Lots of questions about the run and coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by uc4tuna, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. uc4tuna

    uc4tuna Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2012
    Daly City, Ca
    Newbie here with lots of questions! I've been wanting chickens for a couple years and I'm finally ready to get some! I've been reading the forums for awhile but hoping to get some advice from you veteran chicken keepers -

    1. I just bought a used Eglu Cube. It's pretty dusty but in good shape. The previous owner reports no problems with his chickens (and the ones I could see looked healthy). Would you clean it with a bleach solution, or would good old soap & water & elbow grease be ok?

    2. We live in a suburb of San Francisco, with neighbors who are pretty close by but friendly. I have a long (9 feet) run attached to the coop, which we will place in the back of the yard (as far away from the neighbors as possible). However, I am hoping to make a separate run area in our side yard by placing some poultry netting from our roof to the fence (an area of about 4 feet x 20 feet) for the chickens to run around during the day, and a gait to keep them from the rest of the yard. Does this sound secure enough during the day? We have raccoons, possums, hawks, and cats in our neighborhood.

    3. Any local sources/feed stores/etc in the San Francisco Bay Area for day-old chicks?

    4. Any particular breeds you recommend? We want friendly, easy-to-socialize egg-producers...My husband would like pretty chickens, but I'm convincing him that easy hearty chickens are better. =)

  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Ain't nuthin' purtier'n any color of Orpington! Docile, uber-friendly, fair producers of nice, large, light brown eggs.

    Black Australorps are gorgeous in the sun - the shimmers of blue, green, purple in the black feathers are gorgeous. Better layers than Buff Orps. Mine is very talkative and follows me everywhere, jess a'talking away, gossiping about the rest of the flock.

    Barred Rocks are distinctively attractive birds. REALLY good layers.

    Look up Concord Feed; there are a couple around thereabouts.

    Some people would use bleach to clean an Eglu, some would be satisfied with hot soapy water. I'm in the second camp; I don't have Eglus, but I have used several coop kits.
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    Our first hens were Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. We chose them due to their docile nature because our daughters were both under 12 at the time. They were great hens, docile as expected, large enough to not try and fly over our residential fence, and great layers. After 3 years we decided to swap them out for new hens to keep the egg production up. We now have a Rhode Island Red, a Golden Sex Link, an Ameracauna (Easter Egger), and a Blue Red Laced Wyandotte. The reds are known as good layers and sure enough she was the first to start laying at about 22 weeks. The Golden started laying about a week later and we're still waiting for the other two to start laying. They're about 25 weeks old now.

    For "easy hearty chickens" I would go for the Barred Rocks and Orpingtons.

    I grew up in Sunnyvale and we had all the predators you mentioned... raccoons, possums, and rats running along the power lines. I think your plans will probably work for predator protection but just be ready to make improvements if needed. I would definitely keep the feed in the garage or securely stored if outside.

    And I think soap and water would be fine if the Eglu looks to be in good condition.
  4. uc4tuna

    uc4tuna Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2012
    Daly City, Ca
    Thanks so much for the advice! I think we might go with a rhode island red, orpington, barred rock, and easter egger. 4 chicks altogether to start off with. The austolorps look really cute too! I can see how this can get really addictive!
  5. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    Good ole' Dawn dish soap and water would be fine on hard plastic.
  6. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2012
    If you really want to disinfect a surface you could always get yourself a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide. It is a very good disinfectant that only leave water as a by product. It does not corrode metal and penetrates wood well.

    Your idea for the side yard might work during the day. It will not it stop a raccoon at night. If it won't be cat proof I'd wait until your chickens are full grown before they are exposed to any cats. Netting will keep hawks from swooping in.

    There are a great many friendly chicken breeds out there. It's fun to look on the internet and see what people have to say about them.

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