I am new, and so confused...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by USMC chicken mommy, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. USMC chicken mommy

    USMC chicken mommy In the Brooder

    Feb 5, 2019
    hi everyone :) I am new to raising chickens, but have been wanting to do this my entire life. My husband and I have purchased a home in a very rural area, and FINALLY I can have what I want, without restrictions. I am in my 40’s, and actually grew up gardening, but never had any animals, other than furbabies. My husband is a USMC with ptsd....these chickens are literally going to be his therapy.

    ***by the way, I do not have chicks yet....I won’t get them until the coop has been built***

    I have been researching chickens, on the internet and I have purchased more books than I care to count, and there is SO MUCH information I feel like I’m more lost now than when I started. We have actually modified a prefab chicken coop into a chicken tractor, but when it comes to a permanent coop, I don’t know where to begin.

    I have been watching how storms come and go, wind direction, trying to figure out where to, and where not to put windows, vents, nesting boxes, roosting bars, etc.

    The one thing I did get from everyone’s experiences is that I absolutely want a run tall enough for me to walk into, which won’t be that difficult, as I am only 5 ft tall. :) I am thinking a raised coop at least 4x8 and a run 8x12....I work shifts so I only work 3 days per week but I leave when it’s dark, and get home when it’s dark. The days I’m off, the girls can free range with supervision, of course.

    . I am only looking to have 4-6 hens, no roosters (I was tormented by my grandmas rooster when I was little and I prefer not to have to wring a neck, so to speak)

    Oh, and I also live in NC, where the summers are HORRIBLY humid and the rainfall here is abnormally high for the past year (we have had more than 14 inches in excess).....

    My DH isn’t very “building savvy” but I can build just about anything with plans. Have been to the habitat store every single week now for 6 months trying to find things to repurpose, but have only found an antique panel window and 20 untreated 2x4’s.

    Any advice would be appreciated dearly....
  2. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Pig Whisperer

    May 4, 2014
    Newberry, Indiana
    Welcome to our eggcelent flock here at BYC. So eggcited you’re starting your journey into chickens and for a great cause too! My dads a veteran too. You can find coop plans on this site here:


    I will always recommend Rhode Island Red for the breed since they are prolific layers but there are tons of breeds out there that are heat hardy.

  3. CLovesDucks

    CLovesDucks Smitten with Ducks

    Dec 25, 2018
    Wake Forest, NC
    @USMC chicken mommy Welcome to the BYC family! I’m super excited for you getting to live out your dream! :) I’m not familiar with raising chickens (duck momma), but there will be lots of knowledgeable people who can help guide you and make it less of a mystery. Have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing your flock!
  4. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    20160707_153442.jpg Pallets and fence pickets are the ticket. This is my coop before I added on. It is made from pallets "free" and sided with fence pickets from an old piece of privacy fence, had to buy maybe four more pickets at 1.18 a piece at lowes. Roof is salvage tin and legs are old railroad ties.The 2x4's for the run were in the warped wood pile at lowes marked way down. I got the window on ebay 30 dollars it is a shed window. Bought hinges and latches and a whooole bunch of screws lol!
    Still need better wire, chicken wire is crappy stuff.
    In all iv'e got maybe 150 dollars in a really solid, heavy coop. I'm right below you state wise so this design is southern swamp butt summer friendly. Oh and you'll be glad to know that run is over six feet tall! I think the pallets were 4x4 but you could use any size. It held three hens and a roo wonderfully could have held maybe one more.
    Run is smallish 5x8x 6ish but mine range so it could be expanded easily for a contained flock. Oh almost forgot the plywood for the floor and nestboxes! That was free, as was alot of my paint. It came from the dump! Yep, just tell the workers what you're looking for and most will snag it for you.:)
    20160706_200546.jpg 20160706_200521.jpg 20160706_200434.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  5. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Crowing

    Sep 19, 2017
    Southern California
    Gotta love me.gif
    Greetings USMC chicken mommy, Welcome to BYC! :frow
    Those books are valuable resources. But, for now just take it, one chicken step at a time. You are doing great so far!
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! A garden shed can be modified pretty easily, and will make a nice walk-in coop. Sometimes there will be useful things on craigslist, or carpenters who will build something for you. My coop started as a garden shed, and three additions/ renovations later, it's much larger and works very well.
    Chickens are fun to have, but predator protection and having plenty of space for them matters a lot. Then, four chickens can morph into forty or so over time, just ask me!
  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Yep, that's why that pictured coop now had a walk in side connected by a breezeway. Four somehow turned into eleven....still used pallets lol! Big machinery pallets from hub's work which makes auto fabric.
    So textile mills are ripe for BIG free pallet picking!
  8. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Crowing

    Sep 2, 2014
    NE Ohio
    Welcome to the group! so glad you’ve been researching and learning as much as possible before you plunge to chicken world. I was quite the opposite, but I will do it again the way I started with chickens.

    I grew up in the city and had never seen chicken or any livestock up close, needless to say touch one. I was in a local store to buy my kid’s dog food since normally my wife does the shopping but our 3 young kids was not cooperating that day. Since I just came back from a business trip I had a few hours to do some errands while she give the kids nap time. I Came across some chirping sounds while at the store so I was curious to see where it’s coming from. Saw a bin filled with a day old yellow and black chicks. There were some people around and talking to a sale clerk regarding how to take care of chicks, I got curious and hang around for few minutes listening to questions and answers.
    I reached in the bin and asked if I can touch one, the clerk said normally no but he let me go ahead and pick up one. In an impulse I told him to give me 3 to buy, but he said there’s a Ohio rule to have minimum of 6 chicks. I came home with 10 in a small chick box with heat lamp, feeds and supplies. Mind you, I had zero knowledge about chicken, building a coop nor I have any tools to build anything. All I have are couple of screw drivers and a hammer.

    Im sorry this is getting way too long of a story, but I was trying to get to a point that, anyone can build a coop and take care of chickens if you put your mind to it, since my wife was shocked that I brought chicks home I had to prove that I can do it. Here’s a photo of what I built.

  9. FaithVondras987

    FaithVondras987 Songster

    Jun 3, 2018
    If u plan on hatching I suggest getting a silki, but leghorns and barred rock are my personal favorite
  10. msmeg26

    msmeg26 Chirping

    Feb 1, 2019
    Savannah GA
    You're well on your way!! I am a new chicken mama and I find that overthinking it is the worst!!

    I am planning on 8 chicks--- already ordered. Coop plans in the works.. and I know I have 4-5 weeks until they feather out to finalize the coop build.

    Coop for me will be 6x6 and raised, attached to the run which will be 6x14 or 15.. Still working on final measurements. I'm near you in SE Ga so I know all about the humidity and frequent summer storms!

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