MegRTR

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2017
2
0
12
I am a prospective chicken owner (preferably for eggs and meat) and am on a mission to learn all things chicken! This will be the first animal to raise on my tiny suburban (Alabama county-zoned subdivision) homestead, so I am excited to get started! I have a friend who is holding two or three red pullets until I can get my coop and run put together (I hope to free range as well, under my direct supervision because neighborhood dogs tend to pop up out of nowhere :)). Important topics for me: space-efficient, predator-blocking coop designs; egg safety; effective subdivision chicken keeping. Excited to learn with everyone!!
 

Benevolent Barn

In the Brooder
Apr 22, 2017
60
23
35
Welcome to BYC!

MegRTR,

So it sounds like you are going to have a coup and run with maybe, three to six chickens and let them free range when you are around. Does that sound right! Since you are on a homestead, I am assuming you are doing some type of gardening. I am bringing that up because people will often build chicken tractors and move thembetter around the yard to fertilize the soil. So what you can do is let them completely weed one area out, dig up the soil, and add their manure which will let you grow in that area.

As for space efficiency a great idea would be to build the actual coop above the run, do that you have as large a run as possible. As for blocking predators, it really depends what you have in your area, but I guess probably hawks, coyotes, raccoons, and foxes. A tractor is not a predator proof as a fixed coop because you can not dig wire down into the ground to prevent digging. What you can do, is lay some wood down next to sides and secure it so the fox will have to dig a much longer distance. Eggs safety should not be to big of a problem if they are in a coup and run most of the time. When they free range they might lay some eggs outside which you might not find.

Enjoy your experience!

If you are to get more chickens I would get Wyandottes or Orpingtons, they are sweet birds that lay a decent amount of eggs.

As for meat birds, you will need to ask someone else. I have just never been able to think of killing any chickens. You will definitely need a different coup for the meat birds and different feed then your egg layers as one is for getting big fast and the other for egg production.

Best of luck,

The Benevolent Barm
 

MegRTR

In the Brooder
Jun 19, 2017
2
0
12
Thanks, Benevolent Barn!

This is why I signed up! Friendly people with experience!! Yay! Thank you!

You are right in your assumptions! I have a modest garden, some blueberries, scuppernongs, figs, and an ornery strawberry patch. So lots of potential for chicken "gifts." I will be moving into a subdivision in March (gaining a husband and stepdaughter! :D) and will be starting from scratch all over again :(). The ground needs some work, so nothing will go to waste.

Predators here are primarily snakes (perks of lake living), with an occasional raccoon or fox. A fortified tractor might be the best option for now, which could be turned into a permanent coop after the move.

Just thoughts out loud!

Welcome to BYC!

MegRTR,

So it sounds like you are going to have a coup and run with maybe, three to six chickens and let them free range when you are around. Does that sound right! Since you are on a homestead, I am assuming you are doing some type of gardening. I am bringing that up because people will often build chicken tractors and move thembetter around the yard to fertilize the soil. So what you can do is let them completely weed one area out, dig up the soil, and add their manure which will let you grow in that area.

As for space efficiency a great idea would be to build the actual coop above the run, do that you have as large a run as possible. As for blocking predators, it really depends what you have in your area, but I guess probably hawks, coyotes, raccoons, and foxes. A tractor is not a predator proof as a fixed coop because you can not dig wire down into the ground to prevent digging. What you can do, is lay some wood down next to sides and secure it so the fox will have to dig a much longer distance. Eggs safety should not be to big of a problem if they are in a coup and run most of the time. When they free range they might lay some eggs outside which you might not find.

Enjoy your experience!

If you are to get more chickens I would get Wyandottes or Orpingtons, they are sweet birds that lay a decent amount of eggs.

As for meat birds, you will need to ask someone else. I have just never been able to think of killing any chickens. You will definitely need a different coup for the meat birds and different feed then your egg layers as one is for getting big fast and the other for egg production.

Best of luck,

The Benevolent Barm
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
42,217
70,957
1,542
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC! :frow

You have certainly come to the right place for all the fun and learning! If you have any specific questions, look around the forums and ask any questions you may have.

Great to have you aboard and welcome to our roost! :)
 

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