Creating our own backyard chicken world


5 Years
Sep 24, 2014

I'm new to the world of backyard chickens. A friend of mine made her own coop and has been raising her chickens in her backyard for the past year and I've gotten to be a chicken sitter for her girls a few times. After slowly learning more about the terms on egg containers and their true meaning, my husband and I decided that the best way to know where our eggs come from is to get our own group of chickens. We've been building a greenhouse in the backyard this winter and decided to incorporate the coop into the greenhouse design. Mostly it's for the wintertime. Anchorage doesn't get too cold in the winter, but the opportunity to go outside without being up to their beaks in snow is somewhat limited. The greenhouse will not be completed until the spring and the coop would then be built next summer. I'm looking to get our chickens later in the summer, so I thought now would be a good time to start planning on what we need to do for the coop design, what type of chickens to get, etc. My friend recommended this site, so here I am.
I highly recommend checking out the Learning Center first, it has all the information you will need in one convenient location! :) It's good that you have a friend locally who can help you with what works for her coop and what breeds do well, which is very helpful. Best of luck to you!
Hi :welcome Glad you joined the flock. Your own fresh eggs are a wonderful treat and you really can tell the difference. Check out the learning centre it has some info on coop design and all you will need to know about keeping your own chickens. Be sure to ask lots of questions everyone here very friendly and full of useful info. Wishing you the very best of luck with your future chicken keeping :frow:frow
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. My family and I have vacationed in Alaska on several occasions and love it there. In fact, we've talked about the possibility of moving there (maybe Wasilla, Palmer, or Eagle River). It's possible to incorperate a coop design into a greenhouse, but you have to be very careful. Even in a cold winter area like Alaska, greenhouses can get pretty hot inside. Make sure that you use the opaque panels that diffuse light rather than clear panels for your greenhouse. And ecellent ventilation will be critical as moisture is a much greater enemy than cold and greenhouses can collect a lot of moisture. We have a good article on ventilation at As for breeds, Alaska Backyard Chickens has a good article on Recommended Breeds for Alaska at Have had all of the breeds on the list at one time or another over the past 50 years, and I would recommend the Black Australorps. They are extremely hardy. I've not raised them in Alaska, but I have raised them where winter temperatures reached 30 F below zero and they came through like troopers. They are very calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them), and they are the best layers on that list. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I've still had some of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breeds you decide to get, good luck with your flock and in getting your coop built..
If I were a chicken I think I would want to live in Hawaii but, chickens don't get to choose. Welcome to Backyard chickens.
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

So glad you could join our community! Enjoy your flocks and welcome to ours!
Thanks so much for the warm welcome. I hadn't thought about moisture in the winter with the greenhouse. I had only thought of dry cold temps. I will definitely keep that in mind. All the windows are recycled from a friend who was replacing her house windows. They can all open for ventilation if necessary, but we can also add a vent near the roof. I'll check out the learning center info on coop design too. One last thing. Any good suggestions for training a German Shepherd to leave the chickens alone? Planning ahead
Any good suggestions for training a German Shepherd to leave the chickens alone? Planning ahead
That's a tough one. Dogs and chickens typically don't mix well. We frequently get posts from horrified new members about their dogs (often suddenly and unexpectedly) chasing and killing their chickens. Dogs naturally love to chase chickens, and when they do, at some point they are going to catch and kill them. And it's near impossible to break a dog once it's started chasing and killing chickens. It may be a mute point anyway as I think you are going to have to raise your chickens in a completely enclosed run attached to the coop where you live. There are just far too many predators in Alaska, even in Anchorage, to free range your chickens. You will be losing chickens left and right if you do. If you do keep your chickens in an enclosed run, be sure and use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire as too many predators can either tear through chicken wire or squeeze through the openings in the mesh. Hardware cloth is more expensive than chicken wire, but it's cheaper than replacing your flock. Hardware cloth has saved many chicken owners a lot of tears.

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