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New to farm life but quite a bit of exposure.

post #1 of 8
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Hello all, my husband and I are in the process of preparing our small homestead in northwest Montana and we both agree that the first residents (besides ourselves) should be chickens. We have a little bit of experience and knowledge to start us off because both sets of or parents raised chickens. The one thing that I am sure of today, is that I want a secure chicken coop that will make it healthy for my girls and easy for us to keep clean as we enter our later years. We are in an area that has numerous coyotes, roaming neighborhood dogs, and even and occasional bear. I would appreciate any hints that you are willing to share so I can make sure that their home is built before I Burt the babies. Later I will pick your brain for a cold hearty, loving breed as I fully expect to have my layers as pets! Coop FIRST!
post #2 of 8

:welcome

 

You might want to check out the coop building section to get some good ideas.  

 

In your area, I'd build a Fort Knox with an enclosed coop with an attached run, with a covered area in the run where they can access food and water in the wintertime.  Lots of hardware cloth, lots of ventilation but no drafts.  You'll want to have a removable wind/snow block on the side that gets the prevailing winds in the winter.

 

Very smart of you to think of all this and research BEFORE you get your chickens!

 

Good luck. :)

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke
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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke
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post #3 of 8

Welcome to BYC!

The first tip I would offer given your considerations is that you design a coop that is "walk-in" for human access -- IMO this makes maintenance MUCH easier, especially during those lovely Montana winters.  Also consider the locations for your feeder, waterer, nest boxes, etc with regards to ease of access -- with consideration to advancing age you might not want to have to bend down/reach under to get to a feed or water station for filling or maintenance so locating them in a way that it won't be necessary can be helpful.  A nice, big walk-in coop would also enable you to employ deep litter method (DLM) in the coop which is one of the easiest ways to maintain a coop, imo.  There are several eggcellent threads on DLM here on BYC -

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #4 of 8
Around where we live we have coyotes weasels and other rodents like these. We had to upgrade our coop because a weasel got in one year and killed them all. We redid a play house we had into a chicken coop and connected this to our run. We then put the chicken wire that was over the run into the ground then out rocks over this to make it super urge. We also put two layers of chicken wire on the run. We have a dog and many cats but they don't try to get in to the coop. A breed I would recommend for where you live is the Silver Laced Wyandotte. I have some and absolutely love them. Good luck and I hope things turn out well.
post #5 of 8
I am also really new to this. I had a friend who kept a radio on a station in the chicken coop and they said they never had a problem with anything trying to get in because of all the talking and music that was on the radio.
post #6 of 8

Hi and welcome to BYC. I'd also suggest checking out the "predators and pests" forum and there will be advice relating to specific predators, and suggestions on how to deter them.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #7 of 8

You have  gotten a lot of very good advice from the greeters ahead of me.  So I will just say  Welcome to Backyard chickens.  So glad you joined the flock  :weee

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post #8 of 8

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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