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The mid-life crisis coop!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Kjukkjuk, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Kjukkjuk

    Kjukkjuk Out Of The Brooder

    Hello. I'm new to having chickens and just wanted to introduce myself and let you know what I've got going on. The short of it is instead of an expensive red corvette or a ridiculous endeavor with a [way too young] young lady, I opted for chickens! The entire process has taken me about a year but it's been one of the best things I've ever done.

    I built the coop and run myself with no plans and a handsaw and it's turned out better than I'd hoped. The coop is a 6' cube made from redwood with an angled roof and two triangle shaped, removable windows (always screened in with hardware cloth, but the plexiglass window and frame slide out). I used driftwood for the roosting bars (two of them) and there's two nesting boxes inside the coop. I made it so one whole side of the coop can open up for total access and there's a guillotine-styled smaller door on that same side for the chickens.

    The coop is in a completely enclosed run. I used driftwood posts for the run which is 10'h x 10'w x 30'l. I used chicken wire to enclose the run top to bottom and dug a 3' trench all around the outside edge and reinforced that with hardware cloth, rocks and driftwood. I live along the coast in northern California and we've got all kinds of predators skulking and soaring around but so far no problems at all.

    The soil here is horrible and mostly sand, but I've been somewhat successful at growing a cover crop of pea, alfalfa, rye, vetch, and bean. I plan to just keep tilling that back into the ground until I got some sort of growing medium to sustain itself and allow them to be able to forage and free range a bit out of the run in the future.

    2 weeks ago I got four pullets - Barred Rock, Easter Egger, SL Wyandotte, and a White Silkie. I'm scheduled to get four more in about six weeks - two Isbar, a French Black Copper Maran, and a Cream Legbar.

    Now each morning I go outside and let them out, fresh feed (starter/growing crumbles from H&B - they wouldn't eat the Modesto Mills for some reason) and water them (I've got both an open waterer and a hanging bucket with nipples), open the coop up and clean it out, then hang out with them while I drink my tea. I leave the coop open most days to let the sunshine in and about mid-day go out and treat them with a bit of cantaloupe or something (they love cantaloupe garnished with a little scratch and dried meal worms - eat that chef!).

    I have big, closed barrel where I put the poop to let it age, and that's right next to an existing compost heap. I also have a barley sprouting system set up out back which gives them a tray of greens to peck at all day (I think when they are full grown they will eat more of it, including the tougher root mass).

    Anyway, this site has been very helpful along the way and I wanted to join and be part of it. Thanks to all of you who have made this site what it is.
     
  2. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Great intro and I'm glad you chose chickens over a Corvette (although, that IS a nice car)!

    It sounds like you've done a lot of homework and worked really hard getting everything lined up to properly take care of your new flock. What have you named your chickens? If you'd like to share photos, it would be fun to see them.

    Make yourself at home, it's nice to have you here!

    (And maybe you can get that Corvette next year...unless chicken math gets you)
     
  3. CrazyChickLady7

    CrazyChickLady7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haha you have enough room for chicken math [​IMG]
     
  4. pepperpellets

    pepperpellets Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you have any photos?
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Glad you joined the Backyard chickens flock, hope y[​IMG]ou enjoy it as much as we do.
     
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  7. Kjukkjuk

    Kjukkjuk Out Of The Brooder

    :) thanks. I finally did put some pictures up on another thread (post?) but am not sure how to link it or if that's even necessary. things have been going well, the silkie turned out to be a rooster and once of the newbies came with coccidiosis :( which was no fun... and now one of my Isbars has a weird leg thing going on with her right leg... limping around, no injury seen, not egg bound, no bumblefoot etc, took her to the vet and he said most likely a soft tissue injury that would just take time to heal ... sigh ... time will tell... gearing up to receive 3 new chicks in spring/summer and can't wait to be able to plant again and open up their run area a bit more (enclosed with burlap for wind protection). good times!
     

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