Im new here! My situation. Can I keep chickens? (long)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by theDregs, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. theDregs

    theDregs In the Brooder

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    OK. I have been bugging my wife to let me keep chickens for a year. She always refused. Last week a chicken got loose in our neighborhood and it is happily living wild in our woods, dodging our hawks, 'possums, coyotes, and god knows what else. Now she wants chickens. Go figure. I guess the proud little hen has inspired her.

    But we aren't allowed to eat them, just the eggs. She'll come around.

    I live in an urban area. We aren't allowed to have chickens here unless our property is over two acres. I did the math and came up with roughly 2.07 acres, thanks to my patch of flood-basin woods. If anyone wants to dispute this, they can hire a surveyor! I am the only one in the 'hood with a yard so big, so I suspect some of the neighbors might be peeved; so I want to keep my chickens unobtrusive. I only plan on having 4 or so. I guess I could go with bantams, but it seems like 6 bantams make less egg than 4 standards.

    I have 3 ideas. First, I can enclose my 10X10 bottom deck. This would offer plenty of space, but the chickens would never recieve direct sunlight (woods on all sides) or get to walk on natural ground. It is also connected to my house via a sliding glass door and I think mess might be a problem. How would I deal with litter? Would a light covering of sand that I hosed off into the woods 2-3 times a week do?

    2) I could fence off a section of my garage and put a small run outside. This has most of the disadvantages of the deck idea, but it is well insulated and the chickens would always be out of sight. Clean up could be a problem.

    3) I could build a small (3x4x2 or so) coop onto my lower deck, with a ramp to a 5X10 run on the side of my house. This option uses a smaller amount of space, but gives the chickens their only shot at actual fresh air, sun, and ground. I think a deep littler method would work well here, unless it produces huge drifts of filth, then I guess I could use gravel with regular maintenence. Not sure.

    So, you fellows with experience, which seems best? Or ar any of them feasible?
     
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I would advise you NOT to build a coop under your deck, it would be a real mess and an invite to rats and predators from the woods.

    You can make a cute dog house with a run enclosed that is how alot of people would use.

    I am urban too and I used the vinyl Royal Outdoor shed (the Yardmate 4 x7) with a 8 x 20 ft run which it does well with my girls. I have seven and it handles 12 easily with two roosts and four hole nesting boxes, a gravity feeder on wall and water pan.

    Your garage can be a good asset, there is a few on here if you can do a search tht is so cute and fitting for a urban owner. Dust would be a problem if you dont like them everywhere. Put down a rubber mat with plenty of shavings would cut down the mess and easy to clean up. With three to five girls, you will do just fine.

    Good luck and glad of your wife changing her mind of having chickens LOL! [​IMG]
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    [​IMG] Do you have any pictures you can post of where you would like to keep your birds. In considering a breed especially if in the future you want to have any for dinner you may want to consider a standard dual purpose bird that lays well and will provide meat. From your post I don't think you will want the birds under your deck probably the garage idea is better. I will try to find the post of a member who did build his/her coop under his/her deck.

    Good luck and have fun!!!.
     
  4. theDregs

    theDregs In the Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2009
    Marietta, GA
    Not actually under my deck (the yuppy police would be all over me if I tried that), but on the bottom level of my double deck. As for attracting predators...they are already here. I have a pair of hawks that often dive bomb chipmunks (and the new feral hen) from my roof! My woods are crazy.

    Unfortunately, the run I ould have to make would be directly up against my deck or house anyway. Can't do the front yard because of neighbors and my yard being a bus stop for 3 different schools, can't do the back yard because I have 5 whole feet of yard before it slopes down steeply into thick uncleared woods. That is why it is going to be either on or adjacent to the deck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  5. Big Red Roo

    Big Red Roo In the Brooder

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    I made mine out of a 6x6 shed with a 6x15 run.
    [​IMG]

    Good luck. Although the coop is not far from my home. I dont think I would want it attached to my house. But to each his own. It would make it easer to fetch the eggs. [​IMG]
     
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Can you put up a privacy fence?
     
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Oh, one time I do remember seeing on a website in UK that had a chicken coop that would be the size of your biggest closet, the double wide ones.

    Let me search for some that would be more appropriate for the set up if you want to put them on your deck.
     
  8. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Songster

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    I have a 1 acre lot in a residential area. I built a small 4x6 coop and let my 3 chickens free range inside my privacy fence. I'll warn you that even hens make some noise when they're laying. Your neighbors will hear them if they're within 100 feet or so. BTW they're a lot cleaner than you think if you use DLM. I turn it over every morning and the coop doesn't smell bad at all. Or draw any flies. And with the free ranging, they just leave little piles around the yard that get washed away with the rain. Less mess than a small/mid sized dog I would say. Here are some pictures.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=16300
     
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Here is one that you can click on to each pet houses and garden shops that you can look at if you are building one. Take some ideas!

    http://www.taylorsgardenbuildings.co.uk/store/customer/home.php?cat=476

    Forsham Arks can give you some ideas there too!

    I do remember seeing one a few years ago that most of them discontinued this pattern which it looks like the ones on Taylor's rabbit with a run. However it looks like an oversized rabbit hutch that is six foot tall, four foot wide and eight foot long. On one side upper half was an enclosed coop with upper door and it has a pop door that has a ladder that goes on the long side. On the bottom of one coop, it was open. The whole front had hardware wire. A door on other opposite end of the front. The sides, and back were of treated wood. The roof was shingled with peak on front, not side.

    this set up is perfect for city since all three sides were wood and one facing would be hardware wire. It reminds me of ONE big closet lOL!
     
  10. Quillgirl

    Quillgirl Songster

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    1. Does your name relate to the band: Dixie Dregs?

    2. Welcome! I live in Decatur... It looks like someone near you owns or owned chickens if one escaped to your woods. Look at chicken tractor designs that can be wheeled in and out as needed. That might work!

    Good luck.
     

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