NewB, first post, never had a chicken, wife and son want some


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 8, 2012
Hello all~
First post. My name is Allen and I live in Lutz, Florida(Just North of Tampa((home of the Bucs, Lightning and Rays)))

Been lurking for a few weeks now.Have spent many hours reading up on stuff as this is my first time raising chickens. Wife and son got on me a few months ago about wanting a couple chickens for fresh eggs. I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood with a big yard. Actually, I still live in the same house I grew up in, and I am 38. We are sorta "out in the country" here and away from the city, so having animals is not an issue. I actually used to have a hog pen and hunting dogs here at the house.

I looked at "tractors" for my first chicken trial, but they just didn't seem to "float my boat". They just seem very small and confined, and for what people are charging for them, I figured I can build something bigger for cheaper. I mean, a tractor is going for around $300 +/~ locally and they just seem too cramped to me.

Now I am not a construction guy, and have no training in building, but can use a saw and hammer if need be. Actually I think I suck at constructing stuff. I guess my lack of training, I can't plan everything ahead of time like some people do down to the individual nail. So I sorta plan as I go and make many trips to Lowe's. I literally buried a corner post 3 weeks ago and stared at it till a few days ago until I got serious about it.

Anyways, here is what I have so far. The enclosure is approx 10x11, with an additional 3x16 section behind the shed that will be part of the run(the shed is NOT part of the chicken house. It is my storage bldg, I am just adding on to the side of it). I decided to build the coop elevated to not take away any ground footage, as they can go underneath for some good shade. Also entire outside will be wrapped in poultry fence, as well as on top before I introduce my gals.

Enclosure is just shy of 6' high, as I am keeping it just below my neighbors fence. The coop is going to be a little bigger than I had anticipated at 4x8. The back of the coop will be 6', pitched down to 5' at the front(I think).
Can't wait to get this build finished and get some fowl to occupy it. My son is driving me crazy(actually motivating me) to get it completed
A few pics so far of the main run:


Pic of "bonus space" behind the shed. I will be adding a gutter to my shed before the rainy season kicks off, as the roof of my shed does flood this space back here
(Enclosure fence not complete as of yet to block off this spot)

And the floor of the coop de chateau
I will add pics as I progress with this project. Thanks for all the wealth of knowledge this site provides. Seems every time I would google something, BYC would come up first. So I just quit doing that and use the search function here
I know what you mean about google and BYC.
Glad you could join us.
Looking forward to how it comes together.
It sounds like a good plan to me.

You will find pretty much anything and everything here on BYC!! My father actually lives in Palmetto and as a child I would stay in Cape Coral for the summers with my grandparents. LOVE FLORIDA!! Anyway this a truly fantastic site and tool. I started my first chicken venture in June (Father's Day wkend to b exact). We have 19 pullets and 1 rooster. We ordered them from McMurray Hatchery. We received 27 healthy day old chicks and have been loving it ever since. We kept 21 and 6 went to a neighbor who wanted to add to her existing flock. We are down to 20 after the cross beaked girl passed. We are currently getting between 9 and 15 eggs a day. They are the best and we get many compliments on the taste and appearance of our eggs. I feel they are very low maintenance in the grand scheme of things. I was a horse person growing up so farm work wasnt new to me at all. My husband and children on the other hand were new at any sort of farm life. (Other than the few years of horse ownership in the beginning of our marriage and before children.) Anyway I am excited for you and hope you enjoy every aspect of your new venture!!

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