New, Don't Even Have Chickens Yet

KlingKlan

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
90
8
86
Lancaster County, PA
Hi All, I've been lurking for a few months, but only through "search results" lol. We've been thinking about getting chickens for a little while now, however we were sure we wouldn't be able to have them where we live. My husband lost his job 2 weeks ago and we planted a garden this past weekend after our 1st year was a success. So we're learning to be as self sufficient as possible... now more so due to DH's loss of income (unemployment doesn't quite make up for it). BYC has been invaluable during my research process, even being able to read other members questions answered in the forums. I need to be prepared to approach our landlord for final permission and what I've learned here can go a very long way in helping me get a yes! Also, without BYC, I never would have known where to start the research process, i.e.how to find out if my town even allows chickens, how much sq footage we'd need for a coop w/run and of course, the BEST breed for my family's situation.

We are a family of 5 (soon to be 4, my oldest is flying the coop this summer :() who live in Lancaster County, PA and are hoping to find 3-4 Brahma Bantam. We live on an almost 1/4 acre corner lot in an older development and our borough has fairly stringent zoning regulations. The house we live in is a duplex with the landlords living in the other side. Their "dwelling" would be too close to the coop/run, but we're hoping they'll be ok with it, like the neighbors behind us, once I lay out all the great knowledge I've gleaned from BYC hehe.

I'll update as we move forward for those interested. Thank you sooo much for creating this amazing site!
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
41,064
62,439
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

Good luck in getting all this settled out! I surely hope you can get a flock of Brahma's soon. They are gorgeous birds.

So glad we can be of help to you! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Good luck and welcome to our flock!
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
Welcome aboard! There's a thread here in the forum regarding city regulations and ordinances. Look to see if your area is in there and you can check to see what the real scoop is. Hope it all works out for you!!
 

KlingKlan

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
90
8
86
Lancaster County, PA
Everything went well with the landlords, they're actually a little excited about it themselves lol! We designated an area in the yard to place a coop & run that won't be an eye sore (the neighborhood is a little, errrr... umm pretty well manicured), collected some repurposable materials and started building the coop. We have the floor (an old tabletop turned upside down) drilled into the legs of an old picinic table, then we framed it out with 2/3 of an old front door and a broken down bed frame we had in the shed. It's heavy, so before building more, we moved it into it's spot inside the roped off run.

I'm hoping to finish it of with plywood walls, pallet board siding and paint
! We are planning to use hardware cloth to enclose the run, put a roof of metal screen and heavy duty tarp.

Now to hunt down some free or extremely cheap cheeps
. Which by the way, we've already decided on more than we initially thought about getting, from 3-4 to a solid 5... 1 for each member of our family haha!







I think the coop will last for a very long time
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
Everything went well with the landlords, they're actually a little excited about it themselves lol! We designated an area in the yard to place a coop & run that won't be an eye sore (the neighborhood is a little, errrr... umm pretty well manicured), collected some repurposable materials and started building the coop. We have the floor (an old tabletop turned upside down) drilled into the legs of an old picinic table, then we framed it out with 2/3 of an old front door and a broken down bed frame we had in the shed. It's heavy, so before building more, we moved it into it's spot inside the roped off run.

I'm hoping to finish it of with plywood walls, pallet board siding and paint
! We are planning to use hardware cloth to enclose the run, put a roof of metal screen and heavy duty tarp.

Now to hunt down some free or extremely cheap cheeps
. Which by the way, we've already decided on more than we initially thought about getting, from 3-4 to a solid 5... 1 for each member of our family haha!







I think the coop will last for a very long time
Wow, talk about ingenuity!! Looks pretty darned good! But before you start using "chicken math" (which we all know doesn't work!
), unless your run is fairly large I think it might be a tad cramped for more than 4-5 ladies...just thinkin...
 

KlingKlan

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
90
8
86
Lancaster County, PA
Thanks!
Well when you only have enough money for the hardware cloth, scratch feed and the chickens themselves, you have to be creative hehe! I forgot to add the (approximate) dimensions... and I did use rough chicken math lol! The coop itself is going to be 3'd x 4 1/2'w x 5' h when it's finished, with 2 3' long roosts, 3 nesting boxes and food & water under a poop table lol. The pop door will be put in the peope door (like a doggy door) and the nesting boxes will be mounted on the outside to free up floor space. We should also have enough materials left to build a brooder/sick coop on the other side of the run from the coop itself. The run will be 13' x 8 1/2' x 7' high and were planning on turning that into a chicken playground, with roosts, toys and a water fountain feature, as well as a dust bath area under the coop.

My DH framed it out like that because we had to secure the heavy door lol. It will extend up another foot on the left and 18" on the right (for the roof slope) this weekend when I have time to "direct" him, me and the hubs make a great team that way!
 

KlingKlan

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
90
8
86
Lancaster County, PA
It's rainy and gross out, so no working on the coop/run today
! We keep having these drenching rain fall days followed by "dry-out" days, which is great for the garden but really suck for chicken palace and playground construction *sigh*.

So, seeing as I can't work on it I figured I might as well talk about it... so I'm updating my intro thread lol!

Here are a bunch of pictures to get you (whoever is reading this) caught up on our progress.


Coop enclosing process, we used pallet boards as "shingles" to try and match the look of our house.




Installed the pop door, people door and a plexi-glass window that open for increased ventilation.




Putting rolled roofing over the pallet board roof for (obviously) weather proofing.




Framing in the run so it will completely enclose the almost finished coop.






A closeup of the completed, except for painting, coop.


The hard to see roosts in front of the panoramic window lol.




The pop door (and open people door) from the roost perspective.


Nesting boxes and "loft" from inside (the back wall is an old basket ball net back board lol).


Egg access door open...


... and closed.


People door to access the run and coop.


I was outside painting the exterior until 10pm last night! I needed to get the first coat done before the rain came, but I don't have any pics of that yet (umm cuz it was dark hehe). We had to go with colors that match the house and shed that are on our property, so it's going to be boring white with green trim... HOWEVER, I intend to spruce it up with lots of little decor touches. I have these adorable sun and moon metal things that used to be on the wall of my shed and they will now go on the outside walls of the coop, along with the adorable rooster hot plate we attached to the coop's people door. Also we have a huge metal trough-like thing that we're putting at the end of the run on the outside and planting vines to grow up the "road side" of the run as well. We don't have an HOA per se, but as I've stated, the town is a little uppity and the Borough would jump at the chance to shut down our little backyard farmette lol.

Thankfully our closest neighbors, for the most part, are very supportive and have even donated some items to the project (probably in hopes of getting some eggs
). Our landlord even bought us the paint for the coop and that is probably more in the interest of not receiving grief from the Borough either since he owns the property
!
 

sumi

Égalité
Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,157
25,178
1,302
Tipperary, Ireland
Welcome to BYC
Glad you joined us! So sorry to hear about your DH's job loss! You should check out our sister site,
SufficientSelf.com for more ideas on how to save money. Your coop is looking great and I'm glad to hear your landlord is keen on your chicken keeping plans! Best of luck with everything. Hope it works out well for you and your family.
 
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