Help me convince my husband we need chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by momofmany01, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. momofmany01

    momofmany01 Hatching

    Mar 4, 2013
    We are teaming up with my parents and In-laws to build a large garden ( 25x30) and I would love to have some chickens as well. My husband and I both want chickens but my husband wants to wait until next year. Help me come up with cheap coop ideas that are cheap but suitable for Northern Indiana winters for about 8 chickens. We have a local restore and I think I can get cheap windows and a screen door but I need ideas for dimensions and cheap materials. I was wanting 2 black austrolorps, 2 buff orpintons, 2 barred rocks and 2 of whatever else I can find at our tractor supply. How much did your coop for 8 cost on the cheep?

  2. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i have a 12 x 20 hoop house with the coop built within one corner of it. i have five birds. that allows me to work 'inside'. it also provides a more serious layer of protection for the chickens during the night. the coop itself is virtually wrapped in hardware cloth. mine free range during the day - so something might get them - but at night they are very secure.
    the hoop house has a dirt/free mulch floor, except for the coop which has plywood w/linoleum on the floor. i use the deep litter method.
    it's hard for me to explain - & i haven't done pictures yet. we used re-bar as the arch. i have a very heavy duty tarp strapped over the framework.
    mine is more like a mini-barn. not alot in materials - some scrap 2x4s & rebar mostly. the two ends are framed in with 'dutch' doors at both ends. despite being very "cute" and very functional - it didn't take much money - but it did take carpentry skills (which hubby applied).
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] from California! Try this forum: to give you some ideas from other members. Good luck to you [​IMG]
  4. dretd

    dretd Songster

    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    Welcome to BYC!

    I am excited for your project. I built my coop on they cheap with an extra hand from DH to put the shingles on and the kiddos with whacking nails for the siding. I started lurking at home depot and bought sticks of lumber from their cull lumber bin. Super cheap. I built it on a 4x8 piece of plywood and went up fom there. Used 4x4 treated fence posts for supports. I did a board and batten siding using cedar fence planks. I think I probably put about $200 in supplies in to the thing. Very sturdy and secure.

    CL and Freecycle are two places to get inexpensive supplies. I have known folks that have re-purposed tool sheds off CL by adding perches and nest boxes and mase them in to nice coops. Keep your eye out for stuff you could repurpose with a little tweaking.

    I have a couple of words of advice for you:
    -Make it bigger than you think you need.
    -Consider starting with fewer than 8. Chickens slow down laying as they age, so my strategy is to add new chickens every few years so I can have more productive ones coming in. You can disregard this if you plan to 'retire' the hens when they go off their lay.
    - chicken math will eventually happen and you will end up getting addicted, and adding more than you intend--did I mention that you should make it bigger than you think you need?
    -be sure that you have adequate ventilation even though you have cold winters-- the humidity can be really brutal and lots of hens in a small space will give off a lot of moisture.
    - use hardware cloth for the runs, chicken wire keeps chickens in but won't keep predators out!

    Good luck to you!

  5. QuietPony

    QuietPony Chirping

    I wanted chicks for years. He wanted a duck. Named Hubert. So, I get my chicks this year and he gets a duck. Also, I get all clean up duties, but he is the man with the tools so has to build stuff on my whim. lol

    We found a lot of the supplies on craigslist and from friends who knew of our desire for a coop. Supplies are all stockpiled in the garage until the weather warms and we can build it. I also have a 10'x5' dog run which my dogs hate to use which I am going to reinforce and cover for a run. Their coop design is up in the air as of yet, but we figured with scrounging up wood and having to buy wire, latches and hinges we will have spent a couple hundred bucks on supplies. (that will more than likely go up as we run out of osb, wire and 2x4s lol) We plan on building a chicken tractor before the coop, so the birds can get used to that and play outside while we figure out who is going to win the coop design. (He want a western saloon type and I was a lighthouse.. lol Neither one of us will win that most likely. I just hope it does not end up being an eye sore for the neighbors who are stoked to get fresh eggs this fall.) Also, labor is cheap. I can pay him for labor with beers.
  6. daniel74

    daniel74 In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2013
    Harrisburg Oregon
    We have 50 chickens and 12 ducks all sleep together no problem just use the thin lip feeders and waters.
  7. momofmany01

    momofmany01 Hatching

    Mar 4, 2013
    I am avoiding tractor supply like the plague right now! If I go in there I'm going to want to bring chicks home. I can hear myself now, " but honey they are educational for the kids!" " these are the best kind of pet for kids, they teach responsibility, are cute and give food! Way better than gerbils!"

    I keep telling myself the garden will only cost about 117 dollars the way we've decided to build it, and I'm growing all our plants from seed ( already have a huge amount started) and if I build a coop an run along side the garden it will look nice and complete. 200 more or so wouldn't be that terrible would it? Lol.

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