Love Me Some Chickens!

  1. LuvMeChickens
    I decided I want to keep backyard chickens about 6 months ago, but my family thought it was a terrible idea so I set the idea aside... or tried to. Since then I've put an unhealthy amount of time and energy into thinking about chickens. Anyone that thinks about chickens this much really needs to just go ahead and get the chickens, so I will. I haven't started building my coop or run yet, but I'm so excited at the prospect of it I thought I would start this page and edit as I go. The coop and run are unnamed, as of yet. Suggestions are welcomed!

    GOALS:
    Keep it simple (I have limited woodworking abilities and few tools).
    Keep it low cost.
    Make it pretty.
    Be chicken-ready by July of 2014.

    Because I'm a nerd, I created this floorplan of what I envisioned the coop and run to look like. The green area is where I would have put the coop, had I not decided to convert the shed instead.

    [​IMG]

    The Run
    January 15, 2014
    I have an area of my yard that is already fenced with privacy fencing (although it needs a little tlc), and this is where the run and coop will go. It's approximately 12x17 and I definitely foresee a problem covering the area. I want to fully enclose it with 1/4" hardware cloth and also somehow put a roof up. On my own. Shoot for the stars, right?

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I'm going to leave the privacy fencing up along the property line, and leave the posts up on the other two sides. I will attach some picket fencing on the front to make it look pretty and also for extra protection. As well as enclosing the run with hardware cloth, I want to roof it with corrugated plastic or iron, which will be slightly raised on one side for drainage. The floor of the run will be sand or woodchips, or maybe small gravel. Time will tell.

    The Coop
    January 15, 2014
    I plan on making the coop 8'x4', to make sure they have enough space and a little extra for growth (and this chicken math thing I've been hearing about [​IMG]). There will be three nest boxes, although I don't expect them to use all 3 of them, from what I've read. It will just work out better for the size of the coop.

    January 18, 2014
    I decided today to do a partial conversion of the shed for a coop instead of building one from scratch. I will split it down the middle, giving my 5 chickens approximately 48sf of coop floor space, and my collection of yard devices that don't really work (I have 3 lawnmowers - why?) the other half. Here is a before picture of inside the shed: I will cut a chicken exit on the far wall that will open directly into the run, and put up a wall with a human sized door around where the bag of soil is. I'm also going to fix the areas that may cause leaks/drafts, insulate the walls and put up new board over the insulation, as well as cut out a window and install several ventilation vents.

    [​IMG]

    January 26th
    I've been out of town for work so I've been doing a lot of planning and not much doing. Today I managed to cut some 2x4s to size to frame the human door and some 8'x4' ODB for the walls, but for some reason my drill wouldn't screw them together. Frustrating. I took down the old "workbench" which was made of a front door and 2 1x2s I took some pictures but the sun was shining toward the phone and space is limited, so you can't see a whole lot.

    [​IMG]


    The Chickens
    January 15, 2014
    I haven't yet decided which chickens I want. I'm torn between getting some nice, user friendly Orpingtons, or getting a mystery batch of pullets and leaving it to fate. Either way, I think I'll get 4 or 5 and see where that takes me. If all goes as planned I should have room for about 8 in the coop, with a run big enough for 20.

    January 18, 2014
    I ordered my hens! A Buff, Black and Lavender Orpington, and 2 easter eggers. So excited! They ship on June 9th, because the 2 Orpingtons are backordered. I was reluctant to wait but I really wanted Orpingtons and to be able to tell the difference between them. From what I've read, these are all excellent egg producers and fairly easy keepers for my climate.

    PS I'm taking bets on how long it will take my unsupportive anti-chicken family to notice that something is going on in the yard [​IMG]

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Comments

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  1. Madeare
    I found a great black Rubbermaid box at Walmarts. It came with a lid and on the front side there is a clear plastic door that will drop down allowing you to reach into the box. I paid less than $7.00 for the box and when the door is dropped down it forms a little step into the box. There is also about a two inch strip across the bottom that keeps the straw in the nest. My little Lucy seems to like it and has laid two more eggs in it this week for a total of ten eggs. She still is not setting on the nest yet. :-(
  2. bahamabanty
    "Since then I've put an unhealthy amount of time and energy into thinking about chickens." LOL yes thats how it all starts...
    I think converting the shed is the right way to go. Looks like you have the perfect spot there with basically all you need, fencing, enclosed area, shed. All you need is to partition your shed, add a little pop door, nest boxes and some roosts and you're good to go.
  3. chickwhispers
    You can do it! I do! Good Luck!
  4. LuvMeChickens
    Thanks for the support and the suggestion desertegg! It does make a lot of sense to use the shed, since it's already there. In fact, I was considering turning the shed into the coop. I hope to spend some time this weekend assessing the situation. SO EXCITED!
  5. desertegg
    Ha Ha! I totally support you! You can do it. One idea- You could attach a ledger board to the shed wall, and attach one edge of the roof to that board, using the wall of the shed as a coop wall. Whenever my husband is unsupportive of my plans, I forge ahead anyway, then he gets involved to make sure it gets done "right".
  6. LuvMeChickens
    Thanks for the advice Joan :)
  7. joan1708
    don't forget to check your city ordinances, and it's best to have an OK from your neighbors!

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