First and foremost I would like to thank everyone here for all the information that is put on this website. I could not have done this without you or this site.
A couple of months ago my wife and I decided that we wanted to raise chickens for eggs. I began researching and ended up Googling chicken forum. Never in a million years did I think there was actually a forum for chickens. Low an behold BYC. I have to admit, I thought every one of you was absolutely nuts when I started reading. I never thought people treated chickens they way some of you do. Now I’m in the same boat.
We began looking for a coop. As a young couple with a 2 year old son and another child due in August, on top of remodeling a 90 year old farm house, we were looking for something already built and cheap. I found a one year old 6x12 ice shack on Craigslist. The guy delivered it to my house from a hour and half away for $200.(including the shack). Insulated and all. I ripped off the roof and made a slanted roof, added trim, vents, paint, vinyl flooring, made a new door, plus made it into a coop in the inside. Ran 150 feet of wire underground from the house to the coop with outlets and lights inside. I can not believe how much I have stuck into this thing! But I have to admit I love it. Now for the run. I can’t believe how much pressure treated lumber and fencing is! We didn’t know what to do. After searching craigslist we found a couple that was moving and had 2 - 16 foot x 24 foot quail pens for sale. All pressure treated lumber, vinyl coated welded wire and hard ware cloth. Plus heavy netting for the roof. One was 6 feet tall and the other was 8 feet. We called and set up an appointment to look at them, but figured we couldn‘t afford it, much less just one of them. We showed up and all looked good. Asked the guy how much and he said make an offer, any offer. Mind you there is hundreds of dollars of wood and wire. Before I could think of a dollar amount, my wife blurts out $20. The guys looks at his wife, then back at us and says “it’s yours“. Felt like I won the lottery! After 2 nights of dismantling with my stepfather we got both pens taken down and moved to our house. We ended up giving them $70 for both pens because we knew they were worth way more than $20. I ended up building a 20 foot by 20 foot pen that’s 7 feet tall. Should be plenty of room for them.
After all our research on raising chicks we had our hearts set that some of our new chicks would not all live. We wanted approx. 8 chickens for egg laying. We figured since we were doing organic feed with no medication, and the fact that we have never done this before, we would order 16 chicks and hope we wouldn’t lose more than half. LOL. Our feed mill called when they came in and my wife went to go pick them up. Guess what, we got 2 extra. 10 Production Reds and 8 E,E,‘s, So fast forward 1 month. None died. Yep that’s right, we wanted 8 chickens and we now have 18. All healthy and happy. And we love each and everyone of them. Never thought I would say that.
Well if you made it this far, thank you for reading. Of course there were other moments that I would love to share but I’m sure most of you have experienced them for yourselves (is it too hot/cold in the brooder, heat lamp dying the first day, dogs and cat meet chicks, kid choke holds chick, chicks get out of brooder and poop all over the floor, you get the hint). I look forward to learning more from this site and hope that I can contribute some of my new knowledge to other people. Again, Thank You All.