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Dyin aint much of a livin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just built my first coop and was wondering if Rhode Island Reds are good for meet as well as their eggs?

2. And was also wondering at what age should the hens be slaughtered?

3. Does my Rooster need his nest to be bigger and higher than the hens or doesn't it matter?

4. I only have a 36" fence for their common area and was wondering if I should clip their wings?

Thanks.
 

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I just built my first coop and was wondering if Rhode Island Reds are good for meet as well as their eggs?

2. And was also wondering at what age should the hens be slaughtered?

3. Does my Rooster need his nest to be bigger and higher than the hens or doesn't it matter?

4. I only have a 36" fence for their common area and was wondering if I should clip their wings?

Thanks.
Yes, good for meat but not as fast growing as some.

12 weeks for reds. They aren't the fastest growers.

Roosters don't nest. They roost on a pole. Put a roosting pole across your coop about 1 1/2-2 feet from the wall and 2 feet high. The chickens will sleep on this and only use the nests for laying and hatching eggs.

Definitely need to clip their wings or cover the top (preferably cover the top if you need them to stay in the fence) Chickens can jump 36 inch without barely flapping a wing.
 

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Dyin aint much of a livin
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, good for meat but not as fast growing as some.

12 weeks for reds. They aren't the fastest growers.

Roosters don't nest. They roost on a pole. Put a roosting pole across your coop about 1 1/2-2 feet from the wall and 2 feet high. The chickens will sleep on this and only use the nests for laying and hatching eggs.

Definitely need to clip their wings or cover the top (preferably cover the top if you need them to stay in the fence) Chickens can jump 36 inch without barely flapping a wing.
The hens need a pole too? They wont stay in the nests? Crap. That threw a monkey wrench in the operation.

Can I use broom handles for the roost?
 

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The hens need a pole too? They wont stay in the nests? Crap. That threw a monkey wrench in the operation.

Can I use broom handles for the roost?
They only nest when they're laying eggs. Otherwise they want to roost, especially at night. Yeah you can throw them in a cage or let them figure out something but that's not much better than a factory farm.

Broom handles are too thin, think more like 1.5" diameter. They seem to like 2x2's and vertical 2x4's just fine, as well as low tree limbs about that same size. They will also roost on elevated flat boards like 2x6's, and doing this is actually beneficial in the winter as they're covering up their feet better.
 

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You want something strong enough to hold their weight. They won't spread out over the whole thing to share the weight. On cold nights they'll huddle close together so their combined weight will be all in one spot. On warm nights they won't huddle but they still like to touch.

A broom handle is NOT good because spurs are sharp. You need something large enough in diameter that their feet will not curl around and cut themselves in the pads of their feet. (Think fingernails in the palm of your hand)

1 1/2 -2" diameter is good. A pic of your setup will help. Your hens do not each need their own nest. You'll need 1 nest per 4 hens with a minimum of 2. They'll take turns. The roosting pole should not be above the nests but it can be under the nests or a few inches in front of them. and the nests should not have a 'perchable roof'. You don't want chickens roosting over the nest and fouling it. Nests should be clean.

My coop is extremely small considering the number of chickens. But it works and they're only in it at night because I free range. There's a clip of it on here if I can find it for a bump. You can see the roosting poles though. They really don't have to be fancy. Just safe and sturdy.
 

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Fabulous coop!! You can just put a roosting pole all the way across right above that chicken door. It'll be perfect! A nice 2 x 4 from 1 end to the other just above the door and about a foot in from the wall. They use the roosting pole at night and the nests in the day so you don't need to worry about them being too close. As long as it's not above the nests.

Your only bad thing is that the side you'd put the pole on doesn't appear to open easily for cleaning? How many chickens do you plan to keep?

ETA: I went back and looked again - I was thinking that was a chicken size door. Since it's full size it's no problem! Just put the pole from the door to the wall and you're good to go!

What's on that ramp? You want to make sure it's non-slip or put some ridges up it like a ladder. You don't want them sliding down it like a playground in the rain.
 

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roost poles

if you have a local sawmill ask them for some hardwood edger strips, make very good chicken roost and bean poles. Very inexpensive and they might even jist give you a few. I bought a whole bundle of hardwood slabs and picked out the strips I wanted to save and cut the slabs into almost a cord of firewood.(12$)
 

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Dyin aint much of a livin
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ANOTHER QUESTION: So I got my chickens yesterday. I have 6 so far. How much feed should I put out for them? I bought 50lb of "Laying Mash". I am just wondering so I don't feed them to death or starve them. Thanks.
 

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How old are they? chicks or adults?

ETA: They won't eat themselves to death. Young chicks need food and water available at all times. Adults need what they'll eat in 15 minutes, 3 times a day if they have access to fresh grass/bugs. More if they don't.
 

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ANOTHER QUESTION: So I got my chickens yesterday. I have 6 so far. How much feed should I put out for them? I bought 50lb of "Laying Mash". I am just wondering so I don't feed them to death or starve them. Thanks.
The wife and I have been keeping chickens for 12+ years now. For a newcomer to the art and science of raising chickens, you should bookmark the following site and refer to it often. They have a forum as well. I highly recommend this place - http://www.backyardchickens.com/
 

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chicken forum

The wife and I have been keeping chickens for 12+ years now. For a newcomer to the art and science of raising chickens, you should bookmark the following site and refer to it often. They have a forum as well. I highly recommend this place - http://www.backyardchickens.com/
Even those of us who were raised with chickens on the farm and had 'em most of our life can learn something new occasionally. Never stop learning as long as you are alive!
 
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