New Chicken Coop Owner from New Hampshire deciding on the actual Chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by lilyphoenix, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. lilyphoenix

    lilyphoenix Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2013
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    Hi!

    I just got a chicken coop that a friend needed to give away (wanted to build one, but decided this was way easier). I'm trying to figure out where in my yard to put the coop, whether to only let the chickens in the run or do something more free range, and what kind of chickens to get. Also, I need to be able to go to work and not be constantly worrying about the chickens. If I don't feel like I have time to take care of them, I may just wait until circumstances are more favorable, time wise.

    Question 1: Where to put the coop? (The coop has a run, but I'm hoping to allow the chickens more space that that, I may need some fencing)

    We have plenty of space, I will exclude the wooded parts for this analysis.

    1. Near the Barn/Garage: Yes, I know I could just make a chicken area in the barn, but for the time being car parking has priority and it doesn't seem very nice to have chicken in "the garage". The area around the barn is clear with lots of grass. Downsides are that the area is not visible from the house and near the road (and the woods across the road) /driveway/neighbours with big dogs.

    2. Inside the fenced in area around the house: Upsides, there's already chain link fencing, very visible from the house. Downsides, chickens in people areas and potential garden areas unless we get more fence.

    3. Outside the house on the side with the Apple Trees: Pros: Fertilize/Eat the bugs around the apple trees, close to a door for easy access, big open area (not fenced), pond? Cons: Near bedrooms if we have a rooster, Not sure if they are apple tree compatible, surrounded by trees (so probably predators).

    Question 2: How free range?

    The coop came with a run that's plenty big for many more chickens than I would start with. I would like them to eat the bugs and green stuff in my yard, though. I love the idea of just having chickens wandering around everywhere, but I worry that they will get eaten. We work full time, so we won't be home during the day, and we often get home after dark.

    Question 3: What kind of Chickens?

    We live where it's cold, snowy and in the woods. I would like egg layers (since I don't eat meat, but my husband does, I would like them to lay for as long as possible, so he doesn't try to let him make soup out of them). I have never raised chickens before.

    Feel free to direct my questions to the appropriate forum.

    Thanks,
    lily
     
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Welcome to BYC :) Glad you joined.

    For question 1. I would put the coop inside the fenced in area.
    For question 2. You don't have to let them free range when your not home. You can have an enclosed pen for them to go in were they can still get fresh grass, bugs, etc. And when you are home they can free range.

    For question 3. There are many, many breeds that would work for your area. Go here
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds and on the left side you can answer questions that will help you find your breed.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. chickenpooplady

    chickenpooplady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with willowbranchfarm.

    [​IMG] from Highland County Ohio and God Bless!!!
     
  4. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!!
    [​IMG]
    Glad you joined us!!!
     
  5. lilyphoenix

    lilyphoenix Out Of The Brooder

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    Question on the chicken breed search tool. If I select cold weather and egg-layer, I get only two breeds, should I also be looking at dual-purpose?
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Also check our www.Ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html This is Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Breed Chart. This may help you determine which breeds you'd like. Of course, you might use it to get different breeds, as I did.

    Layer breeds are developed for egg production, meat birds are intended soley for rapid growth and lots of meat on their bones. Dual purpose are the breeds I like, although I don't eat my hens, just the extra cockerels they hatch. (somebody else processes them for me, I'm a wuss.)

    Dual purpose breeds have the fluffy butts I like to see out in my yard. My flock is VERY varied! I love 'em all.

    Welcome to BYC from the western Sierra Foothills!
    Cover the run if it isn't already and keep the chickens in their run when you aren't home.
     
  7. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Yes duel purpose breeds are great layers also. (I have all duel purpose breeds)
     
  8. lilyphoenix

    lilyphoenix Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you sure? Why? The fenced in area includes my porch, all my doors, my compost pile, and what little garden I have. I can add more fencing to keep them away from those things, but I could also fence in one of the other areas.
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Just wanted to save you some extra work. :). Without a diagram of your property it's hard to make a decision.
     
  10. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    I would just make sure you can see them from the house. And that the coop is easy to get too.
     

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