JaSoN's Chicken Plantation
I am completely new to the whole chicken thing, so I found this site to be the most informative on the internet. I remember as a child, my grandmother having chickens on her farm which she raised for meat and eggs. A lot of vivid memories I have playing with those chickens. I have always loved birds and feed almost everyone in my neighborhood, lol. I have two little boys, a 6 year old and a 3 year old, so I though what a wonderful way to introduce them to chickens and allow them to interact and assist with caring for them. I figured it would be fun for my family and a great learning experience for them. I looked and looked and researched this idea to death. I believe in gathering as much information as possible ahead of time. I built my first coop as a trial. I live on approximately one acre of property in the country, but also part of a lake subdivision. I have about half an acre of fenced in backyard. I have 6 ft. privacy fencing down both sides and 4 ft' chain link connecting those two together in the rear. I have a neighbor on one side of me and woods on the other. I have pretty well decided that I will stay away from the roosters right now, as a courteousy, so I will stick to the hens. I only want about 3-4 of them for now. And no, I don't want to raise them for meat chickens, only as pets and I LOVE THEIR EGGS. I really like the silkies and barred rocks. I want some that would do great around my kids. I don't know yet if I want a few chicks and raise them up or some that are about a year old that would be okay on their own. I am kind of leaning towards the biddies so my children can interact with them and watch them grow. I decided either way that I wanted to start building a coop. Considering the number of hens, I decided to build my first one 4' x 4'. A lot of the wood was scrap, so I think I spent about $50 at Lowes buying the plywood and trim boards. April 26, 2010:
It turned out okay, considering I am a firefighter and not a carpenter. lol. I have done handy man work before and I truly enjoyed building it. I trimmed it in lime green and my wife loved it. I did find some things building this one that I would do different next time. I sold that coop about 2 weeks ago and the gentleman was very excited to get it. I am now working on another one. I will keep information posted as it moves forward. I am excited and look forward to going home to build it and constantly still searching the forums for information and guidance.
Here are some pics from the previous coop:

Side View Rear (full access door) Interior

My goal with this coop with the height underneath was to attach the run under the bottom and out from there. As I said, I was super happy building it, but I learned what I wanted to change for the next one. I am excited about working on my new one. Any suggestions are helpful.

April 28, 2010: Got the first chicks today. Two silkies, one rhode island red, and one barred rock. Here are their pics.

May 1, 2010: Alright, finally got a chance to work on the coop today. It is to this point, 100% built with recycled scrap materials. I am not some kind of huge environmentalist, but I do recycle and I figured with all my fellow friends scrap wood, I could round up enough to build another one. I was right, although I am for sure I will have to pick up some white paint for the trim and some trim boards from Lowes. So, when finished it won't be 100% scrap, but fairly close to it. The chicks are doing great. I have enjoyed watching them at night catching the bugs underneath the brooder light. I let them out in the yard inside a piece of lattice with a cover over it and watch them rummage around for bugs and kick dirt.

New coop pics: Alot left to do.

May 13, 2010: Alright, finished the coop last week although I am happier with some parts rather than others. I like the two story interior for them and it looks as though they enjoy it too. I have moved them completely from the rubbermaid container into the coop with the warming light still on at night. I let them out (supervised) during the evening for about an hour and they are having a blast. I found a dog kennel (6' tall, 7.5' wide, 12' long) for $50 on craigslist. I am waiting until they get a little age and then I want to sit the coop inside the kennel with the ladder attachement. Enjoyed letting them out today and watching them play in the dirt. They are growing like crazy and love scrambled eggs.

Alright, so I got a few pics more of them rumbling in the yard.

All of them
My son named them as well:
Barred Rock - Kaitlyn, RIR - Reba, Bigger Buff Silkie - Lucy, Smaller Buff Silkie - Sally.

June 9, 2011:Alright, second go round with the chickens now after my children decided last year that toys were more important. Everytime I would see someone else's chickens, I wanted some. Working on the new coop now which will be much bigger than those beforehand. I will post pics along the way. Got 4 chickens yesterday. The guy told me they were: Rhode Island Red, Dominecker, White Rock, and a Wyandonette. Very excited.


September 15, 2011: Chickens are growing up now. My RIR hatched her first egg about a week ago and has been hatching one a day every since. I still have all the ones in the picture, except the Wyandotte, turned out to be a roo. I just got two bitties yesterday and I am looking forward to them. Had to restructure the coop due to too many places to poop.
The little playhouse is what we turned into a house for the bitties.