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First Time Owner in Fort Worth, Texas

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tylerhlewis, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. tylerhlewis

    tylerhlewis Hatching

    Sep 11, 2012
    Fort Worth, Tx

    I recently decided to get into chicken raising, and have found so much helpful advice on BYC! I have always loved eggs and am used to shelling out $3-4 for "organic" eggs at the grocery sotre, but lately I've wanted to be closer to my food chain, so I decided to get a couple of chickens.

    My wife and I got married at the beginning of the summer and moved to Fort Worth, Tx. We have a large back yard, so I thought we could handle a couple of chickens. We also have a dog, Merrick, who has not been able to chill out around the chickens yet. Hopefully with time he will be able to be outside and not try to kill them.

    I built my first coop mainly out of free wood that I could find on Craigslist or a highway rebuilding project that is going on near my house. I ended up buying one sheet of plywood, some chicken wire, and some hinges. The coop itself probably cost me $35 to make. Add to that the expense of a bag of cedar chips, a waterer, a staple gun (for stapling the chicken wire to the coop) and two chickens, and I would say that I'm in two chickens for around $100.

    We decided to start off with just two to see how it goes. We bought one buff orpington and one black australorp. The buff is Wilma and the black is Betty. They haven't really taken a liking to me yet, but I hope they'll come around. I usually try to bring something tasty out with me when I go see them.

    They have pretty good instincts. I've been surprised at how readily they go to their coop at night and will lay eggs right in the nesting boxes. I let them out yesterday evening to free range a bit, and they seemed to enjoy it. They won't let me pick them up, though, so I had to kind of herd them back to their coop.

    I've been feeding them black soldier fly larvae that I inadvertently started growing in my "stack-o-tires" composting bin. I am trying to figure out a way to get them to self harvest from the stack o tires method, but maybe I'll just have to build a new bin just for them with a ramp and everything.

    Anyways, hello to everyone, and thanks for such a great community here. If it wasn't for BYC, I probably wouldn't have gotten started, and I've been so pleasantly surprised to find that having chickens isn't that big of a deal- it's really kind of easy!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012

  2. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

    Apr 12, 2012
    Kentucky Heartland
    Howdy, Give them time and I'm sure they will come around. I had three barred rocks who were the same way until they started laying then they become like babies and enjoy my company and don't mind being held.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG]from California!
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

    Shake a small container of grain each time you go to their pen, then treat then with a little. Soon they will learn to come a-running when they hear that sound. Treat then only in their run, so that when you call them in from ranging they know to go in to get their treats.
  5. [​IMG] [​IMG] from washington state glad you joined us!
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Tyler, and [​IMG]! Happy you joined us. I like the looks of your set up but would like to offer up one piece of advice. I see the pen is made of chicken wire. Chicken wire is good for keeping chickens contained but not much good at keeping wily predators out. Not sure how much you leave them alone or how secure their coop is but a determined dog or raccoon can do a lot of damage in no time at all if there is nothing between them and the chickens except chicken wire. If there is a significant amount of time you leave them alone you might look into something called hardware cloth (strong fine-mesh wire). It is good at keeping out what you want kept out. Just a suggestion. Hope I don't sound preachy - just don't want you to lose your birds!!! I wish you well.
    1 person likes this.
  7. tylerhlewis

    tylerhlewis Hatching

    Sep 11, 2012
    Fort Worth, Tx
    Thanks for the advice. I think I will redo the whole run area soon, because I've found that I don't have any access to the coop except through the nesting box. I'll make sure to make the improvements when I do the overhaul.

    Also, we got our chickens two days ago and brought them home. We got two eggs yesterday, but did not get any today. I know I can't expect eggs every day, but it seems a little odd that they both did not lay an egg on the same day and that day happenned to be the day after the started eating whatever I am feeding them. Suggestions? Could this be stress or diet related?


  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Yes, it could be stress related. Plus, most chickens won't give you an egg a day. Many are 3-5 egg a week layers. Also, there is still time yet today. Some of mine lay between 5:00 and 6:00 in the evening. Good luck!!
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I agree with Redsoxs, hardware cloth is great for keeping predators out. There is nothing quite like finding a predator got your "kids" [​IMG] It's great that you got your coop built so cheap and it's a nice little coop too! But a little extra spending now could save you lots of tears later on. If you want to tame your girls sit down with them when they free range and hold some treats in your hand. They'll come and eat out of your hand and while they're at it, just use one free finger and gently scratch under their crops. That seems to be my chickens' sweet spot. They'll stand there with this dazed look on their faces then I do that with them, especially when their crops are full!
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    :frow & :welcome from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

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