Hello Chicken World

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by akchickenman, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. akchickenman

    akchickenman Chirping

    Feb 2, 2017
    Anchorage, AK

    I am here gathering up as much info as possible before I build my coop and get some egg laying chickens this spring/summer. I live in Alaska and am a little worried about the weather and building an adequate coop so really want to soak up as much info as possible. Weather is my big fear, with long winters generally hovering around 20F and cold snaps hitting -20F or so. If anyone has any good resources or things I should read, please lead me that way. To start, I plan on keeping just 2-3 chickens since I am a little tight on space and its only me and one other that will be using the eggs.

    I am still contemplating coop design, size, insulation, etc., so any tips would be appreciated. I am only going to be here for about 2 years and then will be moving and plan on upgrading my coop then, so just need something to get me through the next 2 years. I am debating if it is even easier/cheaper right now to just buy a prefab one online until I move and settle down a bit more. Any thoughts there?

    Really excited to be here and cant wait for summer to bring my ladies home!


  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, akchickenman, and welcome to BYC! You've come to the right place to soak up poultry knowledge. I'd start at the Learning Center here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center It is loaded with tons of useful articles - including tips for raising chickens in cold climates. Also, check out the Breeds Forum: https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds You can look for the breeds with the attributes you desire. Finally, locate the AK thread in the link below to chat with fellow Alaskans about all things chicken: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you
    Best wishes and enjoy the journey!
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    redsoxs has given you some good links, the only thing I can add is do your research before investing in a prefab coop. There are more cons than pros on them from what I've read (too expensive, too flimsy and they don't hold as many chickens as they state).

    Good luck to you and have fun!
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under akchickenman Welcome!

    Great links from redsoxs, as always.

    You might also want to check out some of the coop designs here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

    I agree with N F C regarding the kit coops and do have some experience in this area. We battled through with one kit coop which became two kit coops joined together and then gave up and built one.

    Because you are moving, you could go down the kit coop path [with extensive alternations to suit your climate] but it will severely restrict the number of chickens you will be able to keep.

    We had a quiet day at work one day and in response to another thread and chatter about premade/kit coops, I picked what I believed was a well know manufacturer and did some calcs……..

    Their 'Tavern’ is advertised as housing 3-5 chickens but if you go into the expanded details it mentions 4-6 large chickens.

    Their 'Saloon' is advertised as housing 2-4 chickens.

    So, for good measure, lets say the 'Saloon' houses 3 chickens and the 'Tavern' 4 chickens.

    Using the measurements provided on site:
    The 'Saloon' measures: 76″ long, 35″wide, 39″tall
    The Tavern measures: 98″ long, 41″ wide, 61″tall

    So, by that reckoning 1 large chicken only needs 22 inches long and 6 inches wide [​IMG]

    Their 'Ranch' is advertised as housing 10-15 chickens.

    The ‘Ranch’ measures: 143” long, 68″ wide, 67″ tall.

    That is pretty close to double the size of the Saloon which houses 2-4 chickens but the Ranch is advertised as housing 10-15 chickens?? I am not going to work out how many inches that gives each additional chicken on the Saloon v Ranch but suffice to say it ain't gunna be much.

    Keeping it simple and focusing on the Ranch, lets be generous and for ease of math, say 10 chickens that means each chicken would have an area 14 inches long by 6.8 inches wide.

    So, keeping in mind that the recommended coop area per large chicken is 4 square feet and run area of 10 square feet each, shop carefully [​IMG]

    An alternative is to buy a shed [which you can relocate] and convert it to a coop; lots of BYCers doing that and if you pop 'converting shed to coop' in the search option you should get multiple threads on the subject.

    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]
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017

  5. [​IMG] engage enjoy and learn redsoxs has the info covered . Other Alaskans are your best bet. Prefabs are to high for what they are and you could build more space for the same money . .
  6. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crowing

    Hello, and welcome to BYC!
  7. akchickenman

    akchickenman Chirping

    Feb 2, 2017
    Anchorage, AK
    Thanks for the responses everyone! Looks like I definitely have my work cut out for me right now. Lots of reading to do! I really like the shed idea and will research that more.

  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Just put "Alaska thread." in the searchbox and it will come up with you. You can usually find our very good member -user name "Alaskan," on the "Old folks" thread - he is bona fide Alaskan dweller. He can tell you all about winter etc.
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hey there, and welcome to Backyard Chickens!!! I am so glad you decided to join our big, happy family! Please make yourself at home and enjoy yourself here! :frow


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