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OKchkman's Member Page

By OKchkman, Jan 11, 2012 | Updated: Sep 14, 2013 | |
  1. OKchkman
    This is the story of our chicken experience...
    It actually started 8 yrs. ago when my wife and I bought our 1st home. I told her I wanted to raise a few chickens since we had a nice size backyard. Due to the ordinances in the city we moved to I could not have any chickies (yet). As the years passed we moved to a small town. After a few months of settling in I called city code official and asked about having chickens in town. I was told that as long as they were penned up and would not disturb my neighbors then I could have them. He also said that if the coop was going to cost $500 or more, then I would have to get a building permit. Being in the construction trades I was sure I could build a coop for less than $500. About a year and a half passed before I started to take action on this hobby.
    Now after reading most of everone else's coop building/ chicken raising experiences, I'd say I did things rather unconventionally. Before I even had built a brooder I bought 4 RIRs, a heatlamp, outdoor thermometer,cedar chips, a feeder, a waterer, chick starter feed, and a really big plastic tote. We set up the chickies in the large tote in an unused room in our house for about 3 weeks. This gave me time to build a descent size brooder. I have a utility shed in the backyard(8x12) used for tools and such, so I took a corner and built my brooder. 40 inches by 30 inches by 16 inches tall. I also raised it off the floor about 14 inches. The chickies loved it. I even put a big stick in it to act as a roost. I knew I only had about 5 weeks to build a hen house and pen. The only days I had to work on it were the weekends.

    After about 5 weekends I had the house and pen done....

    About the time that the RIR's were getting accustomed to their new digs, I went and bought a few more chicks. One of which was a NHR rooster that I named "Cogburn". We had a lot of fun in the summer of 2011 with our chickies.....

    With winter coming in a few months we decided to makes some modifications on the house. We enclosed the bottom and cut in an access door. Basically this made it a 2 story. We opted for barn red as a color.


    Sept. 14, 2013 - Since the time of this first posting we lost our entire flock to a stray dog which ripped through the fencing of the pen. It was very traumatic for both my wife and I considering at 1:30 am she was the one who discovered what was going on.

    In March of this year (2013), through some changes in our life, my wife became a homemaker. In April we decided to try a garden to help off-set food costs. Even though it was a little late we cut it in anyways. My wife had fun helping.....

    While working on this I commented to my wife that I really missed having chickens. She felt the same way. We had tried to sell our pen and coop, but no one wanted it. We decided to get a few more chicks. First we had to clean out the brooder box and then the coop and pen. Since we hadn't had any chickens the weeds and grass had grown up inside the pen.

    Okay, I'll admit I let it get out-of-hand. I guess really being in the pen reminded me too much of the trauma of that horrible night.
    After some work with weed whacker it was all ready for the new girls....


    A lot has happened through this summer. The garden didn't do so well due to my lack of preparation and pests. The chickens however are doing just fine. We have 8 curious girls, 2 Americana, 2 RIR, and 4 NHR. I do my best 2 let them out for some free range time everyday and on the weekends when I do backyard projects I let them out for a few hours. I'm the process of adding some additions to the pen to give more space for them to roam and forage. Security is always an issue since we do have predators that can get in our backyard.

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