Problems with my growing chickens


7 Years
Dec 31, 2013
East Bay California
So I'm having a couple problems regarding my chickens.

I'm still in high school so my parents control all of my financial limits. They let me build a coop and small run which costed about $180 and I also spent some of my own credit to buy feed.

I have a Buff Orpington and a Plymouth Rock (both hens, 2.5 months old) and they are growing fast. I've noticed that the coop/run structure will not suffice for the needs of my hens when they grow older. My neighbor free ranges but had two of her hens (she had 4 to start with) taken by a hawk. Since I only have 2 hens and losing one will not be too good for the other, I planned a semi-run that utilizes three sides of my home's fencing. Basically, I would cover the top with mesh or chicken wire and I would add an extra fence made of metal mesh and wooden support. This would allow the chickens ample living space as well as protection from aviary predators. The problem is, my parents are objecting me going to Home Depot for more chicken-related business. If my parents are indifferent about their decision, I've considered partially free ranging them. I can let them out for around 30 minutes every day. Although its not much, there isn't a better solution in my head, Any thoughts??
If you were my kid (and I raised three of them) I would tell you to go ahead and build the run that you want to build just as soon as you have earned enough money to do so. I would not allow you to buy anything on credit as that's a bad habit to begin with (My husband and I do not use credit cards) I would strongly suggest that you get a job or start doing yardwork for neighbors. They are your chickens, therefore they are your responsibility to care for them provide for their needs.

As far as letting them out for 30 minutes a day, they would enjoy that. Chickens in crowded conditions can start picking at each other, and that doesn't always end well.
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I would ask your parents what you can do to earn the money you need. Put up a sign on the bulletin board at the feed store offering your service to people in exchange for supplies you need on cash. You don't specify your age, so I would make sure you let people know how far you xan travel if you don't have a car.

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In addition to seconding the above posters...

Look for other places to obtain your supplies. Home Depot is expensive. Check Craigslist, etc for second hand materials. Or, post a wanted ad yourself. Lots of folks have partial rolls of wire, etc laying around. They'd be happy to either sell it, or trade it for a little help from a strong young back.

Depending on the size of your run, you may not need to cover it entirely. Now, I don't hav hawk issues so I may not be correct, but as long as the hens have some good places to hide I think they should be okay. Mrs K has advised things like elevating some pallets on cement or cinder blocks, to make some cover for the birds. I lean pieces of plywood up against the side of my run. There are things like that that can be less expensive than covering an entire run.

What does your current set up look like? How large, etc? Pics would be great!

edited--one great way to make some extra cash would be to be a chicken sitter! I know there's a thread here somewhere about who's available where, maybe look that up.
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