Author Topic: Backyard Chicken Coop  (Read 10367 times)

Offline Hellboy

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Backyard Chicken Coop
« on: November 01, 2008, 08:28:17 AM »
I took the wife and kids to the state fair last month and when we got to the livestock exhibits we were looking at the cow's , pigs, etc. and came across to the baby ducks and chickens for the kids to look at. I saw a guy who was selling 6 x baby chicks for $15 and started talking to him. I asked him about raising chickens and what it would take to keep a few and he said it would not take much space. We live on a little under 6 acres, but you can do this in a 12 x 4 area or smaller depending on the number of hens you plan on having. If you have space you can even do gennie hens, but I'm afraid by dod would make a quick snack if I went that route.  I did some research when I got home and found some coop plans on line. I plan on building one this winter and will post the process and final result online.

Here is the design I am looking at building:



as you can see they can be made to only take up a small foot print.

tash

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2008, 08:36:50 AM »
cool! keep us updated. I'm looking forward to seeing the build process.

Offline CTF250

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2008, 08:51:16 AM »
Looking into the same thing here.  Someone turned me on to this link. http://www.backyardchickens.com/
Very imformative source for chicken questions.


Ebbtide

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 05:42:22 PM »
Great job! We recycled an old garden shed for ours.

djturnz

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 02:31:21 PM »
My sister in law just started raising chickens a few months ago.  She feeds them peanut butter and jelly crust, leftover mac and cheese, all kinds of leftovers.

She can't bring herself to eat the eggs though.  She said if she uses them to make a cake it's ok, but she can't stand to eat them "dippy" or even scrambled.

She has had 12 double yokes in 4 months.

Da Fat Kid

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009, 10:10:38 PM »
Chickens are almost as good as having pigs when it comes to disposing of left overs and spoils from the garden, of course most of those go in our compost pile.
I can't understand why some one would rather eat those old stale store eggs. You have no idea what kind of chemicals those chickens are fed to get them to produce better. YUK
HOME GROWN IS ALWAYS BEST.
I raise my own hogs and I tell ya what there ain't nothin like it.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 10:12:14 PM by Da Fat Kid »

Offline digger

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 10:33:15 PM »
Yes sir, once you've had fresh cackle berries, you'll never go back to store bought. Chickens are easy to keep, cheap to keep. If you can free range them a couple of hours a day, and feed scraps, your feed bill will be minimal. Plus, they're entertaining as heck to watch.

Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009, 10:50:35 PM »
Chickens are almost as good as having pigs when it comes to disposing of left overs and spoils from the garden, of course most of those go in our compost pile.
I can't understand why some one would rather eat those old stale store eggs. You have no idea what kind of chemicals those chickens are fed to get them to produce better. YUK
HOME GROWN IS ALWAYS BEST.
I raise my own hogs and I tell ya what there ain't nothin like it.

I think I need caffeine.  Thought you said chickens were given chemicals to make them produce BUTTER at first.  I was thinking, WOW, no kidding, that would be bad...

Da Fat Kid

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 10:54:24 PM »
Well heck yea don't yer chickens in Texas produce butter???

Offline SteveInTx

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2009, 11:02:38 PM »
Well heck yea don't yer chickens in Texas produce butter???

Maybe if you squeeze em really, really hard and ask nicely :)

johnnybgood30

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2009, 01:18:54 AM »
how much feed do thay need? for like one or two?how long do thay live?  any one know thanks

Da Fat Kid

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2009, 09:26:19 AM »
Sorry man I have no idea how much feed because our chickens like many other things in my area are a group effort. They are at the neighbors, she buys the feed we all help maintain the housing and we all save our scraps and left overs. I know we have 14 Henny Penny's and one Cockadoodledoo and they get like one small coffee can of feed a day plus scraps. And we buy eggs for $1.50 dozen. That way we are all helping pay for the feed. In the winter egg production slows down but in the summer we get sometimes as many as 18 eggs per day.

Offline digger

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2009, 10:39:25 AM »
We have 13 hens. If they remain in the coop/run, they will consume about 50# of laying pellets ( $8) every three weeks. They stay penned at the present, cause the new sprouts in the garden are too much temptation for them. In another month- six weeks, we will again let them free range for about 4-6 hrs a day, and the feed consumption goes down by 1/2 or better.

We do keep a bag of cracked corn to throw them a handful daily. Keeps them unafraid, and easier to control when out. Just shake the bag, they come running.

Hens can live 5 years & longer, but usually the first two/three are the best for egg production, they fall off rapidly there after. As you become familiar with your flock, you'll know which ones aren't laying. Time then for the pot, or in one case of mine, I keep an old broody Bantam around just for egg sitting.

Offline Rosesandtea

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2009, 05:20:33 AM »
HB, what kind of coop is that?  I mean, who produced it and does it have a commercial name? 
thanks

Da Fat Kid

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2009, 07:08:55 AM »
Rose check it out here. They have many other designs too. And lots of good info for those like me just getting into chickens.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=16313-playhouse-chicken-coop

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2009, 07:46:07 AM »
I live within the city limits.  We have a city ordinance which prohibits keeping "livestock" within the city limits.

As times get worse, I bet the government will stop enforcing that law.

I need to get some chickens.  My neighbors may not like it, but they might like some eggs.

Da Fat Kid

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 09:34:30 AM »
Tommy I would check and see what they define as livestock. They have to define it and it may be that chickens are not included. Yes the idea of eggs for the neighbors is good and may help ya. If the neighbors complain, keep the chickens as long as you can so they learn where is safe to roost and get food then let them "escape". Who knows maybe they will "fertilize" the neighbors porch for his / her bare foot stroll to get the sunday paper.

Offline Rosesandtea

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 11:40:52 AM »
Rose check it out here. They have many other designs too. And lots of good info for those like me just getting into chickens.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=16313-playhouse-chicken-coop

Thanks.  We have an "ark" but I like the layout of the one you showed us better I think.   Good to have ideas for when the one we have gives up the ghost.   I'd like to see how the sleeping and nesting areas are accessed though (for cleaning).  Don't want to pay for his plans for that! :)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 11:44:09 AM by Rosesandtea »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2009, 06:40:11 PM »
I live within the city limits.  We have a city ordinance which prohibits keeping "livestock" within the city limits.

As times get worse, I bet the government will stop enforcing that law.

I need to get some chickens.  My neighbors may not like it, but they might like some eggs.
In my county, you can't have chickens unless you have more than an acre.  But I know some that have them in smaller yards.  The secret is to ensure that your neighbors don't turn you in.  Maybe a dozen eggs every now and then will help.

Once we get some property, I intend to have chickens.  Depending on the layout of the land, I may do the chicken tractor thing.  Here is a page with a bunch of shots of various chicken tractors.

Offline “Mark”

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2009, 10:30:41 AM »
The best eggs will come from free range chickens. You'll want to keep your coop away from any garden, but let them out! They'll eat bugs and grass and lots of things to make delicious eggs. If you have a yard they can get to, take one or two of them and let them eat all the bugs so the bugs don't eat you! They will find their way back to the coop. I wouldn't let all your chickens in on the secret though, or you won't have much grass left. I've seen chickens wander up to a thousand feet if the bugs are good. They're pretty dumb, but will remember good feeding locations.

Kyser

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2009, 09:29:09 PM »
My coop is a work in progress, and I'm using the basic design of the pic in the thread start.  I've kept chickens in the past, and I'm about ready to get some more.  Another site that I really like is:

http://poultryone.com/

They've got a great deal of info and a good group of people on their forum.

Offline archer

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2009, 11:30:54 PM »
+1 Kyser, looks like a good site.

Offline Citizen Zero

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2009, 09:17:17 PM »
Quote
The best eggs will come from free range chickens. You'll want to keep your coop away from any garden, but let them out! They'll eat bugs and grass and lots of things to make delicious eggs. If you have a yard they can get to, take one or two of them and let them eat all the bugs so the bugs don't eat you! They will find their way back to the coop. I wouldn't let all your chickens in on the secret though, or you won't have much grass left. I've seen chickens wander up to a thousand feet if the bugs are good. They're pretty dumb, but will remember good feeding locations.

I'll more that second that.. At one point we have more than 15 that free ranged the property, what a nightmare. Once they figured out where the cat food was, game over.. Chicken poop in all the wrong places..

But, they were some of the best eggs that we ever had.

The flock was decimated by coyotes and other predators two years ago, but we will be establishing it again soon with a better chicken house and less birds.

Offline cdunlop

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2009, 03:26:06 PM »
Found a simple and cost effective way to build a coop.  This is not my video, but still pretty good.


Becky's Homestead 10: Light Weight Chicken Coupe

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2009, 05:14:10 PM »
That is a good video and Beck is very fun and easy to watch.
I would have changed one thing about that coop. I would have given it a wire bottom just like the top. The chickens can still feed through it but with a bottom you don't have predators getting under there and making a snack of your hens.

Offline shadewolf

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2009, 11:50:51 PM »
I like that the coop is light-weight, but a coyote might make quick work of getting into it. In my area we've got lots of predators so I picked up some old metal trampoline frames and chicken-wired them up. Right now the big pen is in our barn, but we'll install it outside in the spring and make some additions to it. We'll put mesh on the ground to prevent anything digging in from underneath, and ensure the sidewalls will take at least one of our dogs charging it at full speed (that should be strong enough), and then a strong roof to keep the hawks and other aerial predators out as well as provide rain cover and shade. Likely we will put wheel on the whole thing which is a round pen about 24' in diameter so if we want to move it, we can though just by dragging it with atv, tractor, or truck. We will definitely put in a 6ft' tall gate as currently we have to open the gate and duck under the top rail to get in to collect eggs which is tiresome on our spines. We'll also be adding extra metal or wood above the current top rail to create the frame for the roof. We currently got 23 birds, 22 hens and a rooster housed in our big pen and they seem pretty happy. We'll be sending about 8 of them to the stew ot that don't lay eggs anymore in the next couple weeks too. We have another smaller chicken ark we built this fall that nicely houses 6 young hens who have recently started laying for us too.

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Backyard Chicken Coop
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2009, 05:43:18 AM »
 We started off a year and a half ago when a friend gave us 3 pullets. I built a simple chicken tractor and moved it all over each day to a fresh spot in the yard. The same person had home troubles and gave me the rest of her small flock, which was 6 more. I ended up building a chickenhouse and covered pen for them, 8ft wide x 25ft long. My fife decided this spring that we needed 5 more, so we got chicks which went out to the tractor then finally into the pen. We lost 2 that got out to a hawk, but ended up with 8 more when my neighbor got 'bored' with having his 8 month old hens. Now we have an even 20 and get between 9 and 13 eggs a day, and the pen runs the entire 60ft along the dogs fence.

 I had to rebuild the first pen simply because I was thinking more about saving materials and not about common sense....like the fence being 3ft tall and me being 6'3. Getting inside to clean was a nightmare, so I raised the side fence to 6ft thanks to a bunch of free fence from the same neighbor. The chickenhouse has the next boxes on the outside wall, with its own acess door so I don't have to get inside to get at the eggs.

 Having chickens for me has been far more of a bonus than just eggs and something to eat tablescraps. People call me and GIVE me birds they don't want. Most have bought straight runs, and when they find out they have roosters, don't want them. This year I have put 24 birds in the freezer for free. I've gotten the same deal with 5 rabbits and 3 ducks when people have decided they don't have the heart to butcher them.