Wednesday, March 24, 2010
We are currently raising 6 chicks, which we purchased through My Pet Chicken. They were wonderful with a big selection and a healthy arrival of 6 chicks. We chose Plymouth Rock, Buff Orpinton, and Red Sex-Linked. I have to say that the Plymouths are the sweetest and just really want to be held all day long, which my daughter has no problem doing.
During the first week, we housed them in a 110 quart clean Rubbermaid tote with pine chips as the base. It worked well. But as we entering week 3, they needed more room so we built a cardboard coop for a more spacious habitat for them until they can go outdoors. We also let them get some extra exercise free-ranging on the kitchen floor.
So far we have had no issues. The kids love them. They aren't that messy or stinky but I am on top of keeping the coop clean. My cats are scared of them-- which is kind of funny.
We are still in the midst of figuring out the backyard coop situation. Our thoughts at this point are to get a roughly 8x6 shed to house them in and build an enclosed pen roughly 6x4 attached to it. I am not one to skimp on space as my first concern is their human treatment. I have read that the recommended size of the total coop plus pen should equal a minimum of 4 square feet per bird. Well this is more than triple that which makes me much more comfortable. Especially here in Syracuse where they will spend much of the winter in the indoor coop for weather reasons. Inside the coop I will also have perches and several "shelves" they can walk on to further maximize the square footage. I will get up some pictures once construction is underway.