Hello from Minnesota!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by AmericanKraut, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. AmericanKraut

    AmericanKraut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Everyone!

    I'm Krista, a former social services case worker turned into homemaker, home with our five sons. We recently moved from the shadows of the skyscrapers in Minneapolis to a more rural area not too far away, but out in plenty of country air, no stoplights in sight, but plenty of goats and cows for neighbors around here.

    I'm interested in keeping chickens starting this spring. I have a couple friends in the city that keep a couple, but out here is a little different so I can sure use all your advice and wisdom! There are raccoons, coyotes, and small bear in the area. Our neighbors had a cougar a year ago in their yard. So I'm all ears about predator-proofing. We have two German Shorthairs, so they are our alert alarms lol.

    Has anyone used the Churchill Coop on My Pet Chicken or other sites? It seems unconventional so I have to ask skeptical because it doesn't look like anyone is using them. It sure seems small for 6+ chickens? I just really like the idea of an easy-clean and disinfect, hose-out and wipe.

    Greenhorn question: How do you keep a porous wood of a coop clean? I get the cleaning it out, but what about the urine and feces in the floors and walls? Does this get scraped out and disinfected occasionally? Has anyone liked the fiberglass coops? http://eggstremecoops.com/ Spendy so not a starting place for amateurs like our family. But obviously I have some hang-up with wood. I love wood. Our house is 100 year old wood floors, wood work, we love wood. But for some reason I'm not digging the idea of chicken poop and pee on wood all day being easy to clean. Can you help me get over that lol? Tell me it's no biggy!

    Glad to meet you all!

    (I tried posting before but it said it had to go for review because I posted a link and am new, and then it didn't show up. My apologies! I removed the link to the coop :)
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Glad you decided to join us.

    In response to your concerns:

    RE: manufactured or kit coops, IMO, the are too small except for bantams & don't offer enough predator proofing. Most have inferior materials and likely will not hold up to time, weather or wind.

    RE: cleanliness concerns of build your own wooden coops - I painted my interior walls, many folks add linoleum floors. By placing roosts far enough from the walls you'll have very little poop splatters. I use sand mixed with PDZ on the floor and poops dry and don't smell. Easy to sift out. You would likely want to use a type of litter - straw or shavings - in your area. But chicken poop is mainly solids and smells only if wet - PDZ dries it out. If you build with cleaning in mind - I have full front and 1/2 back openings on my coop - you could power wash annually. You can clean walls/floors with AC vinegar - so far at nearly 2 years I have not had to do either. Make sure you do design your coop with cleaning chores in mind. Mine is elevated and I don't have to stoop over for cleaning. The same issue is in the run. Make sure all areas are easily accessible to your rake and bucket. Honestly the last hurdle to my decision in getting my small flock was could I handle the smell and cleaning. But managed correctly there is filth or smell in my hen's environment ---just the sweet smell of chickens themselves.

    RE: predators - best to read on site how others have dealt with predator proofing and whether you plan to raise them confined or free range. You will have losses in free ranging. Of all you mentioned in your area, the one that alarms me would be a bear - we have none here. But I think it is impossible to totally protect any flock from a full sized bear.


    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions. Do post on the coop building, predator forums to get more input.

    Good luck in your decisions, chickens are so much fun, entertainment and your own hen's eggs are unbeatable.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    Sunflour gave you some good advice.
     
  4. AmericanKraut

    AmericanKraut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! You guys are great! Thank you!!

    This has all been helpful. I did post in some of the other boards and the predator one. I think getting the right coop will be my challenge for now. I agree the ready-made store ones look like junk and even the hardware seems cheap and if I replaced it, that it could just tear out. To buy a nice, carpenter-made one, would be very expensive for a starter new person like me if for some reason I don't pan out with this. So I think I'm in the building or re-purposing category. I have epilepsy which is active right now so power tools are out and I know my husband would enjoy building one but isn't going to get to it so I'm going to have to get creative or find a design that is hand tool friendly! My Pet Chicken does a minimum of 7 chicks for my area, I think I'll be ordering through them. I wanted to start with a smaller flock, but even if I sell or give a couple away I'd like to have a coop big enough for this many. I think more space for these lovely animals is better than less and what if I become a chicken collector?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. AmericanKraut

    AmericanKraut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    BantamLover21, what breed are the lovely rooster and hen in your profile pic? Gorgeous pair.
     
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    You've received some good advice already!
     
  7. AmericanKraut

    AmericanKraut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! [​IMG]
     
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
     
  9. AmericanKraut

    AmericanKraut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! [​IMG]
     
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
     

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