1st Time Chicken Owner & 1st Time Chicken Coop Builder, Video

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MotoChicken, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. MotoChicken

    MotoChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Long Beach
    My wife and I are your 100% Long Beach, California city couple, raising three small kids while holding down full time jobs.

    We have a small back yard which is 1/2 pavement and limited space for planting. My wife wanted healthier food for our family and has had great success in utilizing space in the yard along with planting tubs for growing organic fruit and vegatables.

    Success with Apples, Watermelon, Plums, Nectarines, Oranges, Pumpkins, Carrots, Sweet White Corn, Yellow Corn, Artichokes, Onions, Ice Berg Lettuce, Butter Leaf Lettuce, Arugula Lettuce, Green Beans, Squash, Apricots, Yellow Pair Tomatos, Cucumbers, Zuchini, Japanesse Eggplant, Snow Peas, Sweet Peas, Grapes, Blue Berry Bush, Celery, Strawberrys, Herbs Rosemary, Cilantro, Basil, Sage, Oregano, Beaf Steak Tomatos, Brocolli, Sweet Onions, Green Onions, Yellow Onions, White Onions, Garlic, Purple Onions, Beets, Jalapeno Peppers, Cerano Chilles, Sweet Peppers, Green Peppers. The only problem with what we are growing is we need more ROOM to grow larger quanaties of what we like. [​IMG]

    Our gardenting roots started young with myself and my 20 yard lawn route business at the age of 14. I had a lawn mower, edger and blower on a modified 3 wheel bicycle I rode from job to job. So, while my friends went surfing at the beach I was working my butt off making money. Needless to say, at the age of 44 I am NOT a big lawn or gardening type of guy. Up until now, my wife has been the one who tills the soil while I enjoyed the outcome of fresh produce.

    So getting to the chicken part, I went to the store to buy groceries which I do about 4 times a year (my wife usually does the grocery shopping). When I went to purchase organic eggs and saw how much they cost, I was shocked? I bought them but at that point decided to start looking into raising our own chickens.

    1st Stop,: "Getting a Chicken House," I mean, how much could one really cost, $50 or $100 at the most? One of my strenths in live is the art of wheeling and dealing. I wheel and deal daily with cars and motorcycles and consider myself and expert on "finding a good deal". So I went on to Craigslist, Ebay and general google search and was shocked, a chicken coop for $500? It was at that point, I decided to build it myself, something I knew I could do not only better but for 1/3 of the cost.


    2nd Stop: Started searching other people's chicken houses on the net. I found a ton of houses with so many different designs to choose from. I needed one for a small backyard and through my search I located one I thought would do the job, it was called a Dutch Hen House (original price tag - $675.00). It looked simple enough and I thought I could recreate it with minimal problems. Although written instructions would have been ideal, there weren't any so I did it the old fasion way and printed the pictures and built it off what I saw.

    [​IMG]



    3rd Stop: Went to the local chicken and fowl supplier called the "Red Barn" in BellFlower, California. I spoke with a young man there who was very helpful and informative. So me and my two daughters (6yrs & 3yrs) and son (6 months) picked out 2 Brad Rock chickens. We purchased everything we needed and they even had boxes out back to raise them in............a paper box with a heat lamp?? What??

    4th Stop set of the cardboard box to raise the two girls named Hanna and Lady Gaga
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    5th Stop: Start building my chicken house while the girls get older (in their hot box in the garage). I did my own spin on the chicken house and added some enhancements I thought would be useful. One improvement I made was to make the floor of the coop removable for cleaning and moving around. I added a floor and some gizmos to lift and lower the water, feed and little door.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    How did that get in here??

    6th Stop: House is 90% done, under $200 and ready for Hana and Lady Gaga (can you tell our 6 year old and 3 year old named them).

    Go here to see a youtube video of our chicken coop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbNJmP_p3jo

    Long
    Beach CA sad to say has horrible laws for allowing raising chickens

    Long Beach CA. The law is 1 chicken with a 20 feet setback restriction. Twenty chickens are allowed with a 50 feet setback restriction from single and two-family dwellings, and a 100 feet setback restriction from hotels or multiple (3+) family dwellings. This is virtually impossible in a city like Long Beach.

    I want a total of 4 chickens

    Glad to be here
    The website and members have been so very helpfull.

    Jerry
     
  2. MotoChicken

    MotoChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Long Beach
    On venting, looking at the Video inside the coop is the vent I installed enough? Or?

    Thanks Jerry
     
  3. chica57

    chica57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    First of all [​IMG] So much thought-we built both of our coops to-we started out with 11 chickens-its addicting-you picked the perfect forum to be on-love there names-hopefully you have two girls-if your not sure someone here will give there input . Great Job!!!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. ScotH

    ScotH Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2010
    South East Texas
    In the coop: Many here recommend 1 sq. foot of ventilation and 4 sq. feet of floor space per bird. You may be able to get that much ventilation by cutting the side panels down about 6" under the roof and putting the wire mesh in the gaps. Yall have pretty mild winters like I do, but not near the rain storms we get, but if you do need to cover some of the vents up during the winter or rain, you can cut some old plexiglass (or thin plywood) to cover them up temporarily .. (There are many designs here and the web for coop vents and vent covers.)
     
  5. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    Great coop! by the way one of your Rocks looks like may be a roo. The lighter one. I ended up with 7 this year must be the year of the rooster [​IMG]
     
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I think there is plenty of ventilation there for the birds, I also agree on the lighter one being a rooster! Great job!
     
  7. j&j happychicks

    j&j happychicks New Egg

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Hi just a fyi i'm new to this too bought my chickens at red barn in florida 1st time 6 chicks was told all to be hens well are barred rock pepper turned out to be a rooster went to buy feed one day came home with 4 chicks cherry eggers was told they lay jumbo brown eggs, all again to be hens they are a month or so old and i would bet money i have another rooster, for me this is ok as you know they make a lot of noise be careful were you buy your other 2 chicks lady gaga can turn into mr gaga. Good luck.
     
  8. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Nice job on your coop and your video! [​IMG] Now this might just be a misinterpretation on my part, but... I wonder why you don't allow them to have access to their water and feeder at all times? Chicken eat and drink all day long. Eat a little, drink a little, peck around, eat a little more. I did hear what you said about not wanting them to make a mess of it, but if you have the feeder and waterer hanging just within reach and off the floor, this will minimize the mess. I would also make sure that they are close to the wall and out of the way for when they decide to run around and flap their wings. As far as getting them to go inside on their own, they will do this eventually, just be patient. If you are picking them up and putting them in every night then they will get the hang of it in no time. Hope this helps.
    Your set up is really great and you did an awesome job!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  9. MotoChicken

    MotoChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Long Beach
    Yes, I do leave the food and water down 24 hours a day. I only know use the pulley system for when my kids clean the floor and replentish the wood chips.

    Now, how do I know if the light one is truly a rooster? Oh boy [​IMG]

    Thanks Jerry
     
  10. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Quote:Yeah I kinda figured I was just misinterpreting what you were saying about it. LOL! Anyhow, about that light one? One way is to post on this link... https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=15 There are other way also, vent sexing being one that is hard to do, you can research that using the search bar at the top of this page. I'm not good at that one. Roosters are allowed in my area so I just use the let time tell method if I have a breed that is hard to sex early. There are others too, just have to research them. There are many breed and genetics experts here that have been a great help to me. Good luck I hope you have two girls there! [​IMG]
     

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