Finally... I am getting chickens!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by threadgeek, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. threadgeek

    threadgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been a lurker on this forum for the past 2 years and couldn't get chickens because they were not allowed under our previous home's HOA. But NOW... we have moved and NO HOA!!! So I can finally get my birdies!!! We are on a super budget so the coop and birds needed to be cheap. I put an ad on Craigslist and got a response from a woman who is looking to rehome her 5 girls: 2 marans, buff orphington, delaware, and an easter egger. They started laying in October so are pretty young still.


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    Here is a pic of the girls, I get to meet them Sunday and am so excited! They have names - Biggee, Fly, Cutie, Shy and Pretty Girl

    Here are a few pics of the coop build... we got the windows off Craigslist and used salvaged wood from around the property. The front door was pulled from an old shed.


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    We utilized the framing under our upper deck.

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    Coop front with a proud Justin showing off the re-purposed shed door!

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    Side before the back wall was put up.

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    DH clearly proud of the progress today. Note the ceiling material... we re-purposed an old carport awning. [​IMG] It was the right price - free!
    The coop footprint is about 9'x6'. Tomorrow we build the nesting boxes and put wire on the lower floor section. I'm going to try out the deep litter method, we'll see how that goes.
    I'm still not sure where I will put the water and food, I will take more pictures tomorrow and figure that out. I'm thinking we will put the roost on the upper ledge.

    Let me know what you think! [​IMG]
     
  2. stephensc7146

    stephensc7146 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats!! How cool to be adopting your new feathered friends! Any interest in raising chicks later on?
    Neat coop btw!!
     
  3. threadgeek

    threadgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! I'm thinking of hatching out some eggs. I really want a flock that lays a colorful batch so I was thinking of getting some Welsummers, Marans and Ameraucanas. A farm somewhat close to me has eggs from a Cream Legbar x Easter Egger that I'm considering. I had never heard of Cream Legbars before so started looking into it. At first glance they sound promising for blue eggs. Does anyone have experience with this breed? I'm wondering why they don't seem to be as popular as the Ameraucanas.
    I already have the brooder, egg turner and such. I wanted chickens so bad that I bought all the egg-hatching gear last year in anticipation of when I would be able to get chicks! After the coop is finished and I get the 5 grown girls it will be time to focus on getting eggs! [​IMG]
     
  4. stephensc7146

    stephensc7146 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Easter eggers are just chickens that have the gene to lay colored eggs. Pure ameraucanas lay very bright blue eggs. EE's lay green/blue/olive eggs. Meyer hatchery has blue ameraucanas for 20.00 per bird! their EE's are only 2.88 or something like that. I just got a couple EE's in my rainbow assortment. I was very pleased with Meyer hatchery and I plan on buying more EE's, Marans (because I LOVE dark brown speckled eggs), and maybe a blue ameraucana. I would hate to spend 20.00 on a bird and it die or something after the 48 hour promise..
     
  5. threadgeek

    threadgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm with you on loving the dark brown eggs! I was so excited when the lady giving me her chickens told me she had 2 marans (although I am not sure which color variation, I'm guessing black?). Your proposed bird assortment sounds so fun! And I agree that it would be tough to lose a $20 bird! Unfortunately my budget just isn't large enough to spend lots of money on birds. On a related note, here in the Santa Cruz area laying hens are selling for $20 ea, regardless of the breed!!! [​IMG] I had craigslist sticker shock when I saw that. I'm thinking that if I end up getting those legbar mixes I can just sell the birds if the eggs aren't as blue as I like.
    Its difficult for me to justify ordering from a hatchery because of the shipping cost, but I will check out Meyer since you have had good experiences with them.
     
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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  7. redneck farmer

    redneck farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great coop! Looks like u put a lot of work into it! I'm building mine this weekend it's not as big as yours but it wil be fun to build
     
  8. Nutcase

    Nutcase Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Wow nice work....sometimes the coops made of old materials look even better than the brand new ones! Gorgeous hens too ;)
     
  9. threadgeek

    threadgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone! Here are some pics of today's progress. These were taken earlier in the afternoon and we have since completed the walls.
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    The nesting boxes are 12"x12"x15"deep. This wall and boxes have been completed since this picture was taken.

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    The other side wall. The top left and bottom right windows are fixed.

    Tomorrow's plan is to put in the roosting bar, bedding, and maybe food/water dispensers. [​IMG]
    Birdies on Sunday!!! [​IMG] On a related note, the birds will be here late morning. Does anyone have suggestions for introducing them to the coop and surrounding area? I figured I would set their crates in the coop and leave the doors open so they could explore on their own with the coop doors closed. Should I let them explore outside the coop that day as well? I'm concerned that they may not go back into the coop to roost that evening. We don't have a fenced in area outside the coop (its a true "free range" forest) so if they didn't know better they could in theory hide anywhere that night. Is that likely??? They are used to being handled so I suppose I move them to the coop if needed, but what if they hide where I can't find them??? Maybe I'm being a worry wort.[​IMG]
     
  10. stephensc7146

    stephensc7146 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's usually a good idea to 'train' new birds what their house is. keep them in the coop only for about 2 weeks time. That way they know where they sleep and feel safe. After that their natural 'go to bed' instincts should kick in and that's where they will return to every night. :)
    There is an article on the main page (i'm not sure if it is the same for everyone or not) but it has a picture of ducks and a chicken and talks about keeping all different birds together, you should check that out. it talks about teaching them 'home' in it and ways to make them happy for the 2 weeks.
     

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