New in Texas

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Flock In Texas, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Flock In Texas

    Flock In Texas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2016
    The title says it all. I've been a Texan for almost 50 years, but I'm a chicken newbie. I've been lurking and studying coop design and chicken breeds, but I haven't invested anything into this chicken thing yet.

    I have $300 set aside in my "mad money" place, but I've estimated about $400 to build a 4'x8'x4' chicken tractor with a 2' tall secured run beneath. I plan to install 5 gallon buckets that are plumbed for water/food distribution and include fill ports that are outside accessible. I want to also use 5 gallon buckets as nesting boxes with large doors on each end to access the buckets for egg gathering and maintenance. There will be a front door on the long side with hardware cloth and a removable cover to help ventilate in the Texas heat. I may include a couple of small muffin fans and a light for when the coop is close enough for an extension cord. I will include eye bolts at the top corners to anchor the tractor for high winds.

    I live on an acre about 30 miles outside of Dallas. The 1/2 acre back yard has a 4' fence and I have 4 dogs. 2 of them are under 10 lbs and are "ankle biters". We also have a pitbull/Dalmatian mix and another medium sized dog. I hope to be able to free range, but if not, I will build portable runs that I can connect to my tractor to spread the fertilizer and make cleaning easier.

    I haven't decided on chicken breeds yet. I want variety. It will make it easier to tell the girls apart and I will have multiple colors of eggs. I think Wyandottes are pretty. (all colors) I like Barred Rocks. They are locally available and seem to have good reputations for being docile and good layers. I like Ameraucanas for the blue/green eggs. I'll probably start out with 4 chickens, as that's all I can support for grazing in 32 square feet until I can either free range or build portable detachable runs to protect from my dogs. I figure I can squeeze about 10 hens max in the tractor with some creative perch design and increased grazing space.

    Chickens were my wife's idea, but I'm the one who ran with it on the planning end. I'll have to include her as I sometimes travel for work. My son's can also help, but they have busy lives as well.

    Me: Air Force Veteran, born and raised in Texas, married for almost 25 years to a lovely gal

    Children: I have 3 sons. Our 23 year old is stationed in KS in the USAF. My 20 year old works on his uncle's ranch part time. I never know what he will be doing. He castrates hogs, herds cattle, takes care of the chickens, mends fences, etc........ My 14 year old is a freshman and he is playing baseball in the spring. He is also one of the top Alto Saxophone players in the region. I just found out he made the top band as a freshman and has a good shot at first chair in a good program.

    That's me. I hope to learn a lot from ya'll.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greeting from Kansas, Flock in Texas, and :welcome. Great to have you with us. Like you I kind of like the variety pack when it comes to chickens. Best of luck with your chicken venture!
  3. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi and welcome to BYC! I think Texas's weather is pretty similar to where I live in Arizona. Some of the breeds that do well in te heat are polish, silkies, leghorns, campines, most bantams and Rhode island reds. Plymouth rocks and ameuracanas are arguable but mine do well in the heat. It's really a matter of management. Shade, ice water, wading pools, frozen treats and misters will help keep them cool in the heat.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad that you have joined us,cand for your introduction.

    You'll find lots of info in the Learning Centre, and if you have a specific topic in mind, just type it in the search box - there's a wealth of information on past and present threads. 

    You may wish to consider joining your state thread  as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area -

    All the best
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens. Thank you sincerely, for your time in service. I hope you will enjoy BYCas much as we do.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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

    cukuriku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2016
    Welcome [​IMG], much success with your flock!
  8. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    Hi and welcome to BYC! Thanks for joining us! [​IMG]
  9. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 6, 2016
    Where in Texas are you? We've only been in texas for just over 2 years now - but I think were here to stay! :)

    Your biggest issue with owning chickens in texas will be the heat... make sure whatever flock you decide to get, that you get birds that are heat hardy - I've done a tone of research since all my big RIR roosters died from the heat on our first attempt. (yikes.)

    So, if you want suggestions, let me know!
  10. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 6, 2016
    Our RIR's didn't do well in the heat here - we have humidity instead of a dry heat - it's really the humidity that does them in.

    My friend lost all her RIR's roo's to the heat too this year. You'll want smaller birds that do better in the humidity unless you want to have a swamp cooler, or AC in the chicken house for them.

    Our heat indexes in a lot of area's of texas, especially closer to the coast, will hit 140+ even in the shade.

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