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Preparing for chickens in Northern Arizona

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Fire Captain, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. I am a retired Los Angeles County Fire Captain. We moved to Sedona two years ago. Illness has slowed our plan to get chickens. Previous owners of our property built a 10x20 foot chain-link dog run we plan to use to enclose a coop. I buried 1/4 inch galvanized wire fabric 6 inches into the ground inside the enclosure and around the perimeter to keep out local predators (coyotes, bob-cats, fox, puma, and hawks). Juniper trees shade part of the area where the coop will go. We will be attending a "chicken class" in Cottonwood later this month to school us in the best ways to raise chickens in this area.

    How should we prepare the ground within the chain-link area. Right now it is raw Sedona (red rock) dirt.
    Are electrified fencing systems effective to keep out predators?
    What do folks do when they go on vacation. Who waters and feeds the girls? Do they use local kids or neighbors?
    Are automatic feeders or watering systems effective?
    What is the best coop to house 4 to 5 hens and are there plans available?

    Thank you in advance for your input to a couple of AZ newbies. [​IMG]

  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I'm afraid I've not got experience with your dirt but I would have thought they would be OK to stay that. Electric can be a good extra protection against predators, a good zap and they should stay away. If you have someone you can trust they should be ok to look after your birds. I've not used auto water and feeders but have read some good things about them. My only concern would be if for any reason they stopped working while you were away.
    The learning centre has lots of great articles you might like to check out, here is the link ~https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
    The coop section also has some plans that will help you with your coop build ~ https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coop_Designs

    Good luck and enjoy BYC :frow
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    We have totally different dirt here (we have mostly sand) but if your soil doesn't drain water well, you may want to put something over the top of it. Sounds like you've done a pretty good job shoring up the run to keep it safe. Electric wiring will also help. I'd put some type of cover over the top to keep flying predators out. When we had to leave town last year, some friends of ours that keep farm animals checked on our girls a couple times a day. I've never used an automatic waterer or feeder.

    Yorkshire coop has given you some good links to check out and with your upcoming class, you'll be all set! Feel free to ask questions as you need to, everyone helps each other out around here.

    Thanks for joining us!
  4. doc637

    doc637 In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2016
    Hey Capt,
    I was scrolling through the New Member Introductions and your post caught my eye. I currently am a Firefighter in the Dallas, TX area and wanted to be sure to say Welcome to BYC Brother!
    I think between the posts above and your upcoming class, you will have a good foundation for keeping them safe. I will say, for reference, if you can make good friends with some neighbors they (at least in my experience) may be willing to keep an eye on the flock while you are away. You might also check out the Arizona thread, you may find some more Arizona specific information in there or get ideas what others nearby may be using for predator control. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/31227/arizona-chickens

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Yes, I would cover the run - wire would be adequate but, maybe a tinted fiberglass covering would provide some shade for the birds. A lot of folks don't get to take vacations because they can't find reliable help. Often people come home to a 'sorry mess,' because attendants either didn't show up, or follow their directions. Maybe you can meet some experienced chicken folks in the area who would trade "chicken sitting," duties with you.
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    You have some good advice already, so I'll just say a big hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG]

  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

  8. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.

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