New Chicken-heads! :-)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by twfernandez, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. twfernandez

    twfernandez Chirping

    Mar 24, 2015
    My Coop
    Hello All,

    My wife and I are Super excited to have found BYC! Her name is Sue; I'm Tim - It's a pleasure to meet you all!

    Per the template:

    (1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens?

    My wife has wanted chickens since we've been married(12 years now,) - however circumstances simply didn't allow for the responsibility until now.

    (2) How many chickens do you have right now?

    Well, none, yet. I think we'll be ready for chicks in the next two weeks, which should give me about a month to finish our coop and run. We figure on 10 to 12 hens with one rooster.

    (3) What breeds do you have?

    Again, none yet - but I definitely want a Leghorn and a Buff Orpington, the former for the Foghorn notoriety, the latter because that's the coolest name for an animal breed ever(reminds me of a Soap Opera star or ... a sci-fi WWF wrestler?) Sue seems partial to Rhode Island Reds and the Polish(?) for their flamboyant hair-do. :)

    (4) How did you find out about

    Google. Specifically, I did a search on chicken coop images that led me here. We've been lurking in the Coops section for about three days now, and decided that we would love to share our journey with y'all!

    (5) What are some of your other hobbies?

    Reading, Music, Google ... anything outdoorsy. :)

    (6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.

    It's much to the credit of our family that we find ourselves able to begin this little chicken adventure of ours! :)
    We moved to Virginia(from Colorado) in 2013 specifically to get closer to our family. The long-story short version of that is that we now have a couple of acres in rural VA, and a very healthy balance between our personal and professional lives, allowing us the opportunity to start our little flock!
    We have no children at home, but treat our other pets like children. :) They include two Chihuahua's and a Cockatoo(collectively, the "kids").


    Again, we are both looking forward to having our own flock, and appreciate the folks here at BYC for creating a site like this where we can learn and grow!
    I will try to post pics of the kids, the coop in progress, and the girls once they arrive!


  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    Hello [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    Glad to have you join! Feel free to make yourself at home! Adorable pictures!
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member 7 Years

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Awww....your babies are adorable!! Love the Cockatoo. I used to keep Lovebirds and Cockatiels for a couple decades. Loved having my feathered friends here in the house along with my outdoor flocks of poultry!

    Make yourself at home here and if you have any questions about things, feel free to ask around the forums. Welcome to our flock!
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Hello, and welcome to BYC![​IMG] I'm glad you joined our community.

  5. twfernandez

    twfernandez Chirping

    Mar 24, 2015
    My Coop
    Thanks for the warm welcome all! Just reading through different threads all over the place. :) I went ahead and snagged a couple of pictures of the coop build in progress:


    First, had to cut/clear all of this to make room for the build. Still in the process of clearing - lots of poison ivy in the area - but making good progress.
    The coop/run sits along the treeline near the middle of the property with the back of coop facing south.


    This is where the project sits as of today - all of my posts are set, 4x4's sunk 24" and set in 18" of concrete. I don't have a plan drawn up, but I do have a plan. :)
    The run is going to be 8' wide by 24' long, 6' tall, covered by a lean-to style roof.
    The hen-house is on the east end of the run(where the two tallest posts are set,) and is going to be 10' wide by 4' long, for a coop that's a little L shaped, 28' long in total.
    The hen-house will "face" west, into the run.
    So far, I've spent about $90 on lumber, and $100 on hardware cloth, garden fabric and chicken-wire. I don't necessarily have a budget, but am looking to be as cost effective as possible. :)


    This angle faces into the coop from just outside. I've trenched the exterior to 12", hoping to lay my "underwire" tomorrow, using standard chicken-wire for the trench.
    Planning to lay down some weed-killer and Preen garden fabric along the interior of the run(to try and prevent that stubborn poison-ivy from popping up in the run) with chicken wire all the way across the bottom of the run on top of the garden fabric, then top the run with dirt and level it out a bit. :)
    My wife isn't sure if she wants to use dirt on the floor of the run - we've discussed having the whole run floored with OSB, then using vinyl tarp or vinyl flooring, then straw, or something. I suppose this would make cleaning the run a bit easier, but I guess we aren't 100% on that part of the plan yet.
    I'm reading through the forums now to find out more about what types of materials are used for chicken run floors - I've seen lots of pictures with dirt, sand, grass, some with straw, but I am unclear as to whether it is a matter of preference or if there are performance benefits of one over the other(or seasonal?)
    I guess that is one of a thousand questions that have brought me to BYC in the first place.
    So, wish me luck, I'll keep reading and building, and add more pictures as the build progresses - and of course, pics of the girls as soon as we get them. :)

    Thanks again!
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined! :)
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Pretty bird! Looks like a nice start to the coop/run! What is used in the run usually depends on the your climate and the drainage, and what is easily available in your area (ie if you live in a part of the country where you can just dig up sand for free). Chickens usually kill the grass about three minutes after you put them in, sand/gravel is really popular because it drains well (less mud!) and you can just scrape it and add more every year or so, a lot of people do put straw on top in the winter and use it for compost in the garden later.

  8. twfernandez

    twfernandez Chirping

    Mar 24, 2015
    My Coop
    Thank you for the kind words and insight Ms. Kelsie, I appreciate it! Having read through the "Chicken Run Flooring" threads, sand/gravel does seem to be the way to go - and we just happen to live only a few miles from a sand/gravel yard. I'm fairly sure we're going to stick with dirt/sand mix at first, and if it doesn't drain properly look at drainage/grade instead of a solid floor. :)
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Nice to meet you Sue and Tim. In fact nice to meet anyone with energy and building talents. Loved your introduction. Hope everything goes as planned. Very glad you joined the flock [​IMG]

  10. twfernandez

    twfernandez Chirping

    Mar 24, 2015
    My Coop
    @Drumstick Diva, thanks for the warm welcome!

    So, we started calling around to find out where to get chicks locally, and we found a place that is having a sale this weekend - buy one bag of feed, get Six (6) chicks free! :) Sue is super excited, she's going to pick them out on Saturday. I'll be sure to let everyone know what we get and post pics - and I had the chance to get a bit more work done on the coop today as well!


    Here I've placed the "underwire," in kind of a "U" shape, approximately 12" vertical and 8~10" horizontal because of the bend.


    After laying the underwire, I sprayed aggressively with an herbicide all along the interior floor of the run, then covered with garden fabric. The objective is to prevent weeds and the poison ivy from returning in the future.
    The herbicide will be "pet-safe" in 48 hours according to the label, and we won't have the girls in the run for at least another four to six weeks, so I don't think there is a long term concern for their health.


    Not sure if it was evident from the photos, but the washers attaching the underwire to the frame boards are along the bottom of the boards once they are attached.
    Here, I've attached and leveled the lower frame boards and filled the trenches back in. For what it's worth, it seems easier to hang the board level and fill in the dirt rather than fill in the dirt and then try to level the board. :)
    I figure I have two to three more hours of work before the trenches are all filled back in - then it's time to level the top of all of the poles and start framing out the hen-house - can't wait to get started.

    So, something I wanted to point out, and I'm not sure how to address this seriously, because I tend to be rather less than serious, but SERIOUSLY, and I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH:


    I sincerely did not know the above bit of information, and as I've mentioned, I had to start by clearing away all of the trees and vines/roots before beginning the build.
    I wore gloves most of the time, but was working in short-sleeves, and did not know that the oil from the poison ivy is still active even if the plan is not "in bloom," as it were - and I certainly wasn't concerned about the roots at all. [​IMG]


    At this point, the rash is confined to my arms primarily, and I'm not terribly bothered by it .. it is itchy, but tolerable, so I think that I lucked out to some extent in the amount of the oil that I exposed myself to. Anyway, I've learned a valuable lesson, and all things considered, I'd say I'm good to go! :)
    Weather permitting, I'll be working on the coop throughout the week; and the Girls will be here Saturday! :)

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