If you knew then what you know now...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by EmilieDu, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. EmilieDu

    EmilieDu New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Hi everyone

    My name is Emilie and I am a pre-chicken keeper. I plan on aquiring the birds from a local keeper in mid October, once we have moved into our new farmhouse and have built the chicken theirs. I am wondering what people think was the most important lesson they learned in the beggining of their chicken keeping lives. What do you wish you had done differently? Let me know!
    Thanks everyone
    Emilie
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Emilie, and welcome!

    If I could look back.....to the beginning, I would have built a much larger coop than I started with. I began with a little 6x6 A-frame style coop, and althought it was cute, I soon wanted more chickens. Now I have an 8x12 small animal barn with two rooms, and I think it's just perfect!

    Another thing that I would suggest, is to build your chicken house for convenience for you....think about, "How am I going to clean this"? Make the coop with easy access for YOU as you collect eggs and clean and hopefully you will have a good place in it to store the food too.

    That's about all I can think of! Good luck to you!
     
  3. EmilieDu

    EmilieDu New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Thanks
    It seems to me, everyone has said they started with a number of chickens in mind and then that quickly multiplied. So at least I've been forewarned. Thanks for the tips!
     
  4. GrandmaAnn

    GrandmaAnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2010
    Wisconsin
    Great question! I wished I would have asked it. I second building it bigger than you are planning on if you can afford it. I'd also go with a cement floor (we retrofitted one because of predator problems) and a cement blocks, 2 or 3 high for the bottom of the walls. If I could afford it, I'd do the whole walls out of cement. I have a friend that made a very nice coop out of logs from trees that she and her two young boys chopped down and de-barked themselves. She poured a cement floor first and did the cement blocks for the bottom of the walls. Even though the walls would develop some holes, she never had much of a rodent problem. (She did use mortar in between the logs, but it would fall out leaving small holes.) I live in a cold climate, so I am really glad that we have a double entry for the coop. The coop is 16x12, and the front 4 feet is used for storage.
     
  5. bella1210

    bella1210 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    ct
    [​IMG] from ct
     
  6. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    This is probably going to sound horrible, but here goes: I would not have made heroic and expensive efforts to save birds. It has proven to be neither humane or effective, in the cases we've dealt with. We have had very few die on us. I must say, once they look bad - they are on their way out. I regret spending $150, driving 1.5 hours round-trip, and taking a day off work to be told that the vet couldn't really tell what was wrong with her. I regret prolonging the suffering of another bird (crop problem) by trying to nurse her along. I have not observed that they express much pain when ill. If they are kept isolated and comfortable, chickens with issues will either recover or pass pretty quickly.
    I try to find joy in their lives with us... not sadness in their passing.
     
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    Hello from Tucson and [​IMG] The best thing you can do is read, read, read and read some more. You're at the right place for that. [​IMG]
     
  8. bturbo87

    bturbo87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2010
    south
    build bigger than you can ever think of needing, we started with 2 which turned to 7 then 15 now 6 months later were close to 90. Also, build in place is THE most important thing i learned, i build a coop about 300 or so pounds(right when we started) in the driveway for convience to tools, then i had to move it...oops. Also, i know its hard when starting but biosecurity is a MUST. we have aquired different chickens for all over GA and i cant tell you how much durmycin ive gone through every single time we bring a new bird in something else happens, i think ive been able to collect maybe 5 dozen eggs in the 6 months we been keeping chickens, and thats with 6-8 of them laying an egg a day. also, if you have one broody do not let your wife order close to forty fertile eggs, and think shes gonna be broody long enough to hatch them all, and its imposible to "make" a hen go broody, there probably a bad batch or serama eggs out back right now that im learning that lesson on. lastly it saves a whole mess of money to make your own feeders and waterers, and there are tons of designs on this site. and if you have the stomach for it and large enough property a maggot can is good to.
     

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