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Technical Manual class assignment help request

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Littlecimarron18, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello everyone, long time no see!
    I am writing a how to guide for my technical communications class, it is a sort of How to guide on raising Backyard chickens. I was curious on what you all would put into something like this. It needs to be at least 10 pages and directed at "green" valued people of the Fort Collins Colorado community. Here in Fort Collins we are allowed 4 hens to be kept in our backyards.
    I would like input on things that you had questions about when you began your backyard flock and the solutions you found to these problems. If at all possilbe some pictures of you backyard set ups would be awesome.

    Here is the outline of what I am going to put into this project so far:
    Proposed Content:
    1. Introduction (Including laws and regulations of backyard chickens)
    2. Preparation
    a. Property
    b. Financial
    c. Educating everyone involved
    d. Preparing the children and pets for chickens
    3. Coop Designs
    a. Brief overview
    i. Cleaning
    ii. Accessibility
    iii. Heat retention
    iv. Space for birds
    v. Predator proofing
    b. Building size and shapes
    c. Roosts
    d. Nest boxes
    e. Door designs
    4. Care Guide
    a. Introduction of chickens to their coop
    i. Choosing chickens
    b. Feeding instructions
    c. Basic healthcare
    i. Wing trimming
    ii. Common illnesses
    iii. Basic first aid
    d. Collecting eggs and cleaning them
    e. Predator awareness

    Thank you so much for your time and help!
    Sara

    Here is the proposal for my project to maybe help spark some ideas!
    Introduction:
    In January 2008 Fort Collins passed a law allowing residents to keep up to six hens in their back yards. The keeping of hens in back yards is becoming increasingly popular with the rise in the natural foods market and sustainability movement. Many residents are keen to have fresh eggs for breakfast everyday but are not knowledgeable when it comes to chicken ownership and care.
    This technical manual will provide a guide to the successful ownership of backyard chickens from start to finish. It will start by walking readers through the preparation they need to do; such as preparing the property, budgeting, educating all family members and socializing other household pets with chickens. Next it will provide options of coop designs that are built in a sustainable manner. The designs are simple enough that an average person will be able to build any of them without much difficulty and they allow for personal customization of all parts. Lastly, the manual will provide the reader with a guide on choosing chickens, and it will instruct the reader on how to care for the animals. This care guide will include; feeding instructions, basic health information, egg collection and cleaning advice, predator awareness advice, and chicken introduction instructions.
    This manual will be directed towards homeowners in Northern Colorado who want to raise backyard chickens. More specifically it will target those who want to contribute to the global sustainability movement. The manual will provide them with the basic information that they will need in order to obtain chickens, build a shelter for their chickens, and keep their chickens healthy and producing eggs.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
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    If you have a Habitat for Humanity resale store, there's alot of usable materials to make a decent coop while contributing to help others get into a new home. A few months ago, I purchased a slightly damaged bureau at our local Habitat store. I used scrap lumber to expand it lengthwise, cut out vents and screened them. Not only did I save money from having to build a new coop, I saved time and electricity. The pen is covered, protecting it from rain. It is currently inhabited by a rooster and 2 hens. Perfect. (Click each pic to enlarge)
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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2010
    One thing that I would suggest you include in your outline is to plan for the end of the hens life. In Fort Collins, you are allowed to have chicken hens for pets and for eggs, but not for food. There needs to be a plan in place for when the chickens are mortally injured, terminally ill, or just plain too old to lay anymore and you want to get replacements. Locating a vet that will see chickens should be in your preparation section.

    the last article of the code: (8) The chicken hens may not be killed by or at the direction of the owner or keeper thereof except pursuant to the lawful order of state or county health officials, or for the purpose of euthanasia when surrendered to a licensed veterinarian or the Humane Society for such purpose, or as otherwise expressly permitted by law.
     
  4. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dawg 53 thank you so much for those pictures! We do have a habitat and I will mention it in my project.
    Wyo, I did not think of that. Thank you very much!
     
  5. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, not many books mention the decisions that need to be made when hens stop being productive. Additionally, people do need to have a contingency plan in the event that their chicks grow up to be roosters. Even gender-guarenteed chicks have a chance to be incorrectly sexed by the hatchery (most only guarentee 90% pullets in your order).
     
  6. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good thoughts Pele! thank you.
    Do you all feel that the content is good otherwise? Should anything be cut or added?
     
  7. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about covering something on waste management? And maybe something on different bedding options (sand, sawdust....)?
     
  8. Littlecimarron18

    Littlecimarron18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is chicken poo compostable? And yes thank you! there are so many parts to think about in this.

    How much money do you all think is necessary to get started? I am working on the financial section at the moment and am not sure how to explain my budgeting...
     
  9. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken poo is definitely compostable. We compost ours in a huge pile of horse manure and sawdust and then use the compost on our garden and for the landscaping plants. I'm sure you can do it on a smaller scale as well but not everyone may be able to have a compost pile so any other options for waste management might be useful.

    As for money, it really depends on the prospective chicken owners motivation and finances I would think. The coop and run would seem to be the largest expenses initially but I have seen plenty of very creative folks on here who have made nice coops with recycled materials for little or no money. I would suggest that you think about a range of costs instead of trying to pinpoint a number. Listing the necessary items for keeping chickens (coop, run, feeder, waterer, first aid kit, feed.....) and mentioning that costs will vary between X and Y might be a good tactic.
     

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