They will sell any Idiot a ChickenFor the last few years I have wanted to raise chickens. I am not sure exactly why but the thought of having chickens in the back yard really appealed to me. The problem is I was born and raised in Los Angeles and had no idea how to raise or care for chickens. I live in a track home with a medium size yard. So I have researched chickens and discovered "Back Yard Chickens" website. I discovered that there is this whole community of like minded people. Reading through the blogs and articles I gathered enough information to go for it. I am documenting my progress of my chickens and the coop. I hope people will learn from my progress and mistakes.
2-6-10 Chicks are five days old. 2 RIR and one barred rock (Janet, Sharon and Stubby). I bought them 5 days old. I live in Los Angeles. I have them in a brooder in my living room for now but will move them into a coop once I finish it. I need to hurry because my wife is not too big on chicks in her living room.
My plan is to convert my kid’s old swing set. I thought of making it a clubhouse but feel that they will get much better experiance out of the chickens, here is my first draft of my plan. It would have a 10X4 open area on the bottom with a 4X4 coop on top. I spent allot of time looking at other peoples coop designs before drawing up this one. I also wanted to use as much recycled materials as possible. I am not the greenest person in the world but this is a start.
2-13-10 Fist stage of converting my old swing set into a coop for the chicks.
2-18-10 I am going to focus on the top part of the coop first so I can move the chicks out of my living room. I am concerned that the coop is too high. I will be adding 4 feet run to the bottom. Hopefully this will create a long enough ramp space. I am using scrap wood that I had on the side of my house. I have also found someone on Craigslist who has some free old ply-wood.
2-19-2010 Chicks at 3 weeks old. It is unbelievable how fast they grow. I have read other people say this in blogs and found it to be very true. I need to get them out of my house.
2-22-2010 I needed to adjust my plans a bit. I was going to wait until the coop was ready before I move my chicks but I decided to build an outdoor brooder, and transition them out. Everything I read said to wait 2 months before moving them outside but our weather is mild. Low 50's at night and 70's during the day. I have a real good heat lamp and the chicks seem to be fine. I do cover the front gate with a blanket at night. Also I put a small cardboard box inside under the heat lamp. Once the bottom is ready I will create an opening and ramp on the floor of the coop and replace the wire door with a barn-like door. I will also create some windows and a door above the egg area. So far I have used all recycled materials. I will need to buy some 2x2's to finish the bottom.
2-24-2010 I have placed some wood on the floor creating some perching areas. They love to perch. Their feathers are growing in so fast. They look a-bit ragged at this stage. I handle them a lot. They will come to me and climb on me. I have started feeding them snacks. I tried bananas, oranges, sunflower seeds and peas, they rejected them all. The only thing outside of their mesh they will eat are bugs and raisins.
2-26-10 From this to this in 3 weeks, Same bird. This ones name is Janet. This has been a very cool experience.
2-28-10 I tried to build the coop out of only recycled materials but I ran out of used wood, so I had to buy some as well as wire. I spent
$74.00 so far on the coop. I will start the second stage tomorrow.
2-28-10 Chicks are 4 weeks old now. I put my dogs up and let them run around the yard a bit.
3-1-10 I started on the bottom part of the coop. When it is done it will run 10 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet tall. As you can see in the background
I have dogs so I can’t let the chickens free in the yard.
3-1-10 This will be the door to the run. The coop will have its own enterance. It is 2 feet 2 inc wide by 4 feet tall
It's kind of taking shape??
3-1-10 I ran out of wood so I could not finish the back end. It is starting to take shape. My next step is to paint it. I will need to primer it then paint it barn red.
Taea and Bandit
3-4-10 here are two ferocious predators. The black one is sweet but the little one is a strait up KILLER. He is six pounds of pure furry. I will take extra care to protect my girls.
3-6-10 the coop build out has been delayed by rain, I was able to finish the backside and put a roof on. I got the roof material free from my neighbor. It is variegated plastic. It has held up in the rain.
3-6-10 Sharon and Janet 1 month old.On the weekends when I am working on the coop I put my dogs up and let the chicks roam the yard.
3-6-10 I added this pole in the coop; the chick love it. It is now their favorite spot.
3-13-10 I have primered the Coop. I used mostly recycled wood so I wanted to protect the wood as much as possible. I used an exterior primer that I had in my garage. I will be painting it Barn Red. The red paint is a bit bright so I am a little concerned about how it will look. So far this coop has cost me $126.00
3-14-10 I have painted the coop red. It is brighter than I thought but my little girl likes it. I am putting the chicken wire on now and once the run is done I will start on the top coop. I will be replacing the screen door with two barn like doors and will be adding some windows.
3-19-10 Chicks are doing well. I finished the bottom run and put them in for the first time
3-19-10 Also finished the door to the run
3-19-10 Out of my three dogs (Terrier, Chiwawa and poodle) my poodle was most interested. Once they each got pecked through the fence they backed off. I was very funny to see.
3-19-10 I call this her dead eye look. This is the look she gave just before she pecked my dogs.
1) 5 days old 2) 21 days old 3) 75 days old
Coop door External Rope to door
4-29-10 Most recent picture