So many ideas, what to build

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by kristenmix, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. kristenmix

    kristenmix New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Sep 2, 2013
    hello all my back yard friends, My names Kristen I'm a mother of 3 crazy little ones ages 6, 4, and 2. we live in New England so it snows here in the winter and i have questions about that too though, Just recently we decided we were going to get chickens for many different reasons. get back to our roots, fresh eggs, etc.
    As we are a one income family our budget is tight so we cant afford those amazing looking chicken coops so we have to build with scraps and odds and ends. i have been looking on Crigslist too but with no luck
    As i am surfing the Internet and pintrest i am over whelmed with ideas for what to do. still unsure of how big it really needs to be. we want our chickens to be able to wonder the yard and put them in at night so they stay safe. we don't have a lot of wild life that would eat them we have a bear we see once a year maybe a fox here or there. but we also have a dog that keep animals away too. so I'm not to worried and i keep a watch on our dog he dosent get to leave my side.
    i just want our chickens to be happy, and be a good owner. but boy do i feel a little lost dose any one else? i notice most are off the ground is there a reason why? what about the base of the cage i see some people use wire wouldnt that hurt their feet they say its so their droppings fall threw and the hut stays cleaner? What about the snow? i have no power for a heat lamp out in the middle of my yard how do others heat where there is no out let? i have also read that chickens dont need heat, how can this be it gets cold here LOL
    i will keep reading up but i wasent sure if any one else had the same questions i did. [​IMG]
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,137
    7,905
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Our winters are so mild everything comes to a standstill when it snows here, in fact, it makes the national news headlines, so I'll link a couple of threads and discussions for you that may help.

    First of all, coop on a budget? Recycle!! Can you get hold of some pellets? Here's a stunning coop made from pellets:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hinkel-haus-made-of-pallets-recycled-wood-pickets

    More recycling ideas here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-save-money-and-build-with-recycled-materials

    Winter:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/392510/first-winter-with-chickens/0_50

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/421122/think-its-too-cold-for-your-chickens-think-again

    Once you got that coop build you'll need some chickens to put in it. For cold hardy breeds and more on breeds in general have a look here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds

    And remember: rule #1 for coops. Build it bigger than you need. You may plan to get 4 hens, build a coop for 20 if you can, because you will want more chickens, trust me on this. I started with 4 hens and I ended up with over 100. Thank goodness I had the space! LOL It's called "chicken math" and there is no cure.

    Hope that helps! Remember to post some pics of your coop and chickens when you're done [​IMG] Enjoy the site!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,844
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, kristenmix, and [​IMG]! Great to have you in our community! I'll try and tackle some of your concerns. The recommended size of the coop is 4 sq. ft. per standard sized bird....go bigger if possible in case you want to add birds or if they have to be confined in the coop for long periods of time, more space is less stressful for them. The run size should be 10 sq. ft. per bird.
    A lot of the coops you see are elevated to increase space outside the coop plus it provides automatic shade in the summer time. For your climate I would have a solid floor. Wire in the form of hardware cloth (welded wire mesh) is okay on their feet if you go with the small sized (1/2") squares. In terms of predators, it's the ones you don't know about that get your birds. That leads me back to hardware cloth...it's not cheap but is keeps predators out where chicken wire will not. There are lots of stories of raccoons reaching through the holes in chicken wire, hooking a live chicken and eating it from the other side of the wire...what a way to go, eh? In terms of coops, think reuse, recycle and re-purpose. Lots of great coops out there made from old pallets, etc. Use the BYC search feature and type in 'recycled' or one of the other words and you'll see lots of coops and hopefully get some good ideas. Oh, and about the cold...your birds will be fine if you have a cozy coop that is draft-free (but still has ventilation). Chickens are resilient critters! Lots of luck on your chicken journey!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,807
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    [​IMG]
     
  5. kristenmix

    kristenmix New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Sep 2, 2013
    [​IMG]
    here's my frame out of 6 old book cases the library had taken to the dump because they were upgrading so i took out the shelf's layed them flat for the base and needed a few extra so you can see some missing out of the one in front, but worked out great because i can use that as a door for cleaning.
    is there any insulation i shouldn't use? i saw some one use packing peanuts and thought hey that's a great idea but realistically how do you come up with that many nuts ha ha. i still need to find a window and frame it in on the other side and build it on the other side. any one have a preference as to a slanted roof or an A line?
    i will raise it up some how but how much space should i have between the ground and the bottom of the coop. i hope I'm not asking to many questions i just cant seem a direct answer to some of these or the answer is all different
    thank you in advanced friends
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  6. kristenmix

    kristenmix New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Sep 2, 2013
    that was alot of great advice thank you it puts a little ease to my mind about the cold weather. i would hate to come out and see the coons have picked away at the chickens thanks for letting me know i would of never guessed they would do anything like that... sneekly little guys lol
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,198
    13,291
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. Sumi has provided links to keep you busy for a while. Assume that everything wants to eat your chickens - mainly because everything does.
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,137
    7,905
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Book cases? I love it!! That is so cool [​IMG] I did a quick search on insulating coops and I see we have some articles on the topic:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/newsearch?search=coop+insulation&type=40

    For threads, type "coop insulation" into the search bar on top, just below the brown header. There are many threads on the topic. You can also start a thread in the Coop and Run section:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

    and ask the members there's opinions on different types of insulation, if you decide to use some. And yeah, like Sourland said, assume the worst when it comes to predators and prepare for it. Fine hardware cloth will keep just about anything out, so it's well worth the money, if you can at least fit it over any coop openings, like windows and ventilation holes, to keep them safe at night. Your dog should be a big help during the daytime at least.

    And please, please post more pics of that coop as you progress and when it's done?
     
  9. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

    651
    36
    131
    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I'm not sure where in New England you are, I am in CT :) We just finished a rebuild (storm sandy demolished my coop/barn)..Anyhow, in rebuilding I asked about insulation...I decided to "not" insulate...Last year the remaining 'coop' we had for the chickens had no insulation and they did fine..A little frostbite on combs , used vaseline which took care of that..

    The bookcase frame looks GREAT!!!! It's hard to tell how "big" it is ?? what's your dimensions?

    Tips I learned along the way,,definitely put something over the wood floor for easy clean up... You can find cheap vinyl pieces, in lowes/HD or even your local flooring store.. I went with those heavy foam 2 x 2 squares , I got 8 per package at BJ's for 17.00. Covers quite a bit, and EASY clean up plus provides some floor insulation.

    One thing I did not want to deal with is snakes/predators,,I am snake paranoid! My entire run (and yeah it's big:),,is covered with 1/2 hardware mesh..This will probably be your biggest expense..I got mine off www.wayfair.com , the price seems to flucuate ALOT tho..Windows I ordered thru Lowes I don't have the link handy, but it was a basement window, BIG SIZE, came with glass insert & screen..I take the glass out in the warm weather, but again Frame it in with hardware cloth..

    Roof, I would go A frame or something snow can fall off of easily,,

    I admit my rebuild we really went overboard, We spent ALOT of money, but it was insurance money from when my barn was destroyed..

    We just finished yesterday, I am in Old Lyme CT, not sure if your close to me, but I have alot of 'stuff' left over , nesting boxs, that you are welcome to . Just let me know if your close, I'll tell you what I have you can repurpose, before my husband decides to take it to the dump..
    Diane
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. kristenmix

    kristenmix New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Sep 2, 2013
    yea i was most defiantly going to put down that cheap roll out plastic flooring to save on cleaning.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by