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New here and new chicken keeper

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm Nick Chill. I'm a photographer by profession. My wife and I are progressively moving to a more sustainable way of living, which most recently includes backyard chickens for eggs and compost purposes.

 

We just acquired two pullets, a black sex link and a silkie, and we have two red sex links on the way (we let the kids pick their own chickens, plus one). I am feverishly researching coops and hen houses to figure out what I want to do. I have a location picked out that is shaded in summer and sunny in winter. We live in Northeast Iowa, and it can get to -20 degrees (at coldest) and averages about 0 during the cold months. I don't have a ton of property, so I need a modest coop, but I want the hens to be comfortable, safe, and healthy.

 

I can clearly see that the coops available online are pretty cheap and overstate the number of hens they can hold. They also appear to be horrible for colder weather. I'm getting the feeling I need to build my own. I'm comfortable building things, but have never built anything house-like.

 

I welcome any and ALL recommendations, resources, and advice on coops, runs, and accessories (i.e. dusting box) for my hens. I'm still researching and getting a lot of information, but the more points-of-view, the easier I can narrow down what's important.

 

 

"A spoiled chicken lays the best eggs"... we're gonna have some awesome eggs!
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"A spoiled chicken lays the best eggs"... we're gonna have some awesome eggs!
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post #2 of 6

Hi, Nick, welcome to BYC, and good luck with your flock and the 'coop build'.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 6
Welcome to BYC! Sounds like you have a great start and good luck with building your coop! We have 5 red sex-links and we love them! I hope you enjoy chickens as much as we do!
henny1129
Lovin' my life in the country with my animals and my family! And a proud owner of a Beagle!

~henny1129
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Lovin' my life in the country with my animals and my family! And a proud owner of a Beagle!

~henny1129
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post #4 of 6

Hi Nick and welcome to BYC. As well as the Coops Section, theres the coops and runs forum to take a look at. You may wish to search "cold weather coops" or something like to see what comes up. 

 

You may wish to consider joining your state thread  as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread and you could ask on there what are the main considerations in building coops in your state. 
 
All the best
CT
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 6

Welcome to Backyard chickens.  The best advice I can give you is to use 1/2" hardware cloth  everywhere you need fencing.   Chicken wire only keeps chickens IN, it does nothing to keep predators OUT.  It is very flimsy and saggy and any predator worth it's salt can go through it like a hot knife in butter.

 

I recommend you check out the coops section  and also the predator thread for good advice.

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post #6 of 6

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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