New Here...Need some imput

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickadee28, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Chickadee28

    Chickadee28 Songster

    Sep 20, 2007
    Western IL
    Ok, so I am starting from scratch here. I don't have a coop or any chickens yet, I am trying to gather as much information as I can before I decide what I want/need. Some basic info:

    I live in a rural subdivision, we have about 1/2 acre, so space is an issue. We just had the septic system replaced, so at the moment we have very little grass in the yard, we are getting an estimate for that tonight. I am trying to figure out where to put the coop so I can keep that in mind when we seed or sod. I will try to post some pictures of my yard. We have an in ground pool at one end of the yard(separately fenced), and then all grass(now dirt) and two trees for the rest of the yard. I want something that is attractive and will allow the chickens to be happy and healthy.

    We have a six foot privacy fence around the entire back yard. I plan to let the chickens out of the coop/run when I am out there to supervise.

    As far as predators go, we live in western IL, so we have raccoons,opossums,neighbors cat, possibly neighbors dog.I have never seen anything in our yard though. I do see the road kill on the road behind us. I have two Boxers(very gentle,we had baby bunnies in our yard and they left them alone) and a tiny chihuahua. I also have three indoor cats that are de clawed in the front. One of them goes outside on occasion.

    As far as the chickens go, they will be our pets. If they lay eggs great, if not, we will just enjoy them. I think I would like to start with two or three hens and go from there.

    I have looked at many designs, I am just not sure on what would really work for us. My FIL is a skilled carpenter, he can build anything. My husband is barely tolerating this idea, he thinks I am crazy!

    Cost is an issue, not because I don't want to spend money on this, but like I said my husband is barely tolerating this and we just spent a TON on the septic system. My FIL just built kitchen cabinets for my SIL, so I am hoping that he has some left over wood from that.

    Any input would be great, let me know what has and has not worked for you. Also this may seem like a silly question, but do the chickens have a bad odor? I am assuming that if you have a well built coop and clean it that the odor would not be bad. Someone told my husband that chickens are the smelliest nastiest creatures..... sigh... I think they are beautiful and my kids and I would enjoy them immensely. I think he will too once we get them.
  2. hsm5grls

    hsm5grls Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    I can relate. My fil is also a skilled carpenter and so I gave him a bird house shaped like an old red barn, told him the size I needed the requirements (Nesting boxes, space each bird needs, where I wanted the door etc.) He got very excited about it. It is a beautiful addition to the yard (necessary because the whole neighborhood can see it) . Use your imagination and design away. It was fun for all of us. My mil says chickens are gross and I will regret getting them, also that she won't be able to eat the eggs due to the rooster and haow nasty they will be. I don't care what people say. It has made my yard much nicer. Not to mention a happier momma (me) We used scrap lumber and the whole thing including the run was less than 100.00
  3. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    Hi, and welcom to byc. If you want to keep it cheap than watch on craigslist or something like that for a shed or something that you could use as a shelter. I found my coop and run on there and paid $175 for the whole thing, we painted it like a barn (you can see it in the coop design thread) and are very happy with how cute it came out. You should check out the other coops on here, people are very innovative and you can get tons of ideas here on coops and runs. As far as the smell, chicken poop smells, always will, but it is not overwhelming if you keep it under control and clean your coop out. I have 15 total, and they don't smell that bad. It is never going to smell like roses, but it is not bad.

    I said I would NEVER have chickens, and let me tell you it is the most wonderful thing. I don't even get eggs yet. [​IMG]

    Yesterday, I was sitting out there in the coop holding Henny Penny and Carmella in my arms and they went to sleep and put their little heads down on me. It was so cute. I am never more happy than when I am sitting out there in the coop with chicken poop on my crocs holding and talking to my chickens. It is also so very good to teach your kiddos responsibility. Maybe your husband will come around. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2007
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    Corydon, Indiana
    sounds like an ideal situation. You might want to think about a Moveable coop called a tractor.
  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I have half an acre also. I have a dog house/dog run set up--only downside is I have to shut them in at night since the chain link is not weasel proof---we actually lost one when I first set it up years ago.

    Here a pic, doesnt take up but a corner of the yard and I actually have 3 condo and a rabbit pen. The rabbits are to the left of the shed, the chickens to the right.


    Main coop to left, chicken ally on right (bantams live there)

    (My isolation coop foe my injured hen! Its called the Nudist Colony for now since she lives there with another naked neck)

    My rabbit pen.


    There is lots you can do with your space! Be sure to post pics.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  6. hsm5grls

    hsm5grls Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    that is so cute, the fence and signs with the litle bird houses looks straight out of a country garden magazine. I love it.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to BYC.

    If you only plan to keep 2 or 3 hens might I suggest going with 3? They will keep each other company. With three a large style doghouse type hen house on legs could easily accommodate them with a rear flip door for easy access to the nest box. If your are not interested in having to put much into it look around for used or free things. Texaschickenmama suggested craig's list and I would also suggested looking to see if you have a local chapter of freecycle as well. If you look around at coop designs you will see some very pretty little houses and runs that are enclosed like little aviaries. Wonderful little places for hens to live and for you to enjoy.

    Good luck!

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