Chicken Coop Advice

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posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:04 AM
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Not this season, but next, I'm looking to add (build) a chicken coop to the ranch.
I've been looking around, and I think these plans are the best so far...

www.thegardencoop.com...

(The Garden Coop)

I want to be able to stand up in it, and I want to use an actual design, so I don't overbuy (or under buy) materials. But, I'm also open to any designs others may have found, or other advice for those currently raising chickens.

Primarily, these are for eggs, not meat. (though the option is there).




posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


Just an FYI, they don't lay golden eggs. That's geese.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:09 AM
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I'm sure the chickens would prefer these plans www.houseplans.com...



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:09 AM
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We used the coop design from purina and have been quite happy with it! It was a free design too. poultry.purinamills.com... click on the pics or under the pics there is a link for a download to the design. We have 8 chickens and this coop has worked out great for us! Also even with the three egg boxes we find they all like to share them, they don't each need their own egg box.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 
Some advice that works: If once your chickens start producing eggs and you have problems with snakes stealing them go to your local craft store to the wood crafts section and buy some wooden eggs. When you get them home paint them to look like real eggs and let them completely dry. Put the eggs randomly in your nesting boxes and leave them. When the snake eventually eats one of the wooden eggs (they swallow them whole) you will have ended your snake problem, and you can leave the uneaten ones in the nests in case another one comes along. You don't have to worry about getting them confused when you gather eggs as they are much heavier than real eggs. Good luck to you!



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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just sent you a U2U..hopefully it can be of some help.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I'd make the run much bigger with more ramps. That run seems awfully small. Also, if it gets hot where you are, think about buying a kids water mister to hang up in the run.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


This is my neighbors coop, she really has her act together.:
www.backyardchickens.com...

I have just finished ours with the same design which only took a couple week ends to complete, the chicks are living in there happy as of the last few days. I will get some pictures up as soon as I can.

Actually, only the front has been sided so far, the roof is up and we used house wrap, well lumber wrap we got free at Meeks, went through golf ball size hail last night with 60+ mph winds and it did not leak nor have any problems.

I LOVE it, and the only cost has been screws and nails.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


One thing we are doing differently this time is to use removable nesting boxes which are simple and easy to keep clean when an egg breaks or just to keep sanitary. I found the dish tubs at dollar general for under 4 a piece.




posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:28 AM
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reply to post by fictitious
 


I keep a cheap kiddy swimming pool in the shade for mine, they love it and it kept them cool last summer when many other farmers were losing theirs due to extreme heat. I went out in the afternoon and over flowed it so they could always have a cool place to sink their toes in. In the mornings I would spray down the shade trees for a natural type mist, it really did keep it cooler in the area.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


Build it sturdy. You may need to be more concerned with something getting in than chickens getting out. Last year something decimated my neighbors flock. It kept finding ways into the coop. I finally saw the culprit very early one morning - it was a red fox. I think you are in a little more rural section of PC than me, so various varmints may try to get into it.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by antar
 


Yes that's a great idea. We also have a fan inside the coop which helps, but it still gets really hot. My family's coop looks much like yours built from old tongue and groove barn wood. I call it the chicken hotel lol.

I'd like to add that the chickens weren't laying at first, but after fake eggs were placed in their roost, they started laying. Those eggs are just kept in there. We put a black x on the fake ones because they looked so real.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


Don't get a rooster, they are mean SOB's !!!!
My brother was attacked by ours as kids and he still has scars.
Now I will read the rest and see if I have more LOL!!

Ok, if you crush the egg shells and feed it back to the chickens in their feed, it will strengthen the shells on the eggs they lay, it's just recycling the calcium back into their systems.
Good luck, chickens are great! I want some, but A) don't have the time just yet and B) the critters up here worry me, it's hard to let them free range when an eagle or hawk will take off with one for dinner.
edit on 8-4-2013 by woodsmom because: read the thread and had more to offer




posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I don't have specific plans for you, but I did start raising chickens a couple years ago.

First, layer and meat birds are very different with their shelter needs. The layers need a good strong shelter to protect from snow, wind and rain. You'll have these birds for a few years and they will get to be like pets. We're lucky, our hens are giving us an egg a day each. We have Rhode Island Reds, Ameraucanas, and Orpingtons. If you are getting just a few birds, they can share a nesting box and take turns. In this case, it's okay to put all your eggs in one basket. (Ha, sorry.) You don't need a rooster, but we got one to help protect the hens from coyotes and rattlers. He's very protective of his hens. We have grown to love our rooster. If you get baby chicks, you'll want a big metal tub (we use a small stock tank), a heat lamp, water dish, and feed container. As they grow, it's nice to let them run free during the day. They will graze all day long on, well, most anything. They are great at insect control and that will make the eggs taste so much better. They'll find their way back to the coop by evening, or you can prod them along a little. Now if you're in an urban setting, free range isn't a good option. They can fly enough to easily scale six foot fences. The hen coop as more like a shed built against one side of our shop. It's mostly 2x6 construction with some chicken wire ventilation on the south and east sides.

We are getting our first meat birds this year, just starting with 100 chicks. I build a 8x8 chicken tractor for them. We plan to move it around the ranch to give them a new "salad bar" every few days. Meat birds are only around for a couple months in the summer, then they are harvested. These birds won't be getting names like our layers.

Good luck with this. PM me if you have a specific questions.
edit on 4/8/13 by AnonymousCitizen because: tpyos



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by woodsmom
reply to post by Gazrok
 


Don't get a rooster, they are mean SOB's !!!!
My brother was attacked by ours as kids and he still has scars.
Now I will read the rest and see if I have more LOL!!

Ok, if you crush the egg shells and feed it back to the chickens in their feed, it will strengthen the shells on the eggs they lay, it's just recycling the calcium back into their systems.
Good luck, chickens are great! I want some, but A) don't have the time just yet and B) the critters up here worry me, it's hard to let them free range when an eagle or hawk will take off with one for dinner.
edit on 8-4-2013 by woodsmom because: read the thread and had more to offer



It can also teach them to start pecking at their eggs. I was always told that if you decide to give them the shells that you should crush them up small enough that they don't recognize it as an egg or they will start pecking at their own eggs before you get a chance to collect them. We use oyster shell mixed into the layer feed.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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Yep, not interested in getting a rooster.


I'd make the run much bigger with more ramps. That run seems awfully small. Also, if it gets hot where you are, think about buying a kids water mister to hang up in the run.


I do plan on modding the design to be longer. I like the mister idea, and the idea of having a cooling pool (and there is a hose hookup right where I want to put it). A fan would be nice, but I don't have a nearby outlet. I could run one, but not sure it is worth the trouble.

No snow worries, just a few times it gets pretty cold.

I do want the bottom to be the ground, and be able to move it around if needed.

As to predators, the coop itself is in a fenced in (chain link) area, but it will have 2"x2" wire mesh (left over from my dog fence project). It's stronger than chicken wire, and mostly it's to keep the dogs out, so should work for other predators too.

Love the idea of the removable nesting boxes too. Wooden eggs huh? Interesting.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by MaMaa
 


You are right, I should have been more specific with how fine to pulverize them. Thanks!
Oyster shells are great too.



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:26 PM
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Your coop ideas look great! Chickens are fun and easy to take care of. A coop can be as plain or as crazy as you want. Here is my coop my Dad made for be to replace our old A-frame coop that was too small.


He used all scrap lumber he found around town and from friends. The only thing new was any hardware! I painted it... my favorite color of course. There are a lot of books on raising chickens and backyardchickens.com is a great site for info too.

I have 3 Bantam hens and two roosters. The roosters are not mean at all and I have even heard one is good for the hens just make sure it is a good natured breed. I had a Leg horn rooster that was awful. We currently added 8 more hen chicks to the bunch 4 new breeds. My husband and the gal at the supply store talked me into getting Turkens. The are ugly bald necked chickens but are supposed to be a very hardy bird and are supposed to be the best egg layers...up to 2 a day.

Two pieces of advice. First use a light in the coop during the short winter months to keep your chicken laying eggs. Second use straw in the winter in the coop and wood shavings in the Summer or they may get mites!

Have fun!!!!

Loves Restless



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 12:33 PM
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You should make a chicken tractor. They're basically a mobile bottomless cage with a small coop attached to the rear. They keep the chickens moving about so they don't over graze the land into dirt, while at the same time keeping them out of harm's reach.





No but seriously, search for chicken tractors.
edit on 4/8/2013 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by restlessinMT
 


The light is a good point. I suppose if I do run power out there, I could then add the fan too. Why the tire? (just curious).

I do want to be able to move it, but I figure it will be about 12' long, and move back and forth along the inside of a 75' fence.





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