New to chickens and BYC

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by McGraw Farms, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. McGraw Farms

    McGraw Farms In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2015
    Hello. My name is Bret and I am a chicken addict. It has been three days since my last purchase.

    My wife and I have dreams of starting a small farm, so we moved kind of far away where the land is cheap and the taxes are low and bought 12 acres with a house.

    The first order of business was thinking was that it would be relatively low processing selling eggs compared to what we plan to do in the future such as goat cheeses ect.

    Also, the manure would be good for our plans of veggies.

    I set out to build an 8x24 chicken coop with roughly a half acre of free range. IT came out pretty well enough, pictured in my profile pic.

    The next plan is fill it with layers and then build 3 separate pens with 3 separate coops for breeding 3 lines: Easter Egger, Rhode Island Red, and Black Copper Marans.

    In those I hope to eventually have 20 hens to one rooster each, and in the layer pen: 50 to 60 max layers of varying breeds with only one rooster for protection.

    As of right this minute I have 3 Buff Orpingtons, 1 Buff Orp x Easter Egger, 1 Leghorn, 9 Easter Eggers, 7 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Barred Rock, 1 Black Copper Marans.

    I have a myriad of questions for you fine chicken folk, but for now I am just introducing myself.

    I opted for a feed made by a local feed and seed store, but eventually I plan on making my own from all organic ingredients and growing my own meal worms.

    Any suggestions on that would be very helpful.

    Here are some pics to show the construction of my large coop which I refer to as Fort Clux. It has a chandelier that was in the house when we bought it (my wife hated it).....learning that the dusting on that may be a pain....that's a shame but I would hate to have a fancy fire hazard. I chose to go with a chick nip water system which is a pain because even with a de-icer in the 18 gallon tank, the nips still freeze real easy. The feeders are not automatic, I have to go out every day and scootch the feed over to the end of the horizontal pipe.....I will be fixing that soon with a series of vertical feeders that connect to one large hopper. I made a brooder and pullet pen for introductions, ect.


    This last pic is the brooder box, although now I think I may make a separate place for this so I can use all of the other coop for the layers.....allowing me more room for them to have food and water inside as well as space and roosts.

    I am really hoping I can let the ladies in the 3 breeding pens simply raise the chicks themselves and will design it in a way where I can keep their nests separate if need be from the rest of the flock and allow easy dismount and entry for chicks to go outside with their mom.

    Otherwise I am going to make a small grow-out house for the tweenies that can double as a quarantine in the off season.

    Take Care,
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  3. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to BYC. 20 hens to one rooster will be 'spreading' him too far.. Generally the ratio is one rooster to 10 hens, if you want hatching eggs. Otherwise the hens will continue to lay with or without a rooster. Your coop looks very nice my only advice would be to replace all chicken wire with 1/2" hardware cloth. Chicken wire is flimsy and any predator worth his salt can go through it like it wasn't there. Hardware cloth securely attached will protect your birds.
  5. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Songster

    Dec 12, 2013
    Lancashire, England
  6. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!

  7. CarinaL

    CarinaL In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2015
    Wow your place looks amazing [​IMG]
  8. Ashley Stroud

    Ashley Stroud Chirping

    Sep 2, 2014
    Wow! I want to be one of your chickens!
    Looks so awesome!

    Welcome to the flock!
  9. McGraw Farms

    McGraw Farms In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2015
    Thanks for the heads up.....I have 1/4 inch hardware cloth buried along the bottom, the top, and the windows with a 2 foot skirt buried of chicken wire. The chicken wire in the picture is just to separate the pullet pen / brooder area which has helped with the many introductions I have had to make with my chicken buying addiction.

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