So we started our chicken journey after my husband came out of the store with 5 baby chicks instead of the mower belt he went in for. He bought the chicks, a starter kit & brooder lights. After coming home and finding a large plastic tote to know become their brooder, we happily played with the chicks and set up their new home. I can honestly say I loved having them inside and being able to heat their cheeps. But they grow so fast, and in no time at about 8 weeks we took them outside to the coop. We had decided that buying one from store was probably the best way to since they should know what the chickens need right? Wrong! The coop was supposed to be for 4 large birds so we thought 5 bantams would be no different. It was just to small for liking. Aside from the fact it had poor ventilation, the wood had already split in several places in less than a week. But the decision was really made after coming home one night after rescuing a puppy from an abusive home, I can home to 3 less chicks. It was so hot in the hen house section we had been leaving the nesting box door propped open a little to vent the coop. As this had not been a problem because I was always home to watch them before it never occurred to me that I would lose them due to poor design and being a newbie chicken momma. So we started with 5, lost 3 and gained 4 more little ones the next day as I immediately went out to find replacements not only for my broken heart but for my kids.
Next week began the coop project. We found some plans on line that used mostly reclaimed fence wood, which we had in stock. Only probably with that design was after buying the requested 2x2s for the frame, we found out that after only adding one side of the coop it broke under the weight. Ughh, we were getting very frustrated to say the least. So after thinking about it we decided to go with the same plan sorta, just beefier and use plywood instead of fence. Turned out great! I love it and so do my babies. Something though that caught our eye pretty fast that is was dark in the new coop the chickens were all huddling together in the corner instead up being p on their roosts. So a quick trip to the store and a solar rope light later, they were in heaven. A few figured out the roosts and started getting up on their owns, but a few we actually had to set on them a night or two before they started doing it on their owns.
So now that we have a great coop for them, having chickens is AWESOME! I love going out and seeing them, talking to them and petting them. We will be moving soon and to a place hopefully with more land. I can't wait to add some more chicks to the flock, large ones that will lay momma some good eggs too!