What have I done?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by crackedup, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. crackedup

    crackedup New Egg

    Mar 17, 2012
    So, in what will later be described as a moment of weakness, I've convinced my husband that we should raise chickens for eggs. I have secretly had this idea for several years, but always found reasons not to persue it. Spring always gives birth to a "can do" attitude for me, and we are going to give it a try! We live on about 2 acres in the country and are considering "re-purposing" our children's old cedar playhouse (they are 15 and 13 now, I don't think they will miss it!). My concerns are breed selection for our climate (we live in Iowa) and whether to make our coop stationary or portable (pros vs. cons). And this will probably be the most stupid question ever...but if you allow your chickens to "free range", how do you keep them on your property? Please forgive me...I am a newbie! I'm quite sure I will have more questions....
  2. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX

    My coop is immobile, but that's because it's too big...I need all the space for my chicken addiction, haha but seriously, it all depends on how many birds you have. If you only want a few for personal egg production and want to keep them penned then a portable coop with run would be ideal. If you want more birds or plan on free ranging I would suggest an immobile coop and no run. I personally free range, but my property is fenced with a 6 ft high wooden privacy fence, so it keeps them within the confines of my property (most of the time, if any of them do fly over and get out they always make their way back over the fence on their own)
  3. crackedup

    crackedup New Egg

    Mar 17, 2012
    Thanks for replying! Will have to consider our flock before we decide to make it mobile or not. Thanks.
  4. Arcnadius

    Arcnadius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Western WI
    Crackedup, there are no stupid questions. You keep right on asking us anything you need to know.

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  5. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    One year ago I did exactly what you are thinking. Having never raised chickens before I walked into the TSC and picked out 6 one day old pullets. When they are young like that, they are quite easy and it gave me time to find a suitable plan for the coop and run. The best source for plans and ideas for that is right here on this site. Look at the COOPS section on the tool bar and it will give you more ideas then you can want. I opted for a raised coop inside a completely fenced and roof run. The problem you will find is not keeping the chickens on your property but keeping them from being eaten by predators. I think that you will find that everyone on this site who lets their chicks free range have accepted the fact that they could lose a hen once in a while. What is most important is that they are locked up and safe at night as the night time is when most predators roam. I do let my chickens out once in a while for an hour or two but only under close supervision. They not only give me eggs, but we really like them and would not want to lose any of them. Please come on often to keep us informed of your progress and to let us know what nother questions you have...and you will have lots of questions but the good part is that all of the answers are here.

    As for what breeds to get, go to the tool bar and click on breeds and you will find that the program can select breeds not only based on climate but many other issues also.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  6. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    It really depends on how many you want to raise. It's easy to overdo it so I'd think carefully about how many eggs you want and if you'll be selling/giving any to neighbors and friends. I'm not a huge fan of portable coops only because they tend to be low to the ground so you have to stoop to do anything with them. You could do an all in one coop like the The Garden Coop, http://www.thegardencoop.com , or you could do a free standing coop that is surrounded by a fenced in enclosure. Look through the coop pages on this website for tons of ideas.

    The most important thing however is to just bite the bullet and start. You won't regret it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by