New here and new chicken keeper

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by NickChillPhoto, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. NickChillPhoto

    NickChillPhoto Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2016
    Decorah, IA
    My Coop
    Hi, I'm Nick Chill. I'm a photographer by profession. My wife and I are progressively moving to a more sustainable way of living, which most recently includes backyard chickens for eggs and compost purposes.

    We just acquired two pullets, a black sex link and a silkie, and we have two red sex links on the way (we let the kids pick their own chickens, plus one). I am feverishly researching coops and hen houses to figure out what I want to do. I have a location picked out that is shaded in summer and sunny in winter. We live in Northeast Iowa, and it can get to -20 degrees (at coldest) and averages about 0 during the cold months. I don't have a ton of property, so I need a modest coop, but I want the hens to be comfortable, safe, and healthy.

    I can clearly see that the coops available online are pretty cheap and overstate the number of hens they can hold. They also appear to be horrible for colder weather. I'm getting the feeling I need to build my own. I'm comfortable building things, but have never built anything house-like.

    I welcome any and ALL recommendations, resources, and advice on coops, runs, and accessories (i.e. dusting box) for my hens. I'm still researching and getting a lot of information, but the more points-of-view, the easier I can narrow down what's important.

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    aart likes this.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hi, Nick, welcome to BYC, and good luck with your flock and the 'coop build'.
    1 person likes this.
  3. henny1129

    henny1129 Crazy Livestock Gal

    Welcome to BYC! Sounds like you have a great start and good luck with building your coop! We have 5 red sex-links and we love them! I hope you enjoy chickens as much as we do!
    1 person likes this.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi Nick and welcome to BYC. As well as the Coops Section, theres the coops and runs forum to take a look at. You may wish to search "cold weather coops" or something like to see what comes up.

    You may wish to consider joining your state thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - and you could ask on there what are the main considerations in building coops in your state.

    All the best
    1 person likes this.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens. The best advice I can give you is to use 1/2" hardware cloth everywhere you need fencing. Chicken wire only keeps chickens IN, it does nothing to keep predators OUT. It is very flimsy and saggy and any predator worth it's salt can go through it like a hot knife in butter.

    I recommend you check out the coops section and also the predator thread for good advice.
    1 person likes this.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
    1 person likes this.

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