A Gazillion Chicken Coop Pics To Inspire you in the Creation of your Own.

Create or buy a chicken coop, it’s up to you…

This is one of my smaller chicken coops here at the ranch, I bought it on-line at Murray McMurray Hatchery.

It’s actually two coops and I took out center panel and joined them together. My hens aren’t confined to this coop, they are in a fenced area about 20ft. x 30ft but it’s available to them all day and night. They go in the upper portion to lay their eggs everyday and then return at dusk until dawn.  The upper portion is just a box with a hinged roof for easy egg removal; I don’t put nest boxes in there, only grass hay.  This coop houses 12 birds right now, but the other side is unused, they all sleep together in one box. This coop could easily house 24 birds if they have a yard attached, if you don’t, probably only 6 if you want to keep peace.  In winter I tarp the sides, but if you’re in cold country plywood attached to the sides and top would be a simple task.

BackYardChickens is a great informative site for the novice as well as the experienced poultry keeper, I highly recommend this website! I found all these wonderful coop ideas there.

Remember, one of the best things about building a poultry farm whether large of small is to accomplish it by spending as little money as possible. Something I learned much too late I might add.  Be creative, that so called junk in the garage or shed may prove quite useful once again.

Check out these pics and see what a little creativity can build.

Small Chicken Coops
http://www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-small.html
Medium Chicken Coops
http://www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-medium.html
Chicken Tractor Coops
http://www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-tractor.html
Large Chicken Coops
http://www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-large.html

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The Farm Roosters

Come & Gone….

There are always roosters in the hatch, although they are an unwelcome guest on the ranch, all have been, and will continued to be re-homed.

Why Do Hens Leave the Nest After Laying an Egg?

A Hen Knows Best…

Chickens never lay more than one egg per day. If the eggs are not collected, and a sufficient number of eggs are allowed to remain in the nest, the hen may stop laying eggs and start brooding. When the hen leaves the nest after laying an egg, it cools which suspends the development of the embryo inside. If the temperature remains between 45F and 65F, the embryos will remain viable for as long as two weeks. When the hen becomes broody and sits on her eggs for three weeks, all of the eggs will hatch at about the same time. This is why it is normal for the hen to leave the nest after laying.

Orpington
Buff Orpington: friendly, docile, excellent layer, has broody tendencies

Remember, not all hens will sit on eggs…ever. However, some breeds have very strong tendencies to become broody, or be inclined to incubate eggs.

Here are a few common broody breeds…

•Buff Orpingtons
• Silkies
• Cochins
• Light Brahmas
• Dark Cornish
• Buff Rocks
• Turkens
•Buff Brahmas
• Cuckoo Marans
• Cochin Bantams
• Cornish Bantams

 

Picked On, Pecked On Chicks. Why and What To Do?

Let’s start at the beginning with chicks in the brooder. Chicks don’t just peck each other for lack of something to do. There is an underlying problem causing them stress and/or aggravation. As any living creature, the first and foremost necessity for well being is comfort.

Providing chick starter crumbles and fresh water is a given, so we can certainly rule out hunger as the stress factor. It is my opinion there are two other very important factors to consider. Living environment and lighting, with significant emphasis on the latter. Overcrowding may or may not be the culprit in their acquired pecking behavior. However, if ample space is not provided away from a heat source, comfort is indeed compromised.

Always provide more than one feeder so weaker birds are not bullied. It only takes one drop of blood for the pecking disaster to begin, remember chickens are in fact cannibals. Also, by week 3, keep them busy with offerings of green grass, especially when you witness aggression.

 

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of the pecking problem. Lighting, lighting, lighting! A brooder lamp is necessary for warmth but it shouldn’t be a blast of blinding light. Especially if you have the chicks in a small brooder and there’s no way to escape the annoyance.

I’m not at all a fan of the clear white bulbs and switched a long time ago to RED. They provide a calming environment, and as a bonus any minor pecking that’s caused an injury is better disguised under a red lamp.

You may want to make the switch from heat lamps altogether and switch to radiant heat from a Brinsea brooder. This will solve your fluctuating temperature problem, and providing you have a good number of chicks, it will be sufficient in keeping them warm.

Note: If it’s brutal cold… you can supplement with a low wattage red heat lamp. Low wattage heat bulbs are sold for reptiles, I usually use a 50, 100, or 250 watt, depending on how cold it is.

For injuries, no matter how slight, I use a product called Blu-Kote. It has healing agents and the purple dye in the treatment hides the battle wounds. You’ll find this product at your local feed store.

I’m convinced that happy and content chickens start in the brooder. It’s easy to tell if the brooder has comfort zones. You should see some birds huddled together under the heat source, some resting alone, some scratching in the litter, and some eating. Watch your chicks, their behavior says it all!