your building skills (some are a lot more complicated than others!)

As far as day olds they are easy. I use paper towels until the chicks are a week old - it makes their food bowls contrast nice and you know they won't be eating shavings. When you get them dip their beaks in the water bowl before setting them down and just let it go from there. Put the heat lamp somewhere where they can get under it if they're cold or away from it if they're hot and you should be fine.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply's!..
My building skills arnt the best but I can bang nails as good as the next person.
So my plan will be to free range them as soon as possible but since im in Canada I will need a good coop to protect them during the crappy weather.
Also I dont plan on keeping roosters.I kinda figure since im getting 25 straight run chicks,I expect half to me roosters so Im going to build a coop and run suitable for maybe 15 birds.?
Is it advisable to keep the day old turkeys and chickens iin the same brooder?

thanks again.
 

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Personally.....I prefer using various lengths of "dry-wall" screws in constructing something like a Chicken Coop. ( rather than nails )
I think you get a more durable and stable result....and tighter.
There are plenty-enough designs shown in the Coop Forum here ....for you to determine WHAT you wish to build. ( It isn't "Rocket-Science" ! )
Specific Questions are much easier to answer than....Questions about "How to do it ALL"....in my opinion.

Have FUN ....and ENJOY your Project !!!
GOOD LUCK !!!
-ReTIRED-:)
 

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I would also like to suggest going on YouTube they have lots of videos on how to build chicken coops home made feeders and waters, nest boxes and perches the list goes on its worth checking out.
 

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overrunwithroos
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Hello,I have been lurking here for some time but just recently registered.
I could really use some serious hands on help here.I may need so mentor/teacher/sponser here.

My wife and I decieded to jump into the world of chickens and turkeys.3 months ago when we where just flying along with the full renovation of our new farm house,we called a very reputable farm and ordered 25 buff orpingtons and 4 turkey poults.We have been so busy everyday with the house and property that I am not ready for next weeks arrivals.
Now we did go to "the farm store" and bought a heat lamp,small feeders and water thingy's.We also bought a fairly large plastic kiddie pool.
We do have room in the house to keep them until I have the coop built.I still have to find a design that is nice enough looking for the wife and the appropriate size.
I will also have to build one for the 4 turkeys as well.

Sooooo,I guess what i am asking is, is anyone here in the know,willing to see me through with help from getting ready for day olds to building the coop and run...and everything in between
We have been saving for the supplies for the coop and as soon as I find a design I will be purchasing and getting started on building.

Thanks folks, I really appreciate any and all advise/help.

Brothers.
You sound like me. Lol Since your starting with day olds that buys you time on your coop. My suggestion is to look on this forum in the coop section. That will give you some ideas. A book wouldn't be a bad idea either. And as someone else suggested you tube. I'm not positive how much floor space you need per chicken etc? But I do no that you need 1 nest box per 3 hens. They will share. Plus your roosts rods. I say build it to house more tha you plan on having because chickens are addictive and you may want more later. Do alot of research on how you want your coop. I did and once mine was done I thought I should have done this diffrently. I highly recommended poop boards under your roostes makes clean up so much easier. I also suggest a run. Even if you plan to free range its nice to have a fence just in case. And like someone said build it first and use it as a day pen while your building your coop. As for brooding your turkeys and chicks together. I no some people do but I perfer not to. 1 poults are bigger than chicks and grow alot faster. If they are anything like mine they will pick on your chicks. Plus they need diffrent food than the chicks do. And I have a question does anyone else use electrolytes in their chick water for day olds that were just shipped?
 

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My suggestion would be start sooner then you think. It will take longer then you think it will and they will grow faster then you think they will.
 

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We got our chickens before our coop was built and by the time it was finished I was desperate to get them outside! They are so incredibly dusty my allergies went haywire!

I recommend making your nesting boxes outside of the coop. That's the one thing I don't like about ours. They are inside with a hatch to access them from the outside.

We raised ours about 18 inches off the ground and built it like a little house. It is 8x4x8 with a pitched roof as we get tons if snow in the winter.

We also use sand as our litter, I started using it when they were a week old and I love it. Much cleaner than the pine was. Super easy to clean out of the coop as well!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow what a great fourm!
All great tips folks...Thanks you all so much.
I think we are going to go with a 10'x12' with a shed slope roof.We definitely will build the boxes on the outside to save space.Im pretty excited to get the chickens.It has been a long road trying to get the new farm up and running and the chickens will be the first "farm" animals on the property in over 40 years.
I know I have alot to learn but I should pick it all up fairly quickly.I am a avid gardener,outdoorsman,hunter,trapper,ect......chickens and livestock kinda fit right into our lives....I hope!

Thanks again
Brothers.
 

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overrunwithroos
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Ok now I have a question lol I assume when ypu say outside nest boxes you mean attached to the outside? With a hole on the inside for the chickens to go in? And then there's a door on the other side that you can access? I never thought about that? But I love the idea! Maybe I should do my 2 nd coop like that. My 1st has just the metal nest boxes and I don't care for them much but they were given to me and I'm thankful so I try not to complain.
 

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Yeah built onto the coop but they sit outside. I think it would be way better. Our boxes take up so much space and we had to build little roofs for them so they would stop sleeping on the top. It's my #1 regret with the coop.
 

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One word of advice. .... Build bigger than you think you'll need!! There is this thing called chicken math!!!!! We started with 6 and now have 15 and it hasn't even been a year yet lol! We had to build an addition to this so it's twice as big now. But we love this design. The run is attached and covered!

image-1509742162.jpg
 

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One word of advice. .... Build bigger than you think you'll need!! There is this thing called chicken math!!!!! We started with 6 and now have 15 and it hasn't even been a year yet lol! We had to build an addition to this so it's twice as big now. But we love this design. The run is attached and covered!
Good advice. Chicken math affects the best of us....
 

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JC17 said:
Good advice. Chicken math affects the best of us....
Tell me about it... 3=6 in chicken land
 

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Yet another person who has put the chicken before the coop (like me)...This is my first year w/chickens, and I have 8 pullets. I used big cardboard boxes for my brooder boxes. I built a tall pen (11'x8', 6' tall) with chicken wire all over including the top, and a door. Then I tied on an 8x10 tarp over the top with some hangdown on the south side, and lined the east, west and south sides with straw bales along the fence inside. I have 4 amber whites, 2 araucanas and 2 australorps. One of the Australorps has just had a growth surge with it's comb, wattles and earlobes. I read somewhere that when those all turn red the hen is going into lay, so I'm expecting my first pullet egg any time now. This aussie is fully red on wattles and earlobe and skin on face, with the comb still a bit magenta shaded but turning. I haven't built my henhouse yet (and right now it is too hot during the day) so I may not get that done until autumn. The girls seem to be doing well, have been in the pen for more than 3 weeks now. (4? almost). Oh, BTW, they love garlic chives!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks again for all of the tips folks! I sure am learning alot.When ever Im not busy landscaping,renovating,Im here learning.
Today I made a run to the "farm store" and bought 25kg's of "countryrite chick starter krums" and 2 big bails of "white pine animal bedding shavings in anticipation of Sundays arrival of the 25,1 week old buff orpingtons...oh ya and four turkey chicks.
If anyone sees any problems with what im doing please chime in and let me know.

Thanks
Brothers
 

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Here's a few tips for your coop that will make it a place you can build once and then leave alone.

Windows...plenty and as big as you can. The light and air is invaluable and they can be covered with hardware cloth(or rabbit wire) to insure safety.

Ventilation above and ventilation below to draw in fresh air that can move upward through the coop and push out stale air, heat and humidity. You really can't have too much ventilation. If you have the big windows, you will have all you really need at the top of the coop.

Don't insulate your coop. Birds carry their own insulation and will do fine in a nice coop. Don't heat your coop..same reason.

Nest boxes should be deep enough to contain bedding and chickens seem to like a little privacy, so build accordingly. You won't need many nests for only 15 chickens~ 4-6 will do.

Arrange for feeding and watering inside the coop because there will be times when they are snowed in or need to be confined to the coop for awhile and you want to have your setup in place there. Explore water systems that involve poultry nipples and start your chicks on them now, in the brooder. You will be so glad you did! They keep your brooder bedding dry and your water clean. You don't have to teach them to use them other than to jiggle the nipples a little...after the first chick or poult does it, they will all follow along and try it.

You can get them on Amazon or Ebay fairly cheaply and they have directions for installation right in the package. You can mount them into just about any plastic receptacle for a quick chick waterer right now for your new chicks. Here's chicks drinking out of an ice cream bucket with the nipples mounted in the bottom...



My advice? Place a little apple cider vinegar in your chick water right off the bat...it will give vitamins, replace lost electrolytes and act as an immune system boost, especially if you use mother vinegar.

You'll be very happy if you arrange to have lighting in your coop...many of the things done with chickens is best done at night when you can calmly remove them from the roost and handle them without chasing and putting stress on the bird.

Make your coop big enough to store your feed there...makes life simpler all the way around. Also make an addition on your coop for isolating a bird or birds...broodies, roosters, young ones...you name it, you'll need it for this reason. Make it so they can see each other but not have contact. You'll thank me later for that bit of advice. ;)

The easiest and most versatile feeders are trough style. They can be hung or stood on the floor, they have enough space for birds to line up down their length on both sides, they can hold quite a bit of feed and hold wet or dry feeds. They can be made out of just about any material, they are easy to clean, fill and empty and they work for all ages with some adaptation. If you cover the top with a fencing wrap you can avoid feed waste from flicking or scratching in the feed and you can also control feed usage more by being able to gauge how much feed your birds eat in a day and adjusting feeds accordingly.

Ladder roosting takes up floor space and prohibits easy cleaning or working in the coop area, so try to mount roosting poles to the walls and give enough space in between the walls and roosts, and in between the roosts. They like different levels of roosting and you'll need at least 18 in. for each bird to sit comfortably on the roosts, get down, get up, shuffle around, etc.

Roosts pole width can be calculated by just using your wrist...the typical man's wrist~or wider~ is a good pole width for standard birds. Don't use doweling...too small. If you use 2x4s, try to use the flat side rather than the narrow side.

I advise you study up on deep litter systems....that info will make your life infinitely easier and your birds healthier, warmer in the winter, less bothered by flies and ammonia smells in the summer. If you've followed through on the big windows and ventilation, the deep litter will be even easier.

Bedding can be leaves, straw, pine shavings, pine needles or any combination of these~same with nesting. A little hay in the mix isn't the worst but it tends to be long and hard to move around once soiled or wet.

If you plan to free range, please read this thread http://www.chickenforum.com/f10/free-range-5144/ and particularly post number 8. Solid info there from one who has done it for many a long year.

Observe the birds, don't get to thinking they are humans and have human reactions...they have a unique social structure and life that is different from our own and you can learn much about livestock husbandry if you keep that in mind. Read, read, read and decide on your goals for the flock, your husbandry methods you want to employ and be open to advice from those with experience...they can teach you much if you want to learn.

Last piece of advice for this post....get tough. Keeping chickens isn't all about pretty birds on the grass or warm eggs in the nest. There is a side to it that takes fortitude and good common sense if you want your birds to have a good life and a good death.

Have fun!!!
 
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