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Chicken coops/pens??
November 14, 2009
11:01 pm
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Flatlander
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Yes they are smarter than you think, mine have to fly up a bit too…to get into the coop but also to get to the layingboxes and to the roost.

They are also in the top of the trees, now the leaves have fallen off.

Wait and see..they are smart ladies Yes

November 14, 2009
11:10 pm
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Maud
Virginia
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Is it expensive and/or complicated to build a successful chicken coop?  I'd love to keep some hens for eggs and bug/tick control but I'm pretty lame when it comes to building stuff. 

Also, should one fence in one's yard when keeping hens?  How high should the fence be if a fence is required?  Perhaps I should talk to the lady down the road who's chickens seem to survive quite well.  Another neighbor has tried for several years to keep guineas, but they're all dead by Autumn.  The silly birds can't seem to avoid cars in the road.  The chickens do, though, which kind of surprises me. 

Anyway, anyone who wants to share a simply built coop and chicken yard description/pattern will be answered with gratitude.

Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. ~Ambrose Bierce

November 15, 2009
4:31 am
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ChrisUK
Netley Hampshire UK
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There are several photographs of Suzanne's Chicken house,showing the general  layout,but basically a lean to construction rather than a pitched roof.Off the ground.if possible.roost perches and box's on the high side.Access hatch for chickens on the low side.suitable door for you to;

1. Collect eggs

2. To muck out

There can be  nest box access at the back to collect eggs if you are sufficiently proficient as a woodworker .I presume most want to build themselves,if no man around,and I do not want to sound chauvanist,keep it simple.

A fenced in yard is highly desirable,size really depends on number of birds and area available.It provides protection against varmints you may have that like a bit of chicken.Free range birds are usually happy birds,but your property needs a chicken proof fence.

I would also if I was building it for you have to take into consideration the many differing weather conditions in the States,long hot weather,need for nesting boxes on shady side,good ventilation,severe winter weather,shelter. In fact on reflection, Soap making,Canning,Bread making,Country Gals would probably knock up a better Chicken House between chores than any Limey,So why don't I just shutupHelp

Barn/Chickens/The Chicken House would'n build itself.(Complete with pictures)

Im a lonely little Petunia in a Cabbage patch

November 15, 2009
7:29 am
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CindyP
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ChrisUK said:

I presume most want to build themselves,if no man around,and I do not want to sound chauvanist,keep it simple.

In fact on reflection, Soap making,Canning,Bread making,Country Gals would probably knock up a better Chicken House between chores than any Limey,So why don't I just shutupHelp


Good save, Chris!!  Laugh

Maud, it depends on where you live if they should be penned in, I suppose.  Way out in the country is very different than those that live in town.  Many free range….meaning no fence.  I am in town, so mine will be 5 feet high with fencing across the top, too (to keep varmits, hawks out as well as chickens in)  Well, you can clip wings, too, to keep them in.

We built a very basic box with a slanted roof on the side of our garage area.  It's about 18 inches off the ground.  It was just framed to the size I wanted, then filled in with board.  There's a door on the garage/back of coop wall that I can access the coop from the garage.  The nesting boxes are sticking into the garage with a hinged door so I can collect eggs from the garage also.  There's a door for them to go out the bottom.  And a window with screening stapled on.

I'm so glad this topic came back up, Kathie!!  Everyone getting their minds together, you will have a wonderfully built chicken coop/pen!

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

November 15, 2009
8:15 am
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Kathie
Asheville, NC
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I live in the mountains of North Carolina.  I would love to have my chickens run free, but there are so many predators. We even have to have a cover on our pen because of hawks.

I first bought a tractor coop, one that is mean to be moved around the yard. It works great for the four Silkies we have, but sure did damage to the yard. I could not keep in one place because I could not get inside to clean it.  Here is a link to some pictures of the tractor coop. I paid a lot for it, but I should be able to sell it. (I have to link it because I couldl not figure out how to upload a photo.)

Tractor coop

My Silkies do not fly, but I am assuming they will make it fourteen inches with the help of a ram. We really keep them as pets that give us breakfast. We even have a baby, so I am pleased.

Question: Do any of you add anything to the feed for the coming cold weather?  Also what it your chicken's favorite treat? 

Who would have thought a city girl would live halfway up a mountain…and have chickens?

November 15, 2009
10:35 am
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Flatlander
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My chickens get store bought food, with all their nutricions in there, but beside that..they are semi free range.

They are closed in, because our dogs will kill them, but their pen is as big as a halve a soccer field.

All the leftovers from supper, like potatoes and veggies NO NO NO onions or sorlike veggies goes to the chickens.

I cook al my potato peels and give them that too, old bread, oh and yesterday I cut up all my pumpkins and cooked them.

So that is what the girls had for a snack yesterdag and will have the rest today.

For water I have a bowl that I can plug in, so the water doesn't freeze.

(I actually have those for the dogs and cats too, the goats have same style but bigger.

November 15, 2009
12:46 pm
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blossom
Battle,E Sussex,UK
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My free range hens love cooked rice as a treat, they probably think it's maggots. They also enjoy sweetcorn and baked potatoes.

expert advice in the uk says not to give too much extra starch as fat hens have laying difficulties, but i have never had a problem, and i expect hens in cold areas of the US need all the starch they can gobble up.!

November 16, 2009
12:25 pm
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Salamander
Charleston, WV
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On friday I was offered some extra animals for my wee little farm so I went and picked them up on Saturday, 5 hens 1 rooster and 1 duck that thinks she is a chicken! My wee little farm is growing!Happy Flower

The person who upsets you the most is your best teacher, because they bring you face to face with who you are.

November 16, 2009
12:31 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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ShimmySoon it won't be a wee farm at all!! Shimmy  Do you have a pond for your duck or is that why it thinks it's a chicken, it's always just been with chicks?

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

November 16, 2009
12:41 pm
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Salamander
Charleston, WV
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No water source but the lady that I got it from said it doesn't mind and has always stayed with the chickens.

The person who upsets you the most is your best teacher, because they bring you face to face with who you are.

November 16, 2009
12:46 pm
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Pete
WV
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That is GREAT, Amanda!      Shimmy

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

November 18, 2009
9:28 am
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Kathie
Asheville, NC
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I swear if it does not stop raining here, I will never get my coop finished. I want it up in time to put Christmas lights on it. lol honest.

I feel sorry for the chickens as they are always wet. They have  dry place to go, but they tend to be out in the rain.

Who would have thought a city girl would live halfway up a mountain…and have chickens?

November 18, 2009
10:07 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I think I'll decorate my coop with christmas lights this year too!  just for a little fun… though it'd probably be best if I finish painting it first! 

On the topic of roosts, and I know I'm coming into this a bit late, the BEST, the VERY best thing especially in a cold climate, is a 2×4 set so the FLAT side is up. 

This lets the chickens sink their warm chest and belly feathers down over their feet to keep them warm.  If a roost is smaller and they actually wrap their feet around it, their toasty warm feathers leave some of the feet exposed underneath which leaves them vulnerable to frostbite in cold weather.

//editing to add, my chickens stay out in all weather too so don't worry too much Kathie, just be glad they're not sissy chicks!

Located in N.E. Ohio

November 18, 2009
11:36 am
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Flatlander
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Kathie said:

I feel sorry for the chickens as they are always wet. They have  dry place to go, but they tend to be out in the rain.


My father in law, said you can predict the weather by tha behavior of your  chickens.

If they run indoors with rain..than means that it won't rain for long so they don't want te get wet.

If they don't care and get wet…it means it will rain the whole day.

November 18, 2009
8:48 pm
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Rainn
Maine
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Kathie said:

I swear if it does not stop raining here, I will never get my coop finished. I want it up in time to put Christmas lights on it. lol honest.

I feel sorry for the chickens as they are always wet. They have  dry place to go, but they tend to be out in the rain.


Kathie-I love putting lights and wreaths on my chicken house and goat barn-neighbors think I'm crazy-but I guess they know me and do love me!! and they love it when the “kids” and I walk up the road for a visit!!

our turkeys used to stay out in the rain-but the chickens like to be dry and “head for the barn” at the first drop or snowflake!!Happy Feet

Before the egg...and before the chicken....you have to have a coop........

November 19, 2009
6:56 am
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Heidi533
Hersey, Michigan
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Kathie said:

I swear if it does not stop raining here, I will never get my coop finished. I want it up in time to put Christmas lights on it. lol honest.

I feel sorry for the chickens as they are always wet. They have  dry place to go, but they tend to be out in the rain.


Christmas lights would be so cute!  I finally got my husband to run electricity to the coop this fall.  I wonder what he would say if I put lights on it. 

Heidi-
http://henhousediaries.blogspot.com

November 19, 2009
7:01 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Do it and find out!!  Laugh

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

November 19, 2009
7:11 am
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Heidi533
Hersey, Michigan
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CindyP said:Do it and find out!!  Laugh


Want to come over and help?  We could bake cookies after.

Heidi-
http://henhousediaries.blogspot.com

April 23, 2010
9:48 am
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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There’s a lot of fun info in this thread, thought I’d comment to bring it to the top of the list since so many people are getting new chickens!

Located in N.E. Ohio

May 13, 2010
10:21 am
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Pete
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Have not been able to get an answer to a concrete question, so will add it here!

How long should the chicken house concrete floor cure before letting the chicks into the house?  And is there anything we should request of the concrete guy to add or subtract from his normal concrete formulation??

Have concidered all the pros and cons and for our particular situation have concluded that a concrete floor make sense for us.  Our chickens will free range for much of the day and will have access to a dirt floored run during winter and other weather restricted days so will not be stuck on concrete for the rest of their lives.

This is an issue for us simply because we are doing new construction here, making the chicken house in one corner of an existing pole building.  This will be a fresh pour of concrete.  While we desperately want to get the babies out of the living room and start their training for their new home, the last thing we want to do is jeaopardize their health by having them breath things they should not breath as the concrete cures.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

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