Absolute suburban raised neophyte......

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Knoble Chickens, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Yes!

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  2. Heck No!

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  1. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    Hi all you multi generational chicken farmers! As the title I that have chosen to label this opening salvo on this fine forum depicts, I am a complete newbie to the most commonly raised fowl. I have never lived on a farm, or really spent any time with a producer of cackleberries. I have done a fair bit of research, and I have a willing partner to accompany and help in this adventure we decided to dive waddles deep into. She admittedly doesn't have the best history with fine feathered friends, she had let some chickens she had been given as a teen be taken by hawks and eagles, and was not all that broken up by them being carried away. This was forty years ago, so I forgive her transgression. My own experience is limited to seeing a few chickens here and there, mostly in childhood when visiting a couple different relatives in eastern Washington or Montana.

    I own my own little piece of the earth, and have been on it since 1989. It is not much, but I have a small backyard garden and the room for a sizable run and coop. We picked up our first chicks yesterday, and have them in a brooder in a spare room that has been used as a indoor garden. They are confined to a 3'x3' area right now and are somewhere around a week old. 4 Plymouth Barred Rocks, and 4 Buff Orphingtons is the makeup of our first flock. They seem to be very happy and healthy so far, and gleefully eating, drinking, sleeping, and running around in their tiny bit of territory. The room is small, insulated, and ventilated with a speed variable fan that brings fresh air into the room without causing direct drafts on the babies. A heatlamp in one corner of the brooder is keeping it warm, and so far the right temperature looks to be just right. The chicks are not crowding under the lamp and are not shying away from it either, and are fairly active when they are not sleeping. Water and chick feed are in the opposite corner, and I am amazed by how much eight little monsters can eat. The water has a pro-biotics additive called "Chick Boost", and I loaded the feeder with Purina premium medicated crumbles.

    I have been enjoying the many articles I have been reading on this fine site, lots of good info for a newbie such as myself. I would love to hear some opinions on a kit for the run and coop I have my eye on, and I hope it is OK to post a link to it. I am sure the mods will let me have it across the beak if its not........

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-defender-chicken-coop

    You will find the assembly instructions under the more info tab, this gives a better understanding of its construction. BTW, I am a assembler by profession, so putting this together looks fun, not at all daunting.

    Of course a proper intro has got to have pictures of the babies..........

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Normally I’m opposed to the prefab coops generally available. They are usually not designed for chickens, are often cheaply made, and they generally say they will house many more chickens than is really practical. I can’t get that manual to open for whatever reason, and I cannot tell the actual dimensions of the coop section. I don’t see a photo of the inside so I don’t know how well that is laid out.

    Without knowing the actual size I don’t know how well suited that would be for your chickens, but if the run is made as solidly as it appears I’d probably consider the entire thing as room available to the chickens, not just the coop section. I’d put an apron around it and consider it predator proof. An apron is where you lay a piece of wire mesh around the outside and fasten it to the bottom of the coop/run to stop digging predators. If they can access that year around it’s probably big enough for 8. I have no idea which side of the equator Spanaway is on, let alone your climate, so I can’t take climate factors into consideration.

    That says it has 5 nests. For 8 hens you only need two even if they are pretty small nests. Even if you put 14 hens in there, which is their maximum, you only need four at most. That’s an example of it not really being designed for chickens. It claims 4 large capacity roosts. It does not say where they are positioned or how they are separated, being able to open those assembly instructions would help. I don’t know if they are too low or too close together. I don’t know how long they are but the odds are you don’t need that much roost area. Are they positioned where they block access to you working in there? If you get this you might leave a couple of the roosts out when assembling it.

    I don’t see any ventilation on that. Maybe there is some? It doesn’t look like the roof has any overhang either. I don’t care what your climate is, cold or hot, you need ventilation. Maybe it is there and I just can’t see it.

    Where is the entry door? It looks like rain will run off the roof onto the nests. Are the nests rainproof or might they leak? Do you want to gather eggs in a rain with water pouring off that roof?

    I do like the covered feeding space and the storage space. It looks like you can walk in the run without banging your head on the roof. It has some good features. It looks attractive. To some of us that’s not important, the chickens certainly don’t care, but to some people that is really important, especially if you have neighbors worrying about property values.

    I cannot tell the quality of the wood or how strong it is. I don’t know how robust the hardware is or what connectors are used to assemble it. A lot of times the weakness is not the main materials but are the joints and connections. What materials are used and what techniques are used to assemble it?

    From what I can see it doesn’t look that bad, I really like that run section. I am concerned about ventilation, I can’t see inside to see what problems might be lurking functionally, but it can probably be made to work for you. With your assembly skills you can probably build something as nice or better, maybe for even less money, but it would take you time. Since you have your chicks time is running out on you.

    And welcome to the forum. Glad you went active.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  4. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    I am planning to placing cinder block around the base, buried about 6 inches into the ground to set the entire assembly on. I will tie the run down onto the blocks with brackets. I am taking pictures and video as I do this, and can share with you all if interested.
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under RS67Man [​IMG] Welcome!

    x2 on what Ridgerunner said. It is one of the better kit coops I have seen but also agree that you could probably build better for less $$$’s.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
  6. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Hi there, and welcome to BYC! I am so glad you joined us, please make yourself at home here! I think you'll like it! :frow

    ~Cuz
     
  7. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    Thanx for the welcome!

    I am more than capable of building my own, and I came up with a design, but after pricing out materials I was over a grand in cost. Big hitters was the hardware cloth and roof panels, but wood is also very expensive, and paint was $120 all on its own. The kit is the same size I had in mind, other than the coop is a bit smaller in the kit. I already have the sand, nice pile in the backyard.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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  9. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    A lot of members have built coops using things such as sheds, plastic play houses, pallets, etc. Coops don't have to cost a fortune to build, they just need to be large enough and secure enough for the chickens.

    Best of luck no matter which way you go!
     
  10. Knoble Chickens

    Knoble Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2017
    Spanaway WA
    I have explored other options, trust me. I do not have a shed, sheds cost at least $600-$800 for kits, and I would be in the same boat having to buy materials to build from scratch, and then the cost of building the run. Even looking in craigslist for materials has been mostly fruitless, people know what their crap is worth and the deals get snapped up pretty quickly. I don't have friends with chickens, or other contacts that can be checked out. I have looked at other, cheaper coop/run kits, but most are too small for 8 hens to spend more than just roost time in. On the TSC web site the next smaller kit at $400 has a coop at 33"x60", and the run is just shy of 7'x9'. I would not put more than 4-6 hens in that one.
     

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