Soon to be New Colorado Springs Backyarder

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Mama Hen 1, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Mama Hen 1

    Mama Hen 1 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2014
    Greetings! Looking forward to starting a small flock this year and my first garden. Young family here and we decided to stop waiting for buying land to gain skills in self reliance where we're at... at least I can grow some food and have a few chickens. I have two young boys who will be highly a part of the care of our flock.
    I've been reading so much on the topic. Should I build or buy our coop/run? Is a compost really that important to have? What breeds will be pet like and visually stunning... I just don't want the typical white or ruddy colored and definitely not an aloof personality.
    Any tips on where to shop for getting started in the Springs? I went to Big R and wasn't impressed.
    For a first timer how do I get a garden going and box or just on the ground?
    Thanks for any input. After a week of reading these are the topics I'm ready to make decisions on. Happy New Year!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So glad you could join our community!

    The best place to start is doing some reading in our learning center. All kinds of good articles on all the aspects of keeping poultry...

    The problem with buying a prebuilt coop is that it is going to be small, no matter how big of one you buy. Chickens like to hang out in the coop during the day, sit on the roost bar, lay their eggs and of course have access to their run. I started with a purchased coop when I first got into chickens and was very sorry I did. The chickens hated it and so did I. I had terrible problems with frost bite and you being in CO will no doubt also have issues. So I will recommend you build a coop. And build it bigger than you think you need because nearly everyone here as and will continue to add to their flocks over time and you need to stick to a space requirement for each bird to keep them from turning on each other. (this info is in our learning center)

    Lots of nice breeds out there. I am a huge fan of the Orpington breeds....Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps. Both of these breeds make wonderful pets as well as dress out nicely for the table. They are very docile, cold hardy and are excellent layers. They are also very affectionate and love to lap sit as well! Other good breeds are Wyandottes, Barred Rocks, Cochins, Sex Links, Rhode Island Reds, ect..

    You can also connect with others in your area in your state thread to see how they do things....

    Good luck on this new adventure you are on! If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
    2 people like this.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
  4. JLBS

    JLBS Just Hatched

    Dec 13, 2014
    Hi Mama Hen 1,

    Welcome to BYC. I am also gardener and chicken owner too. First off, buying a coop is darn expensive if you are a regular person like me. On the other hand, some people have a hard time building due to heavy lifting, and the potential dangers in smashing or cutting your fingers in the process. So, it's really up to you. Buying is easier and faster, but building your own is less expensive and you can customize the coop for exactly what you need. My husband built our chicken coop. We just bought a few hinges and netting, and otherwise, we used what what laying around. We looked at pictures of homemade coops online and I drew up some plans. That cut down on costs a lot.

    I only have two hens, but I can tell you about their personalities. Misty is a rhode island red hen who is really sassy and she owns the yard. She doesn't like to be held, but she is a great egg layer and can defend herself from a mean cat (peck on the nose does the trick). Pikachu is a buff orpington. While plain to look at, she is so sweet, very calm, likes to be pet and even held. Neither chicken pecks at people but that's probably because we have had them since they were a week old and they like us.

    I like to compost because it saves me a trip to the store for a bag of compost (Saves money too). Whether you make it on your own or purchase a bag, compost is an important part of gardening. I have personally seen amazing results from simply adding compost and watching my plants grow like crazy. I add compost every time I pant new things or start a new patch or bed. It really makes a difference. Otherwise you can rotate crops which seems like a lot of work and planning but helps a lot in the long run. By the way, when you clean chicken poop from the run, you can toss it into the compost. Build or buy a compost bin that can keep out wild critters.

    Protect your garden from the chickens. My chickens free range and have been in the garden patch before. It was a massacre! Poor carrots. I put a small fence around the garden to keep the chickens out.

    Hope this helps. Hope you have a wonderful experience raising chickens. God bless!
    1 person likes this.
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!
  6. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!

  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  8. CrazyChookz

    CrazyChookz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2012
    Chasing Chooks
    Hello and [​IMG]. Have a happy 2015!

    X2 on TwoCrows, Orpingtons and Australorps are easy breeds to start with and children love them. They all have unique personalities and they are easy to manage and keep. Silkies also make an interesting pet and children love them, they are soft and cuddly and are great mothers, but do not lay as many eggs. I wish you luck whatever breed you decide.
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on Two Crows excellent advice.

    I also live in Colorado. Buff orpingtons are my favorite breed. They are hardy in cold, (which we need) affectionate, friendly, great layers and good foragers. Black australorps, speckled sussex, barred rocks, wyandottes, easter eggers, rhode island reds, sex links and brahmas are all other great breeds.

    Black australorps are basically the same as buff orpingtons although they tend to be better layers. Speckled sussex and barred rocks are both super curious and docile. They are egg-cellent egg layers and cold hardy. Easter eggers and sex links are more on the independent side but still can be very friendly and are great egg layers. Rhode island reds and wyandottes tend to be more on the aggressive side and are great egg layers. Brahmas are cold hardy and good layers. They also make great, cuddly pets. Silkies are a pet if that is what you are looking for. They are poor layers and often go broody. But they are super sweet and very affectionate.

    Here is a link to our breed and coop area and learning center

    Good luck!

  10. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    [​IMG] You've been given a lot of great links!

    I also live in a cold place. Easter Eggers, although not recognized as a breed, are good in cold climates, very friendly, and because they're basically a mutt, they can come in many patterns and colors. Most of them lay green, blue, or brown eggs, so it's also a nice egg carton variety. Plymouth Rocks, Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, and Sex Links also do well in the cold and have a beautiful plumage and personality to follow.

    We built our coop. It took a lot of time and labor, but it was what we wanted and how we wanted it. If you're willing to get your hands dirty, then I definitely recommend building your own coop. If you're not willing to get your hands dirty, that's okay too because then you can buy one. But if you're looking at buying a coop, I'd do some research on what coops are good for your climate, flock size, predator protection needed, and budget.

    We bought our chicks at a Big R store. They were all healthy and still are. We also got a couple from a member on here (See the "Buy~Sell~Trade" Forum). You might also check craigslist.

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