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My chicken story started March 2011. I went to a local farm supply store and picked out two of the smallest chicks I could find.
I, not being the smartest chicken owner, didn't even find out what kind of chicks they were! I just hoped they were hens, not roosters.
Turns out I had chosen two hens (yay!) a black Australorp named Malachi and a white Leghorn name Peep.
I raised them in a galvanized tub for about a month, painstakingly taking out the tub, dumping the newspaper shreddings and poop in the trash, rinsing it, and placing the chicks, their food, and fresh shreddings back in. On the top was some warped hardware wire, half of a sheet of red translucent wrapping plastic, and a plug-in lightbulb.
After they had grown their feathers, had been inside for longer than needed, and had made a big mess, (I was afraid they'd freeze if I out them outside too early. In April. I was a chicken noob.), I finally moved them outside into this coop. This is where they began to lay their first eggs.
It was way less pretty before I decorated/ renovated it. (Renovation details are down below)
Before I did that, disaster struck!
My chickens had been living outside for maybe 3 weeks. I had closed them up that night in their coop and they were doing just fine, but when I came out the next morning, there was blood everywhere! I looked and Peep was laying down with blood on her feathers. Malachi had lost half of her middle toe, but Peep had two whole toes missing! I still don't know what happened. But I am assuming that something stuck its little greedy, toe-stealing hands in the chickens wire beneath my chickens and grabbed whatever it could. I soaked their feet daily in warm water and alcohol, squirted "Rooster Booster" on them and wrapped them up. My chickens eventually healed and now Peep "gallops" across the yard right behind Malachi.
I had my dad renovate it for me after the animal attack. He added protection on the sides, where he nailed fresh, new plywood on the side and put down cut-to-size boards to keep their remaining toes intact. I decorated the ugly, renovated bunny hutch with a pushlight, which stopped working its fourth night outside, a hand painted sign, and a "recycled" (mom tried to throw it away) stepstool for my chickens, who used to jump into the coop but a certain animal made that impossible for them after it decided to snack on their toes! So the stepstool was a must. My dad also added a little green wire coated chicken run around it so I could contain the chickens if needed. Which was needed, according to my mom because she was tired of "chicken crap" on her patio. (Her words, not mine!) I got tired of it too, after scrubbing and spraying the patio down everyday.
Soon it got colder out, and the "old beach towels wrapped around the coop" trick would not suffice for the winter. So to craigslist I went, envious over the $500+ coops that I saw on there. I asked my dad to build me a little a-frame coop, but soon I got too impatient and found the perfect coop!
The guy was asking $400 for this great little coop with an enclosed run. I offered him $200, he said $250 if we picked it up. We did, and it took us about 30 minutes to get it home, whereas it took us 10 minutes to get there. We drove 30 mph the whole way home because it was so tall! It fit perfectly in the back of my dad's truck, but it took 4 guys to carry it! It came with a feeder, two waterers, a heat lamp, food, wood shavings, and 2 Chanteclers. I would've enjoyed keeping the two hens, but they pecked my girls too much for my liking. So, onto craigslist they went, and within 10 minutes someone called and was on their way to add the hens to their collection of chickens.
I washed the coop out, put down fresh shavings, and moved my chickens in. Added the green fence around it, and we were good to go! It took them a little while to get used to it, and they kept wanting to go to sleep at night in the "Chicken Ghetto", as I like to refer to their old coop, but I finally broke them of that habit.
One month later, the girls love their chicken hut, and their ramp that came with it! It took some practice for toe challenged Peep, but I think she's got the hang of it now!
This set-up works perfectly for me right now!
I love owning chickens and can't wait to move somewhere when I am older that has a lot of land. I want at least 5 chickens if possible! :)
Thanks for looking!