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Posted: 2/14/2017 12:44:24 PM EDT
We are starting to live self-sufficiently. We collect our rain water, filter it and use it for the house. We grow all our own veggies, herbs and hops. Now, we are going to raise rabbits and chickens. I needs some good plans or pictures for rabbit hutches. We are going to do New Zeeland rabbits with just a doe and buck and let them breed. I know more about chickens because I grew up with our own chickens, but I could still use some good coop ideas. We will start out with 4 laying hens
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 1:03:47 PM EDT
[#1]
I bought one of those small already made coops, made a platform for it, raised it up 3' in air.
The chickens like walking up the plank to get in and when it rains, they like going under the platform.
I also feed them the freeze dried worms you can buy and also cherry tomatoes.
Chickens are fun and the fresh eggs are great!
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 1:28:03 PM EDT
[#2]
Sounds like you have a good system
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 2:39:16 PM EDT
[#3]
Check out backyardchickens for coop ideas.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 2:40:24 PM EDT
[#4]
Rabbits are a pain in the ass......


we have two,  we just turned them loose in the yard and let them run free.   poop EVERYWHERE
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 2:53:42 PM EDT
[#5]
We use regular box shaped wire cages for the rabbits with wooden boxes, that can be taken out, for them to nest in.
For chickens, the chicken tractor is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned. Google "chicken tractor" images. You'll see all kinds of tractors. The tractors that aren't pretty are the ones that work. This is the guy who pioneered them, Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms.  Check THIS page for a close up look at my version middle of page on right.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:09:56 PM EDT
[#6]
For the rabbits, I was thinking about doing the wood box with wire mesh for the front and back and have the front be able to swing down. The problem we have is our backyard is mainly gravel, so we are trying to keep them off the ground to contain the poo.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:22:03 PM EDT
[#7]
If you are doing it for self sufficiency get 12 hens.  Chickens do much better as a larger flock.  You can then sell/trade the surplus eggs (more self sufficiency - chickens that pay for themselves).

ETA - while you are at it, get some bees.  That is the next logical progression.  I keep 4-5 hives and it is enough to not only keep us supplied with honey, but my kids are able to sell it and cover all of their activity costs for school.  We also collect the beeswax and use it to make emergency candles, lip balm, and other home products.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:23:30 PM EDT
[#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
If you are doing it for self sufficiency get 12 hens.  Chickens do much better as a larger flock.  You can then sell/trade the surplus eggs (more self sufficiency - chickens that pay for themselves).
View Quote


I will eventually. I am just starting now.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:26:28 PM EDT
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I will eventually. I am just starting now.
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Get six then.  You are likely to lose one or two to predation or natural causes.  Chickens are cheap - only $1.99 a bird - and very easy to take care of.  Just feed/water them and clean out their coop twice a year.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:26:30 PM EDT
[#10]
What are you going to feed these hens and rabbits?
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:28:17 PM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
What are you going to feed these hens and rabbits?
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Scraps and stuff from the garden
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:32:29 PM EDT
[#12]
Are you familiar with Storey's Guides?
Real good stuff in there.
I think they have several pages of plans.  
You said you grew up with this, but to anyone else who's interested but inexperienced, don't forget to allow for shade and ventillation when you cover the cages.
We're using hog panel and tarp hoop houses, because air didn't move through the barns very well.
Very cost effective, and you can just move them like a giant chicken tractor when you want to improve another patch of dirt.
Hope that helps
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 4:35:57 PM EDT
[#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Are you familiar with Storey's Guides?
Real good stuff in there.
I think they have several pages of plans.  
You said you grew up with this, but to anyone else who's interested but inexperienced, don't forget to allow for shade and ventillation when you cover the cages.
We're using hog panel and tarp hoop houses, because air didn't move through the barns very well.
Very cost effective, and you can just move them like a giant chicken tractor when you want to improve another patch of dirt.
Hope that helps
View Quote


It does. I did grow up with raising animals, but it has been 20 years since I have done it and you guys know much more about it than I do.
Link Posted: 2/14/2017 5:27:12 PM EDT
[#14]
I saw pictures of moveable fencing with coop to move chickens from place to place on lawn.
Same could be done for rabbits I suppose.
Another guy had cages in the shaded side of garage so the rabbit droppings underneath could be mixed into compost.
Japanese millet is 13-14 percent protein on the stem dried into hay.  
My dad had a hayfield of mostly alfalfa that got real thin on alfalfa so he had fertilizer sprayed with the millet seed in it.
It even came back the next year due to good snow cover insulation.  By the next year alfalfa filled in.
Depending on your groundwater this could work for you.
Remember in AZ water attracts insects and insects get eaten by birds.
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