How much backyard space do I need for the Moop?
The I-Moop with one run has the smallest footprint of 2’x6’. Space requirements for each configuration can be found on the moop page. The average space recommendation per chicken is between 2-4 sf. The Moop provides 6 sf per chicken, however, we still recommend letting them out on a regular basis.
What about free range?
We let our chickens out of the Moop every day so that they can roam free in the backyard. The runs allow the chickens to be outside whenever they want or if you are away for the weekend, while keeping them safe from predator attacks on all sides.
What kind of surface is best for the Moop?
The Moop should be set on a flat surface. Chickens love to scratch and take dust baths, which is why we recommend filling the runs with dirt or tanbark after installing the coop. Coops should not be placed on non-porous surfaces.
What are my shipping options?
We ship throughout the continental US via UPS Ground. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping rates to Alaska, Hawaii or international destinations.
Is shipping insurance included?
Yes, insurance against loss is included in the shipping cost.
Is the Moop available for pick-up?
The Moop may be picked up at our studio in San Francisco. Please contact us at email@example.com before placing your order.
Does the Moop come pre-assembled?
Yes, you may order your coop pre-assembled for an extra charge of $100. This option is only available for pick-up in San Francisco.
Can I have chickens in my backyard?
Most cities across the US are changing their ordinances to allow for backyard chickens- in most cases hens only, no roosters. In San Francisco, where we live, you are allowed to keep 4 hens in your backyard as long as they are at least 25 feet away from any residence, not from the property line. This includes your home and any neighbors’ homes. The Local Chicken Laws blog has up-to-date information on the latest chicken laws.
What breed is best for the Moop ?
We feel that smaller and medium-sized breeds are better suited for backyard farms and for the Moop. We have one Australorp and two Ameraucanas that are friendly, not too big, and prolific layers. (The real reason why Deborah got the Ameraucanas is for the green and blue eggs they lay.)
Small: Bantams, Barnevelder, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Sussex, Welsummer, Wyandotte
Medium: Ameraucana, Andalusian, Australorp, Campine, Cochin, Dominique, Hamburg, Leghorn, Old English Game, Phoenix, Polish, Sultan
Large (not recommended): Buckeye, Chantecler, Delaware, Favorelle, Marans, Orpington, Nacked Neck, New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock
Where can I buy chicks?
You can buy chicks at a local feed store and – believe it or not – online. We recommend buying them in a store (we got ours at Concord Feed) because it’s more fun to pick out your own chicks, and that way the chick won’t have to travel through the mail, which surely must be a traumatic first journey.
How do I raise chicks?
Chicks are pretty simple to raise. First you have to set up a brooder, which can be a simple box with a heat-lamp (100W) in one corner and corn cob bedding or pine shavings as flooring. Don’t use newspaper as it is too slippery and can cause “splayed feet”.
Keep the temperature at 90-100°F in the first week and then decrease it by 5°F every week. You can check the temperature with a thermometer, but the chicks themselves are pretty easy to read. If they are too cold, they will huddled together directly under the lamp and probably chirp loudly. If they are too hot they will spread out away from the heat lamp. Ideally, you want them moving about.
After keeping your chicks warm, the most important things are to provide them with clean water and plenty of starter feed/crumble. It’s a good idea to replace the water every day and to play with your chicks often so that they get used to being handled by people. Chicks like to roost even when they are little so you may want to add a stick to the brooder after about a month. After 8-10 weeks when their feathers have grown in, they are ready to go into the Moop.
How many chicks should I get?
The Moop is designed to house 2-4 chickens. We recommend getting 4 chicks in case one turns out to be a rooster (like ours) or one of them doesn’t make it (chicks are very vulnerable). It is best to have at least 2 chickens, as they are a very social bunch.
How can I tell if my hen really is a rooster?
Even though chicks are supposed to have been pre-sexed when you buy them, almost everyone we know who bought chicks, had one or more roosters in their flock. The most reliable way to tell if you have a rooster is by looking at the shape of their feathers when they are around 3 months old. Roosters will grow curved tail feathers and pointed saddle feathers, while hens’ saddle feathers will remain round. Ah, and if your hen starts crowing, that means it’s a roster…
What do chickens eat?
Chickens eat just about everything. Chickens should eat grower food until they reach maturity or start laying, which is typically at 5 months old. Then you should switch them to layer food. We typically feed our chickens layer pellets (which you can find at feed stores and often at regular pet stores) and chicken scratch as a treat. When chickens start laying they also need oyster shells mixed into their food for strong shells. Our chickens also love grass, especially dandelion greens. We give them a handful every day and also supplement their diet with kitchen scraps. Avoid feeding your chickens spiced, salted or food that is too sweet. We also don’t give them any meat and obviously no spoiled food.
Keeping Chickens by Ashley English. Homemade Living Series.