In addition to the above I would have electrolyte power on hand too add to the water during times of stress and high heat. Paid a buck for three packets that make 3 gallons. It's cheaper than Gatorade.
I would not skimp on the mash, though you can supplement with your household (and your neighbor houshold) fruit and veggie scraps or even get these free from your grocery store. If I show up early any weekday morning I can get a 20-30 pound box for my worm bin from Safeway. The produce manager even separates the or gain stuff for me on Mondays since that's the day I grocery shop. I often get more than I need so I am planning to feed the salvageable stuff to the chickens instead of composting it.
I prefer the paper pellets to straw as they are more adsorbent and decompose faster. Someone gave me a 30 pound bag so I don't know how much it costs yet but between ease of transport and how much better it smells, and needing less it might work out cost wise com paired to hay.
We built a spacious and draft free brooder out of an old (and free) kitchen sink cabinet.
We are also building our own coop out of recycled wooden fencing and selvage.The coop floor will be 24 sq feet and it will house up to five adult hens.
I am trying to keep the total cost under $50.00, unless I get lucky on craigslist or at the ReStore it looks like most of the cost will end up being the builders wire fencing. I started shopping two weeks ago and so I have spent 19.50 for:
two 3x10 sheets of corrugated tin ( to cover the run)
ten assorted hinges
a 5X7 sheet of vinyl flooring
a 4X8 sheet of 2" hard foam insulation( for under the floor)
tar paper (for the coop's roof)
PVC pipe and stuff for the watering system
a really nice wooden box that's big enough for two nest boxes.
I was buying some re bar for a retaining wall and the guy had some long cedar 4x4's in his burn pile so I hauled off six of them to use as the coop base . After I trimmed the ends and pulled out all the naise they look pretty good. and have a pile of klin dried pine 4-6 ' long 2x4's we are salvaging from the "free wood" pile at a local mill.
Edited by aggiemae - 4/8/12 at 7:34am