Tell me if I have unrealistic expectations...MANY chicken ?'s

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by akanalynn, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. akanalynn

    akanalynn In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2008
    Hi all!

    I'm not sure where to put this, but here's the story:

    Well first off let me preface by saying I'm 7 months pregnant and my nesting/gardening instincts are in major overdrive. I can't get enough of just... DOING stuff [​IMG]

    So I dug up our entire back yard, overturned the crappy grass and weeds, re-seeded, made my hubby put in a retaining wall (couple bricks high) for an organic raised vegetable patch (its about 12x10 )...I've planted all sorts of good stuff... [​IMG]

    Our yard has a 7 or 8 foot privacy fence all around it... It's small, but decent for a city yard I guess. We only have a neighbor on one side (and I'm pretty sure they're old and deaf)

    My idea is this... I would like to have the other half build a little mini-coop...raised off the ground in the corner of our yard... Maybe...3x3 or so? With a ramp to get in, and a hinged roof for access.

    I really don't think we would have a predator problem...never so much as seen or heard of any fox/coon/coyote... plus the fence is pretty intense.

    My idea is to get maybe a bantam or two and a good layer hen. My expectations is that they will possibly eat the slugs and grasshoppers off my lettuce and spinach? Give us a few eggs a week?

    Would a bantam and a regular chicken produce too much poo for a little yard? do the chickens absolutely need some kind of mesh enclosure? ( I would make sure the fence was inescapable at the bottom, and keep their wings clipped)

    We live in Portland, OR. Pretty mild winters. Would they need a heater in the winter? Would hay and a good little chicken-house be sufficient?

    Your guys' help would be invaluable. Just want to think this through before I got buy those cute little chicks!

    Also, anyone know where to get some unusual breeds in this area?
  2. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    Your eggzactly right...they will eat the slugs and grasshoppers off you lettuce and spinach, but hey will also eat the lettuce and spinach for you. And yes they will give you eggs for the thoughtfulness of you letting them eat the lettuce and spinach. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I would say though that you need about a 6x6 area for them at the least.

    Edited to say "WELCOME" and get ready to become addicted to chickens.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2008
  3. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Hi, welcome. I just wanted to say that chickens like to eat pretty flowers too. They ate my begonias to the main stem. They are well worth it tho. Very rewarding, but I would only get them if your husband is going to help you out with the coop cleaning, because you will be very busy shortly. I know it seems like you have nothing to do, but enjoy it while it lasts.

    Congratulations on the baby bump by the way.[​IMG]
  4. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Songster

    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    You would need to worry about raccoons in Portland. When I lived there we had raccoons in our pond on a regular basis.

    I have my first chickens, and the amount of poop is shocking. If your yard is tiny it would take a lot of clean up. That being said, you could probably make it work.
  5. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I live out in the Gorge now, but grew up in Portland, so I know the weather well. You could do what I did and just convert a plastic dog house into your bantam coop. I found a medium-large used dog house on Craig's List for $5.00, repainted it with red and grey plastic-use spray paint to look like a little barn, and housed them in there. They were very happy! I even divided the house with a plywood wall inside to create two rooms, one for food and one for laying eggs, and also put a roost in there (they always used it). You can just lift the dog house top up (they separate in the middle) to collect eggs, refill food, and clean up. It was very easy and much cheaper than an Eglu yet the same concept.

    I put the waterer outside, btw. A good idea is to have the waterer in the shade or out of the sun so you don't grow algae in the container. Your chickens will eat anything vegetable, fruit, insect, seed, or worm related. Most flowers, too. It is better to have them in a seperate area where they can still free range on grasses and insects, but not your lovely organic garden. Chicken wire is your friend!

    I would watch out for racoons, neighborhood cats, and oppossums in P-town. But if you're not seeing anything like that where you are, it might be an okay risk. A dog house coop can be enclosed in a run, which is what I did, as we have coyotes, hawks, skunks, bald eagles, stray cats, racoons, etc etc out here.

    Any other questions, feel free to email me: [email protected]

    Edited to add: When the temps dip way down, unless you have some really hardy chickens, you may need a heat lamp. If you want unusual chicken breeds, good luck. Unless you are willing to drive an hour or more out of town, or you are ordering 25 at a time from a hatchery, unusual breeds are not easy to come by around Portland. Maybe try these folks. Happy chickening! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008

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