Not really sure where this goes...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Michael's Chick, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Michael's Chick

    Michael's Chick Hatching

    Apr 25, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Ok, so I've had chickens before but my situation is much different now. Before I had 6 free-range Buff Orpingtons on 2.5 acres. Now I'm considering 2 or 3 chickens on a large suburban lot. Before, my chickens got eaten by coyotes and cougars. Now... cats? Raccoons?

    So now for my questions.

    1. Our backyard is totally fenced by a 5' wood fence. If I free range my chickens will they be able to get over the fence into the neighbors yards with the mean dogs?

    2. Can I have 2 chickens, or would 3 be better?

    3. Are there any breeds of chickens that are quieter than others?

    4. Are there any real simple but attractive designs for coops/runs for 2 or 3 chickens? I could build something more complex but I have to build it fast if I want to get spring chicks this year.

    5. I need to get into this for the lowest possible cost. I remember the feeders (chick and chicken) and waterer I will need, but I don't recall if we put a heat lamp or just a light in the roost?

    6. Is there anything I might be forgetting?
  2. Five foot fence should do if not spooked. Good home, food and water = no desire to escape

    A play house could make a real nice home for 2 to 4 layers
    Coverted fre u-move sheds, even dog houses..

    Easy calm breeds... barred rock and black austrolorp are my calmest hens and pretty quiet.... NO Roos

    Just a light for the coop/ "roost" and that just for winter egg stimulus.

    You will need to brood chicks for awhile befor turning them out. Check the info from the forum homepage on that..
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    If you had a mean dog next door I would not let me chickens free range. They most likely wont fly over as Roosters said, but there is now more incentive for the dog to make it over to your side.

    If you get full growns, no need for a heat lamp and a play house or dog house would suffice. I would at least get 3, so that if you loose one, you still have a pair--chickens hate to be alone!
  4. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    I've seen plenty of chickens fly over a five foot fence in my day. If you clip their wings they would be okay. If you've never done it before, google it, there are lots of great how-to pictures out there.

    Two chickens should be fine if that's all you want.

    There are quieter breeds than others. Light Brahmas come to mind, I know there are others, check the descriptions on the breeds page.

    And while you're checking out pages check out the coop designs page. There are lots of great ideas for small coops.

    You'll need a source of heat for raising chicks, but depending on where you live you don't necessarily need one for adult birds.
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Quiet Breeds....

    Good layers of brown eggs : Black Australorps

    Medium brown eggs : Brahmas

    My silver laced wyandotte is a quiet girl so far...UNLESS she is not getting my attention when she wans it. she is spoiled though. hahahaha
  6. chad76

    chad76 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2008
    I'm still pretty new to chickens, but I've heard the difference between Dominickers (my dad has 4 of them), a barred rock, and 2 Rhode Island Reds. The Doms and Barred Rock are all really quiet. The RIRs are noticeably noisier... but still, they're not terribly loud.

    I have a 6' foot privacy fence, but I'm still a little worried about letting them free range in my yard. I'm going to let them get used to their coop/run for a couple more weeks and I might try it.
  7. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I think my quietest ones are my Silver Laced Wyandottes and Black Austrolorp. Nice eggs too. The Austrolorp is a little more friendly though. I live in the suburbs and have 5 hens. I would say 3 is a nice # and usually if you order from a company, they may add an extra. If that is how you plan on ordering, just call them and talk to them. Let them know that IF they do throw one in, you can't have a rooster due to your location. I did that and I got an extra hen.
    You don't need much space. So make something off the ground ( do you get snow ), and big enough for those cold days they won't go outside. I add a supplemental light for winter time so they lay ( they need 13-14 hrs. day light ) Mine have an attached run but I let them free range the last 1-2 hrs. of the day and they head back into the coop on thier own. I have dogs so I can't let them out more than that. I wish I could though. If you do keep them in a run, make sure you are happy with the location, they will destroy the lawn there.
    You will need to keep them inside in the brooder if you get chicks till they are around 7wks. old. So that should give you plenty of time to construct something.
    There are many coops on this site to give you ideas. You don't need to make it complicated, just make it functional and easy to clean.
    This is a nice site for breed info.

    Take pictures, everyone loves to see progress!
  8. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    www.mypetchicken is a wonderful site to scope out the different personalities of a breed. The site has a 'Which Chicken is Best' type form to fill out. One may check which breeds are more docile generally, and other pertinent information.

  9. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    3 is better than 2 (incase something happens to the other)

    Brahmas are quiet & are really to big to fly!

    Had an Austrolorp she was chattery

    check out coop design at top of page (great ideas)
  10. Michael's Chick

    Michael's Chick Hatching

    Apr 25, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Okay, I think I've settled on the Australorps. But now I can't find them anywhere! So where can I mail order them?

    Also, I found this: that I'm hopefully picking up tomorrow. I'll put it on cinder blocks to keep it off the ground for cold weather. It's huge! I'll need to make a few modifications to it, but I think it looks nice and once I paint it and fix it up it should make a nice "chicken house."

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