Tips To Stop Chickens From Pecking One Another

chickens

The past three years, the icon of this channel has been the big blue Tiki hut in the background. I've answered the question, what's that blue A-frame building more times than I can count. Well, that blue A-frame building is our chicken coop or as we call it, the enchanted Chicky room. In this video, I'm going to be talking about housing your chickens as well as setting up a food and watering system that will allow you three weeks or more between refills. I'm also going to give you a tour inside our chicken coop to let you see how that is set up as well as at the very end I'm going to be letting you know what the two most popular choices were for our chickens names and then out of those two choices, I'm going to leave it up to you guys down in the comments to let me know which one you like better and we'll finally have names for these girls. That's all coming up. Hey guys, it's Jennifer California garden TV. And if you're looking to join an online community that offers tips, tricks, and support to help you grow your own organic fruits and vegetables and raise happy hens, then you're in the right place. Get started now by clicking, subscribe and hit the bell icon so you never miss anything. Let's get girls rowing at. The biggest question most people have in housing your chickens is how big should my chicken coop be? And that's a great question but before I answer that, I want to go through the three main sections or parts of a chicken coop. Now the first section is the run and this is your chickens main living area. If they're not going to be outside free ranging during the day. Now if they are going to be outside in your yard or hopefully a fenced area garden, um, then they don't need a run. But if they are going to be inside all day than they do now this area should be well secured and that means covered in wire mesh. And ironically not chicken wire. That is not safe. It's very thin and animals like raccoons can pry right through it. What you want to use is hardware cloth and there's two sizes. There's a quarter inch opening and an eighth of an inch opening. Now I use eighth of an inch opening because it allows you to see through it a little better. The wire individually are thinner but it's very strong because they're so, they're so close together. Um, but you can see through kind of like a window screen whereas the larger quarter inch it has larger wire that bounces back reflect sunlight and it's larger wires so you're not seeing through as well. But you can use either one. That's just a personal preference and you want to make sure that the wire is stapled well with a staple gun all the way around on the wood frames to make sure that it's nice and secure and there's no openings. Um, if you're going to join two pieces of wire together, then you, what you want to do is take another piece of wire. You can get that like on a roll at home Depot. Um, that's about the same thickness of the wire mesh and you want to kind of weave or sew it together all the way down that opening. That was one of the problems I had when I first um, set this coop up is that I missed one of those seams and I could not figure out how rats were getting into the chicken coop and eating their food. Finally, about three weeks later, found one little section that the seam was not weaved closed. So you want to make sure you do that. Now the second part of the coop is the roost and this is your chickens bedroom or sleeping quarters and you want to make sure that it's a secluded kind of darker space. Um, you want to have poles in it and the poles are kind of like the closet polls you have that your hangers hang on and that's where they're going to sleep. Now, I would allow probably enough pole room or length of pole for about one and a half feet per chicken. Even though you're going to find out they're going to be all kind of squished up and huddled together while they're sleeping. But that'll give them a little bit of a wing room. Now the third area is the nest box and that is an area that you want to be secluded maybe off to one end, um, kind of dark and you want it to be kind of cozy. A nice thick layer of pine shavings is good, nice and soft and fluffy. And they'll make a little nest in there. Now you don't need a separate nest box for each chicken. When we first built our first coop, we had three chickens and I had three nest boxes and they all would literally wait until the one was done before they would hop up and do their thing. Um, so two of the nest boxes were just always completely never touched. So I would say maybe if you want to plan ahead, maybe one nest box every three or four chickens. Um, but you're going to find out what your chickens, like the nest box should be accessible from outside the coop or outside the run. You don't want to have to be going inside every morning to get the eggs or it will become more of a chore. So now back to the first question of how big should the coop be? Well, if you're going to have them free ranging outside all day, then I would say three to four square feet per chicken is probably good. Um, if they're going to be inside all day and maybe only come out, you know, every once in a while, um, then that run the floor space needs to be about 10 square feet per chicken. And so this, we're, we're only allowed to have five chickens in our city per home. And so I built this coop to have 50 square feet of floor space in the run. Now I will tell you that bigger is better. Um, it's a lot easier to keep clean, especially this one is too short. I have to kind of hunt you down and it makes things a little difficult. So if you can make it tall, that's a plus. Um, but the bigger the better. Uh, chickens will have more rooms. So if there's one that's you know, a little bit more of a bully, um, it'll give everyone their space, it creates less stress. So 10 square feet per is a minimum. Um, another note is when they are out in your garden, make sure they have supervision because they will dig up seedlings and they will tear up any greens that you have. So mine come out when I'm out in the garden working only now the floor of your coop or run can be, there's so many choices. Um, I'm going to go through what I do and then you can go over to backyard chickens which is a great resource and you can get tons of ideas on what your floor, uh, your coop floor should look like and or made of. And that's really depends on how you're going to handle the poop. And, uh, they'll explain, I'll explain how I do it, but I basically use what's called the deep litter method. So after raking the coop out, it's a dirt floor and I sprinkle about three inches of, um, pine shavings throughout the coop. And then over the next few weeks when they poop, it just kind of dries up and gets mixed into the pine shavings. So it keeps the smell to a very minimum. I hardly ever smell them. And then every few weeks I'll put another layer of pine shavings on top. And after about three months, then you can rake it all out. And I'll show you this whole, this whole front area here is removable. I'll show you in a minute so that I can get in there and really rake it all out. And it goes in the compost bin. And I will tell you that it's right up there with eggs in terms of the benefits of having a backyard chicken coop and backyard chickens is the compost you get is incredible. But again, for ideas on the flooring, go to backyard chickens.com I'm not sponsored by them in any way, I just find them, uh, an incredible resource. So part of my run is their dining area where they eat and drink and it's a little difficult to just kind of talk you through how that set up. So I think now it'd be a good time for the tour. Let's go. Alright, so the chicken coop has the main area and two wings on the sides. Um, right now in the top section here are the chicks and you can see how they've grown. Open this up. they're almost full grown, well not quite, but they're all feathered out. And so we still have a heat lamp out here, but they're out here all night and the heat lamps on at nighttime, that'll be for a couple more weeks and then they will be able to handle the night temperatures. Right now are in the low fifties. Um, they probably could be in here without the heat lamp, but giving them a couple of weeks now eventually I'm going to transform. This will be the roost for all of them. Um, but for now they're a little nursery, so I used to have the nest box around the back, but this, that made it difficult to get to. So I actually built this on to the front. Still needs to be painted and a latch right now and just have a stepping stone on it to weigh it down. So raccoons or whatever, don't get in, but let's say they come right in here. Sit, lay their eggs. Just one right there. They're just like, this makes it easier to get to. Okay. Now the front comes off so that I can rake out. Okay. So that I can rake out the, uh, you know, all the shavings. The floor is covered with pine shavings and or straw, usually pine shavings. Right now their roost is up in the top and I'm happy I'm in here. Um, the, the nest box used to be back here, but I took it out to allow more floor space. Now coming inside, this is the magic right here for the food and the water. So the, the water is just, all right, I'll write about in a second. The water is just a home Depot bucket that's got three or four chicken nipples on the bottom. And those are just little, like the things that rabbits drink from, let me get closer. Three of those. So when they pick it, water comes out. So literally once a month, that has to be refilled. So now the feeder is basically just some piping with some elbows down here at the bottom to turn it upwards. They go up into a pot. I'll show, I'll go shoot. I'll go run inside and show you how that looks up top. All right, so this is basically just inside the roof of the left side wing. And what I did was I attached, let's see if I can see it. I just, I took a regular pot like for a plant and I kind of wedged it in here where it's going to hold itself and I drilled a hole or a cut a hole in the bottom of this pot and stuck the tube. So the piping comes up inside of it. Um, but as long as the pipe is up through the bottom, then you just fill this up with the food and it feeds down that tube. And uh, you know, as they eat, it just replenishes. So, uh, that's about once a month that I have to fill that up as well. So it's a short tour. There's not much to it. Um, I'm going to leave some links down below to some chicken coops on Amazon that'll get you started looking around. Uh, you can also find, use chicken coops on Craigslist or some Facebook selling groups. So that's a great place to look as well. Or you can build your own. Um, this chicken coop actually had two, uh, stages. It started out as Noah's Playhouse and I'll put a chick a picture up so you can see what that looked like. And then we turned that into when he got done with it, which didn't take too long. Uh, we turned that into the first evolution of the chicken coop. I'll put a picture up for that. And then once we started to tropicalize the backyard, we felt like that just didn't fit in. So we come to the one you see today, the enchanted Chicky room. Okay. So I promised you, I mean, you guys did a great job of giving so many names, suggestions for the three new chickens. In fact, are they looking at us? There's two. You can see the white ones. Um, we need names. And so there were two sets of names that got really the most, they were the most widely acclaimed. Um, so those would be, and we're going to stick with each group. So now the current inhabitants are, uh, ginger and Maryanne. This is how I died last year. And so there was a lot of people trying to continue on with the Gilligan's Island theme, which was kinda cool. Uh, so those would be the names of the actress cause there's minimal women on the show. Three. Uh, so the biggest, um, agreement I think was for the actresses, real names that played ginger, Maryanne and mrs ho. And so that would be Tina Marie, Dawn and Natalie. Cute. The other choices were, uh, Hawaiian Disney characters and that would be Lilo marijuana and Hey, Hey. So I love both of them. I'm going to be happy with whatever you guys pick, but down in the comments, let me know your choice and then we will finally have names for these girls. Now, Allison, if you guys have any questions, definitely have them in the comments. Or if you have chickens and have some ideas you want to share, we'd all love to hear them. 

by Miriam Rolling – poultry farmer