Help a Newbie setting up a new chicken coop.
I live on a small farm outside of Calgary, AB. We have a bird coop already full of chuckers and pigeons that we use for dog training. There is a small building next to the existing coop, must have been used as a tack shed once upon a time (and when I say small its still atleast 10' x 5' by 10' high). I want to convert this to my chicken coop.
For the other birds we have electricity, water, etc, so I would just use the same system in the coop with water and feed dispensers.
Seeing as its October here in Calgary, winter is well on its way. When is a good time to get chickens? Should I start with older or younger chickens?
We have grain on the farm, so I plan on making my own mixture of feed. Do I just place these in the feed dispensers, or on the ground? Where do I put the grit?
Any recommendations on how to set up the shed? Should there be shelves with ramps to allow the chickens to go there to nest? Do I build nests or does the chicken do that? How high should I make the shelving?
I was planning on insulating the shed and using light bulbs for heat, as that is what we do in the other bird coop. Any other recommendations? Should I put in some form of a window for fresh air/light?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm pretty new at this, but pretty excited at the same time.