We are about 4 months into the chicken raising scene and we absolutely love it. Apparently four small children and a chocolate lab was not enough responsibility. Something was missing, we needed something more...ah yes, chickens!
From what I had researched prior to taking the plunge, this undertaking was destined to be an addictive one. I was advised by many that if I have the space, build a larger coop than I initially intend. We do have the space and boy am I glad I took that advice. Our two little chicks we purchased in early April has turned into an entertaining flock of 15. This includes an awesome Buff Braham rooster, Rhode Island reds, silver laced wy, golden laced wy, buff orpingtons, black sl, black aust, easter egger, prod red, golden comet. We also have 2 pekin ducks, they are crazy, but fun. We love the variety and they all get along great. I don't have any good pics of the entire flock on hand, I will post some eventually, but here is Rocky our rooster!
We live on 5 acres so I was able to make them a large run/yard and a 6x10 coop with plenty of nest boxes and roosting space. I thoroughly enjoyed building this coop. I had a very loose plan for what I was going to do. I don't like following plans when I build things, I just go. I wouldn't recommend that, but it's the only way I can enjoy it and be creative. My only plan and goal was to spend very little money on it and use as much re-purposed material as possible. It took a lot of "creative" building but I accomplished that goal. I built our duck house at zero cost and the chicken house for roughly $300. I used a lot of old barn and decking material we had on hand as well as extra metal siding left over from my grandparents home. I am very pleased with the outcome and the chickens seem to be as well.
Some of these pics were taken on a very humid foggy evening recently. It also has an outside access nest box on the back that you can't see in the pic.
We enjoy the learning opportunities this provides for our kids and the entertainment value it brings our family. While a lot of families may spend their evenings in the house watching tv, on the ipad or playing video games, we spend nearly every evening in the chicken yard spoiling the chickens or working in the nearby garden. No eggs yet, but hopefully we will reap those benefits soon enough!