New Possible Chicken Rancher

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by frjeff, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. frjeff

    frjeff In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    Have enjoyed the site reading all I can in the few days since I found it.

    I am contemplating a few backyard hens for eggs and the obvious gardening advantages.

    We are just two in the family and I was thinking three hens would be fine. Then heard that a minimum of four makes for a better society pecking order, winter nights cuddling I'm in Northern Michigan). Thoughts?

    I will be tearing down a large storage building which will provide more than enough lumber for a coop. I am debating whether to build a coop inside the 24X12 lean to (which is on the rear of my garage and already has electric, etc) or wait and build a tractor. I sort of like the moving it around the lawn idea, but am unsure how predator proof the movable tractor would be. I have sufficient room to add a run to the lean to if I go that route.

    I am standing on my learning here that 4 square feet per bird in the coop and 10 square foot of run per bird is sufficient. Correct?
    Also, do folks just leave the run bare dirt, or are there better options (sand?)?

    Just wish there were more free coop plans available !! [​IMG]

    Thanks for all of the good info.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] 3 becomes 4 becomes infinity= chicken math. frjeff did you post on a Birmingham roller site several years ago?
  3. frjeff

    frjeff In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    Quote:No post there. We just returned to MI this Summer after 15 years in TX.

    I know the chicken math and addiction problems, but I'm resolved to keep the flock modest.
    I'm already taking meds to control this issue. [​IMG]
  4. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Songster

    Jan 1, 2011
    [​IMG] I just joined myself. My present coop is a 8x10 backyard storage shed that I turned into a coop. I installed a couple windows, some roosts, nest boxes, hanging feeders, electric for a light on a timer and a heater for the waterer. Oh yes, a small cutout in the side for them to excess their run or chicken yard as I call it. I have 15 birds in it. I also use a 4x4 w/4x10 cage attached as a chicken tractor for separating the non laying types. I lost one pullet this fall due to a hawk, so I quit allowing them to free range.
  5. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    [​IMG] Howdy neighbor!

    I'm in the county south of you.

    Yes, plan for more birds than you have. They're very addicting. There's several small animal swaps in Whittemore every year [​IMG] plus I will be hatching cochins this spring.

    I would build a regular coop and run and maybe have a chicken tractor for summer months. It will be hard to move once you get some good Michigan snowstorms dumping snow on the ground, plus in the spring it will be mucky.
  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Hello from SC!
  7. You have your chicken math a little mixed up. If you want three, maybe four hens, build for twelve and have enough left over supplies to build another two or least that's my experience.

    Welcome to BYC, I look forward to reading more of your posts.
  8. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  10. [​IMG] from North Carolina

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