Greetings from an Old Coot
Greetings from the Midwest, I have been keeping chickens over 15 years now. I built a larger run this year due to repeated predation when I tried to free range the chickens. I have mature Illinois Everbearing Mulberry trees in the run and have planted Apples and Persimmons this year in the new run. I use an old tractor tire filled with sand and wood ashes for the chickens to dust bath. (I heat with wood) I grow extra tomatoes in cages inside the run that grow up and over the cage to drop tomatoes to the chickens til frost. My Garden is next to the run (shares a fence) and extra or spoiled veggies gets tossed to the chickens. The Coop is on a deep brick foundation I built and the dirt floor is below ground level---I use the deep litter method, adding pine needles, wood chips, grass clippings, etc. all summer long, then the composting helps with the heat in the winter. In spring I clean it out and use the compost on the garden---you should see the peppers and tomatoes, beans, etc grow on that stuff. I use Juniper greens pulled off with gloves added to the nest boxes along with wood chips to prevent lice/mites etc. it works. I collect the rainwater from the roof of the coop into a stock tank that I use to refill the chicken waterers. I place Goldfish in the stock tank to prevent skeeters. I do not have water or electricity run to the coop. I raise Guineas with the Chickens, they fly over the fence and patrol the property for bugs and ticks----they are worth the racket. My Wife was reluctant to get chickens 15 years ago, now she doesn't know what to do if we don't get enough eggs to sell, give away to her quilt club members. I have the same syrofoam incubator I bought years ago and it still works for hatching my own eggs.
Well, PM me if you have any questions as to how I'd do things-----its probably different then most people recommend. LOL
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