Just thought I'd jump in and send you all a quick hello and let you know that I'm rifling through your forums and having fun doing it! I've got a strong desire to set up a backyard coop in the spring. I live in a suburban neighborhood and would like to raise and care for half a dozen layers. There's so much information here, it's just wonderful. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge so willingly!
I'm researching breeds -- would like a "rainbow" flock, I think. I'm not yet familiar with many breeds, but so far I love the look of cochins, with their little "bloomerrs" and the (light?) brahmas are just lovely. I'm in NE Kansas, so they'll be cold in the winter and hot in the summer and need to be hardy. I'd like them to be decent layers, but they don't have to be the best at that as there's just one of me. Any surplus would go to my son and his family.
I've just ordered a couple of used copies of the following books, your recommendations for any others that you enjoyed or found particularly informative are most welcome.
I'm researching coops and am finding a huge range of options, which is a overwhelming. I don't believe I have the skills to build something from scratch, but could probably tackle a kit and get my son to assist if need be. On the list of considerations is purchasing a garden shed kit and converting it to a coop. Here's an example of a kit that I found today that I thought might work well and won't break the bank. Please let me know if you think I'm on the right track:
I thought this coop could be put up on a stand so I could maximize the space available for the chickens when they are outside as I have a fairly small yard. I would not purchase the runs they offer for the coop because I believe I can save a good deal of money by building the run, and that appears to be basic enough a task that I can swing it if I can settle on a good layout. I really like the cattle panel hoop runs as it looks like they can be quite roomy, sturdy and cost effective. I would not be able to let my chickens free range so I need to build a pen that provides enough space that they won't suffer from being contained all the time.
I guess I've rattled on long enough for my first post. Thank you for reading and for any advice you might care to offer.
Regards from Kansas!