New to Raising Chickens/ Need advice


9 Years
Oct 2, 2010
Slidell, Louisiana
Hi everyone, absolutely love the BYC site. Have learned alot from just reading questions and answers on forum. Built a tractor for 12 yr. old Grandson in Atlanta awhile back and he has just amazed me with all he has learned and how well he is taking care of his chickens. He now wants an incubator to take it to the next level. B-day gift next month.
Anyway my name is Erik and I am a Firefighter in Slidell, La. Married with 4 kids and 7 grandkids. Have a Koi pond with over 50 fish, 3 dogs and enjoy woodworking, gardening, football (go Saints) and doing charity work. Learned about BYC from grandson and am addicted. Am the researching and planning type before I get into anything so the site has been super helpful in guiding me with my ideas for my(should say... wife's) proposed coop and run area. Have already located several sources locally for chicks as well as several mailorder. Have an awesome plan for a brooder which I am going to start on in about a week. I am remodeling contractor on side, so am pretty handy with anything construction related. Enough introductions. Here is my plan for coop and run. Please tell me if I am on right track and don't hesitate to make suggestions on way for me to improve my idea.
Coop..will be built off the ground, wood framing, 5/8 T-111 or Hardiplank siding, metal roof, 10'x14', people door, motorized chicken door, electricity, water, lighting, heat if needed(mild winters in S.E.La.)ventilation, double glazed alum. windows, sheet vinyl or epdm pond liner on floor for easy cleanup, nesting boxes with outside access for eggs, roosts of flat 2x4's so chickens can sit comfy, auto waterer, Deep Layer method of bedding, feed and supply storage.
Run area.... Initally I will build a 15' x 16' run that will be totally enclosed and attached to the coop. Ramp from chicken door directly into this area. Plan to use 4x4 treated posts with 2x4 rails at ground level, 3 foot up and 7 foot up to create a fence which I will cover with 11 ga. chain link fencing. On the first 3 feet up I will add 1/2 inch hardware clothe over the chain link for added security. I will then finish framing up 2 foot to make a total height of run at 8 feet high. I plan to build a roof with rafter and metal over half of the run and netting over the other half to keep out hawks. I will have perchs, auto waterer, etc.. out in run area. There will be two people gates to the run, one which will be on far end so I can add on later if needed and just remove gate and re-use. Also, when home plan to let birds free range in remainder of 75 x 100 foot fenced area of my property where we have bon fires and volleyball games.
Soooooo! Am I on the right track? Thanks in advance for any advise you can give me.
Whew!!!! And welcome!

Sounds like you've got a plan. After you build and get your chickens, you will figure out what modifications you'll want to make. I say, just go for it and go get your chickens!!
Just wanted to say welcome and see if you needed any more honorary grandchildren.
Sounds like your grandson has it made! Its great that you are handy. Whatever you do, don't look at my chicken tractor. I don't think its up to spec.

Looks like you are off to a good start. Best of luck!!!
Hi, Erik!!

Welcome to your new addiction! Your plan sounds great- if you look at my BYC page, I have a ton of tips, and there are links in the articles to other helpful things. Ask away if you have questions- we all just look for excuses to 'talk chickens!!'

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