Automatic Chicken Coop Door

100% REDUCTION IN PREDATOR KILLS

Chicken Health

Chick Care

Chicken HealthJeremy SmithComment

BABY CHICK CARE

 

 

WATER:  The majority of baby chick fatality is because the chick does not start to drink right away.  Water is more important than feed on the first day.  Never let them run out of water.  For the first 24 hours, add 1 tablespoon of molasses/gallon of water (sugar water). On the 2nd day add vitamins-electrolytes to water. One gallon waterer is adequate for 50 chicks. Even if its self-filling there MUST be 1 waterer per 50 birds to prevent overcrowding. If you choose to use apple cider vinegar, it is very important not to use more than 1 teaspoon per quart of water and do not use a metal waterer with it as the acid will corrode the metal causing it to leach into the water.

 

*Ducks may swim in water after 4 weeks.  Attempt to keep them dry until then.

 

FEED

*One-foot minimum feeder/waterer space per 25 chicks to prevent over-crowding.

 

Chicks:  Purina program

0-18 weeks: Flockraiser 20% until harvesting or until 18 weeks for layers.  Flockraiser is available with medication or without medication.  If using medicated, we recommend that it is used for the first 2-3 weeks.  Chicks need to be taken off medicated feed within 2 weeks of harvesting.

            After 18 weeks:  Layena

Broiler Chicks:  Prince program

            0-4 weeks:  Prince Broiler Starter 25% Non med.

            4 weeks to finish:  Broiler Finisher 20% Non med.

Layer Chicks:  Prince program

            0-10 weeks:  Prince Chick Starter 20%

            10-18 weeks:  Prince Pullet Grower 17%

            18 weeks-life:  Prince Layer

Organic Broiler Chick Program

            0-5 weeks:  21% Organic Chick Starter/Grower

            5 weeks–finish:  19% Organic Chick Starter

Organic Layer Chick Program

            0-5 weeks:  19% Organic Chick Starter

            5-18 weeks:  16% Organic Chick Grower

            18 weeks:  Organic Layer

Turkeys:  Prince program

            0-8 weeks:  28% Turkey Starter (med or nonmed)

            8 – life:  18% All Flock mini pellet

Ducks or Geese:  Purina program

            0-18 weeks:  Flockraiser non-medicated

            18 weeks – life:  Duck grower or Layena

Pheasant or Quail: 

            0-6 weeks:  28% Prince Turkey Starter (non-med)

            6 weeks-life: 24% Prince Gamebird Grower or Purina non medicated 20% Flockraiser

Guineas: 

            0-6 weeks:  28% Prince Turkey Starter (med or non-med)

6 weeks-life: 24% Prince Gamebird Grower or Purina non medicated 20% Flockraiser

 

HEAT:  Use a heat lamp in a draft-free area.  Place heat lamp approximately 20” above chicks.  Baby chicks need a temperature of 95 degrees.  Please use a thermometer to be sure you have them at the correct temperature.  You will lose chicks if they are too hot or too cold.  If they huddle together, they are too cold.  If they huddle in corners, they are too hot.  Reduce 5 degrees each week to a minimum of 65 degrees.

 

BEDDING:  Straw or Large Flake wood shavings are the best choice for chickens and turkeys.  Allow approximately ½ square foot per chick, and 1 ½ square feet per adult.  Straw is the best choice for ducks and geese.

 

Space Requirements for the Home Flock

*A 10’ X 10’ brooder house is adequate until 8 weeks of age.

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AutomaticChickenCoopDoor.com

Managing Coop Temperatures

Chicken HealthJeremy SmithComment

Managing the temperature of your chicken coop is a vital and crucial task to do. Too hot and the chickens will over heat, too cold and they could freeze, too open to elements and your chicken can become ill. How can you manage this in such a way that it will not have to monitored constantly? There are a few different steps you can take.
 

How can you manage this in such a way that it will not have to monitored constantly? There are a few different steps you can take.

  1. Make sure you coop is well insulated in the warm climate but can be a comfortable temperature when weather is at its worst.

  2. Many chicken care takers have found an easy way to manage it is to install a copula. This allows the rising heat to slowly escape through the top of the coop and replenish it with cool fresh air.

  3. Another method is to install windows that would be reinforced with one inch chicken wire to allow air flow but also to prevent unexpected guests from entering. “Air flow is extremely important and very necessary, without it the chicken’s fecal matter can produce a gas/ammonia that with no air flow could kill the chicken overnight.”

  4. Many other chicken people have installed small vent covers towards the top of their coop to slowly allow heat to escape but not too large that it lets all the heat out and freezing the chicken. “If you use larger sized vent cover be sure that it is reinforced to keep predators out.”

  5. If you battle with harsh cool nights but it is too hot during the day to have a heater running the whole time, the best suggestion would be a heat lamp/heater controlled by a timer. “Baby chicks need the heat no matter what but larger chicken might not need it through the entire day.”

  6. Some people think of sett in fan in the coop when its too hot but this does nothing for the birds. Unlike us chickens do not have sweat glands. So unless its blowing cool fresh outside air on them the fan would just be cycling the air and mixing with the heat from up higher making the coop and it uncomfortable for the chickens. “When it gets too hot they will get off of the perches and go lower to the cooler air.” (this is why ventilation is so important)

Chicks should be kept in a 95 degree Fahrenheit temperature controlled space but adult chickens generally are very hardy and could be in 0 degree Fahrenheit weather. When its this cold its important to have some ventilation but limit it so the coop is not drafty. I personally set a heat lamp up in my coop to turn on when the coop is under 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a small space heater that turns on when the coop is lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.. Also in the winter weather up in North West Indiana we have an issue with limited sunlight for weeks at a time. To counter this and keep egg production boosted we have a regular 100watt light bulb that turn on with a timer from 6am-5pm. This tricks the chickens into laying throughout the year and Im sure my warm coop helps with this as well.

Want some coop ideas? Here is a video tour of our coop.
 

Jeremy Smith

Chicken Cleanliness

Chicken HealthJeremy SmithComment

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED CLEANING YOUR CHICKENS?

The other day my wife was mad because our chickens were making holes in the yard and kicking up dirt. We knew this was their way to clean themselves. Chickens do not wash in water. They use dirt/dust to clean themselves. Taking a dust bath helps protect them from lice and other parasites. You can find both young and old chickens playing in the dust. They fluff their feathers and hunker down into the dirt, working their feathers into the soil and the soil into their feathers. Free-range chickens usually have no problem finding/making their own dust bath such as in our case. City chickens however, are normally unable to find this ‘extra space’ to make a dust bath and remain vulnerable to parasites. Building a designated area for chickens taking dust baths will save your sanity and keep your chickens happy and clean.

To save your chickens, eggs, and yard here is a list to get started on building a chicken dust bath of your own.

  1. Find yourself a durable/weather proof container cut to size: about 6-10inches in height and 12x22inches in diameter. (Some stores sell totes that would be an acceptable size) If you do not wish to use a plastic container you can also do this many other ways. Stacking landscaping bricks in a square about 8-12 inches off the ground is also an effective way to accomplish a dust bath while still keeping the attractive look of your back yard. If you are not worried about looks, you can make a chicken dust bath by using an old car tire etc.

  2. Fill your container with sandy dirt leaving 2-3inches of the container unfilled. (This keeps the dirt from ending up everywhere.) Also keep in mind, they may kick some of the dirt out while they indulge themselves in a dirt bath, so keep it away from the nesting and feeding area.

  3. What should I fill my Chicken dust bath with? Although we think just dirt or sand would be enough, it isn’t exactly what the chickens wish to have. There is a mix of ingredients that will make your egg layers VERY happy. Mix together sand, dirt, sifted Wood Ash, and DE (diatomaceous earth, which can be found at your local nursery & feed store)

  4. You can also add products to your chicken dust baths such as “Barrier Louse Powder” This will protect them from mites, fleas, ticks, ect. “Diatom” Is another great product to use and no harm if ingested since it will work as a wormer as well.

  5. Do not add water to your chicken dust bath. The “Girls” like it dry and dusty!

  6. Now that you have built your chickens a dust bath there is nothing more to do than sit back to watch the girls wallow in it.

 
Jeremy Smith

Hen Protection

Chicken Health, Chicken Coop SafetyJeremy SmithComment

Although it is relatively simple to build a coop to keep chickens in from scratch, many people simply don’t have the carpentry skills and prefer to purchase chicken coop kits instead. Most chicken coop kits come with all the necessary materials required for constructing the perfect home in which their hens will be safe.

However before purchasing a chicken coop kit, keep in mind the size of the garden and number of chickens the coop will host.

In many areas, if the chicken coop takes up more than 50% of the garden, permission may be needed from local authorities before constructing. Each chicken needs at least 2 sq feet of space and larger breeds may need at least 4 to 5 sq feet of space.

For a tour of our coop, click here!

Chicken Health Problems

Chicken HealthJeremy SmithComment

A decent and clean chicken coop is essential for the health of a chicken. Hen Fleas are a major health concern for many farmers: once infected the chickens will become restless and show agitation. This discomfort will make a broody hen so stressed that she may actually break her eggs.

Fleas are often found inside the chicken’s house, or sometimes in open ground. The owner may treat his birds with flea dusting powder in an attempt to control the infestation. A regular routine inspection of the chicken house and chickens is very important.

External parasites can be transmitted by wild birds, contact with infected chickens and rodents. As a result, implementing rules and regulations to inspect and to keep the chicken house clean will most likely guarantee a healthy and itch-free flock.

For instructions on creating a dust bath for protecting your chickens from external parasites, click here.

Pet Chicken Health

Chicken Health, Chicken Coop SafetyJeremy SmithComment

A decent and clean chicken coop is essential for the health of a chicken. Hen Fleas are a major health concern for many farmers: once infected the chickens will become restless and show agitation. This discomfort will make a broody hen so stressed that she may actually break her eggs.

Fleas are often found inside the chicken’s house, or sometimes in open ground. The owner may treat his birds with flea dusting powder in an attempt to control the infestation. A regular routine inspection of the chicken house and chickens is very important.

External parasites can be transmitted by wild birds, contact with infected chickens and rodents. As a result, implementing rules and regulations to inspect and to keep the chicken house clean will most likely guarantee a healthy and itch-free flock.

For more chicken "how to's" & "helps" click here!