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Posted: 2/15/2016 8:59:46 PM EDT
So in July the wife and I moved out to the country ( her grandparents old house) Its pretty small, but ours.
Since we have been up here she has always brought up the idea of chickens. so the other day we decided to jump in 100% on raising some chickens for eggs.we are planning on 4-8 hens Does anyone have advise to give new chicken farmers?

For the coop we are planning a 4x8 building 2ft off the ground. then a 4x12 or 8x8 or something similar for a run added on the side. I am currently building the coop in the basement then I will disassemble carry up and outside then assemble once the snow is off the ground. I just figure if I plan now I will be ready when the snow is gone and we can start our adventure
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 9:14:45 PM EDT
[#1]
chicken tractors are awesome and will cut you feed bill down 90%  
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 9:30:16 PM EDT
[#2]
Just be sure not to build coop too close to your house .
I have 2 black and 2 red sexlinks. They about 2 years old now and put out a steady 4 eggs daily.
For water I have a goat trough purchased at tractor supply. It's mounted on the outside the coop so it stays clean and is easy to add water to.

Oh, and them boogers will eat anything and I mean anything. I had one put down a long piece of caulk when I was replacing windows.
I fed one a 12" garden snake, and boiled crawfish shells will turn their yokes bright red.
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 9:35:04 PM EDT
[#3]
Well I have had chickens for about six years now.

My advice is to think as a predator and how they can get to chickens at night. Put a sturdy roof on the run and bury your wire under the dirt about two feet out from the base of the run. Use welded wire that has half to quarter inch size openings. This will keep raccoons and such from getting into the run and coop.

Start a compost pile because you will have a lot to process for your garden. Pine chips for the coop and smaller chips for the laying boxes. Invest in an automatic feeder. This a feeder that the chicks step on a platform and the feeder door opens so the chicks can eat. Closes when they are not feeding.

As for medical, keep on hand apple cider vinager. 4 pr 5 ounces to a gallon of water will help with most illnesses. Powdered antibiotics can help with more serious illness. Maybe fix a sand box for the birds to take a bath in.

I currently raise red sexlinks. Females are red and roosters are yellow so no yellow birds in the city makes for happy neighbors. If you start at the small chick phase, get a large box a heat lamp and small waterer and feed cup. Handle the chicks as much as possible to get them use to you. I did this with some buff orpingtons. Had one chicken ride on my shoulder like an odd parrot when I worked out side. The others followed me like puppies. Made handling them easy.

Join your local chicken club or online forum for more useful information.

Have fun and collect eggs.

Btw, most chickens start laying at 9 months and live 4 to maybe 5 years. If you get soft egg shell then add calcium to their diet such as cottage cheese, sour cream or oyster shell. Feed green table scraps but no tomatoes(poisonous to chicks). Feed kale for darker yellow egg yokes. Get scratch and meet worms as a treat.
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 9:45:30 PM EDT
[#4]
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Quoted:
chicken tractors are awesome and will cut you feed bill down 90%  
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
chicken tractors are awesome and will cut you feed bill down 90%  

I will have to look into these currently we are building a stationary coop.


Quoted:
Just be sure not to build coop too close to your house .
I have 2 black and 2 red sexlinks. They about 2 years old now and put out a steady 4 eggs daily.
For water I have a goat trough purchased at tractor supply. It's mounted on the outside the coop so it stays clean and is easy to add water to.

Oh, and them boogers will eat anything and I mean anything. I had one put down a long piece of caulk when I was replacing windows.
I fed one a 12" garden snake, and boiled crawfish shells will turn their yokes bright red.


Thats funny, I guess I will have to start giving my dog less scraps and some will go to the chicks.
In your opinion how close is "too close" to the house, we really want to put it on the north side of the house but thats closer to the road. its a little more windy but its closer to the well for water.



Quoted:
Well I have had chickens for about six years now.

My advice is to think as a predator and how they can get to chickens at night. Put a sturdy roof on the run and bury your wire under the dirt about two feet out from the base of the run. Use welded wire that has half to quarter inch size openings. This will keep raccoons and such from getting into the run and coop.

Start a compost pile because you will have a lot to process for your garden. Pine chips for the coop and smaller chips for the laying boxes. Invest in an automatic feeder. This a feeder that the chicks step on a platform and the feeder door opens so the chicks can eat. Closes when they are not feeding.

As for medical, keep on hand apple cider vinager. 4 pr 5 ounces to a gallon of water will help with most illnesses. Powdered antibiotics can help with more serious illness. Maybe fix a sand box for the birds to take a bath in.

I currently raise red sexlinks. Females are red and roosters are yellow so no yellow birds in the city makes for happy neighbors. If you start at the small chick phase, get a large box a heat lamp and small waterer and feed cup. Handle the chicks as much as possible to get them use to you. I did this with some buff orpingtons. Had one chicken ride on my shoulder like an odd parrot when I worked out side. The others followed me like puppies. Made handling them easy.

Join your local chicken club or online forum for more useful information.

Have fun and collect eggs.

Btw, most chickens start laying at 9 months and live 4 to maybe 5 years. If you get soft egg shell then add calcium to their diet such as cottage cheese, sour cream or oyster shell. Feed green table scraps but no tomatoes(poisonous to chicks). Feed kale for darker yellow egg yokes. Get scratch and meet worms as a treat.



I plan on building an auto water feeder. so I will look into something similar for the feed.

I am not in the city so I dont have to worry about any cranky neighbors

the compost pile is a good idea that didnt cross my mind. I know I would like to start a garden soon so that would be great.
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 9:55:10 PM EDT
[#5]
We are going through our 6 hens eating their eggs.  I would look into incorporating an egg collecting nesting box while you are in the construction phase.  Just a little angle to the base of it so the eggs roll into a tray for collection.  We live in Vt and do not use a heat lamp so I would pass on that.  Rats have been a huge drain on the feed we go through, so the Chickateria feeder mentioned is a good idea.
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 9:56:44 PM EDT
[#6]
Yea I started with a stationary coup but tried a tractor and haven't looked back.   I move it about once a week.
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 10:11:46 PM EDT
[#7]
For a waterer that you don't have to nursmaid each day, horizontal water nipples are the way to go.


I have 15 birds, they drink in a week 4 gallons of water with some cider vinegar.  I put gamma lids on the buckets and a rubber stopper in the top for an aquarium heater.  This winter even when it was sub zero, my birds had 40 degree water.








If you want to do a bulk feeder, for the price of a piece of clear plexi and some pvc elbows you can make something like this.  It will hold 50# of layer pellets, I made it out of scrap lumber and plywood I had around.






ETA  For the Arfcom of the chicken world, BYC is the best out there. http://www.backyardchickens.com/





 
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 10:22:41 PM EDT
[#8]
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Quoted:
chicken tractors are awesome and will cut you feed bill down 90%  
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This. Closer to 30% IMO.
In 7-8 years of raising 5-6 tractor fulls of layers and raising broilers in tractors, we've had one predator get in. Coons will grab 'em and pull most of the bird through the wire though.
There is a learning curve to building them.
I weld 1/2" EMT and use hardware cloth on the sides.
Birds raised properly in tractors are superior to coop raised or free range birds.
I agree with the above post about nipple waterers. We used bell waterers for years and are now switching over to hanging buckets with nipple on the bottom. They won't all quit working at once like a single source waterer.
Here's a pic of one type we use:
Link Posted: 2/15/2016 10:28:39 PM EDT
[#9]
I used to let my Chickens free range during the day and locked them in their coup at night. Didn't have to feed them at all.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 12:38:30 AM EDT
[#10]
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 1:13:28 AM EDT
[#11]
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Quoted:
We are going through our 6 hens eating their eggs.  I would look into incorporating an egg collecting nesting box while you are in the construction phase.  Just a little angle to the base of it so the eggs roll into a tray for collection.  We live in Vt and do not use a heat lamp so I would pass on that.  Rats have been a huge drain on the feed we go through, so the Chickateria feeder mentioned is a good idea.
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To get your hens to quit eating the eggs, just collect the eggs first thing in the morning and put golf balls in there place. Chickens will get over the problem real fast.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 1:30:54 AM EDT
[#12]
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 2:40:13 AM EDT
[#13]
When we bought chicks last year we ended up with a rooster.  We were advised to keep him, up to the point that you need to defend yourself from him with a broom, and I will pass that advice along.  He seemed to protect the hens.  We bought a variety of breeds and hawks, maybe a hawk, picked off the white ones.  My kids have really enjoyed having chickens.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 3:24:14 AM EDT
[#14]
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Quoted:


This. Closer to 30% IMO.
In 7-8 years of raising 5-6 tractor fulls of layers and raising broilers in tractors, we've had one predator get in. Coons will grab 'em and pull most of the bird through the wire though.
There is a learning curve to building them.
I weld 1/2" EMT and use hardware cloth on the sides.
Birds raised properly in tractors are superior to coop raised or free range birds.
I agree with the above post about nipple waterers. We used bell waterers for years and are now switching over to hanging buckets with nipple on the bottom. They won't all quit working at once like a single source waterer.
Here's a pic of one type we use:
http://i59.tinypic.com/1zfjwx0.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
chicken tractors are awesome and will cut you feed bill down 90%  


This. Closer to 30% IMO.
In 7-8 years of raising 5-6 tractor fulls of layers and raising broilers in tractors, we've had one predator get in. Coons will grab 'em and pull most of the bird through the wire though.
There is a learning curve to building them.
I weld 1/2" EMT and use hardware cloth on the sides.
Birds raised properly in tractors are superior to coop raised or free range birds.
I agree with the above post about nipple waterers. We used bell waterers for years and are now switching over to hanging buckets with nipple on the bottom. They won't all quit working at once like a single source waterer.
Here's a pic of one type we use:
http://i59.tinypic.com/1zfjwx0.jpg

Well no wonder, I had 4 birds in one little bigger then that.  Mine had plenty on forage.    I always kept the feeder full but they just preferred the grass and bugs.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 7:33:32 AM EDT
[#15]
What do most of you like to keep for birds? I'm trying to find something that will be a good layer, put up with Iowa winters and summers. I think we will mainly use for egg production and I don't think the wife will let us eat them when they stop producing
Also can you have a too large window in the coop ?  I have an old house window I was planning on re using
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 9:00:04 AM EDT
[#16]
Quoted:
So in July the wife and I moved out to the country ( her grandparents old house) Its pretty small, but ours.
Since we have been up here she has always brought up the idea of chickens. so the other day we decided to jump in 100% on raising some chickens for eggs.we are planning on 4-8 hens Does anyone have advise to give new chicken farmers?

For the coop we are planning a 4x8 building 2ft off the ground. then a 4x12 or 8x8 or something similar for a run added on the side. I am currently building the coop in the basement then I will disassemble carry up and outside then assemble once the snow is off the ground. I just figure if I plan now I will be ready when the snow is gone and we can start our adventure
View Quote


When it comes to feeders, or water's.....(1) get the metal ones, and (2) get the next biggest size up vs. what you really think you need.    It's nice to fill them up ever week vs. every day.

All of the plastic water's and feeders we bought when we started out ended up cracking and breaking over the summer/winter and we ended up replacing them all with the metal ones.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 10:35:13 AM EDT
[#17]

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Quoted:


What do most of you like to keep for birds? I'm trying to find something that will be a good layer, put up with Iowa winters and summers. I think we will mainly use for egg production and I don't think the wife will let us eat them when they stop producing

Also can you have a too large window in the coop ?  I have an old house window I was planning on re using
View Quote
I really enjoy my barred rocks.

 



They are very quiet, content, curious, easy going birds. Good layers, give me usually right on 1 egg/day per bird in summer production.




You cannot have too large of a window. I use a salvaged double hung window in my coop. It is nearly floor to ceiling!




Make sure you have PLENTY of ventilation. Vents both high and low to get natural circulation.




Make sure you keep your coop clean. It keeps the smell a non-issue and keeps disease down.




Make sure you use water nipples of some configuration. If you don't,  they will shit in their water. Eliminated with water nipples. I have a suspended 5 gallon bucket with a few nipples in the bottom and a sinking heater ring for winter. Always fresh water available.




If they don't have plenty of food, or are worried about something else, egg production will suffer. Sometimes when we have a really humid day followed by quick drops below freezing, or just stupid humid days in the summer, the feed (we buy local organic feed, so its a farm ground meal) can bind up, not flow down the feeder. If they run out of available feed during the day, I usually see about 50% normal egg production the next day. Your chickens/breed may vary with this, I've never had a flock so fickle before.




Always make sure your chickens have an area that is well shaded available that is open (as in NOT the coop, unless you have a screen door and window wide open). They need an area to escape the heat of the day in summer.




If you find your eggs start to get shitty (some poop on them NOT from bedding, coming out kind of shitty), that is a sign of worms. Put some diatomacious earth (food grade) in their feed. I sprinkle about 1/3 cup about half way in their feeder (feeds them about 5 days) when I notice this problem. Some do it as a preventative maintenance, especially during summer. Takes care of dirty eggs. That all said, you will always have the odd dirty egg, don't freak out. Just wash it off.




While I mention washing your eggs, don't wash your eggs. At least the clean eggs. There is no need. Wash them just before use. There is a natural film on the eggs that keeps bacteria OUT. If you remove this film, bacteria is free to go in the egg. Take clean eggs out of the coop, put them directly in the fridge. If we have a dirty egg, that one gets washed and put in a separate carton to be used ASAP.




No, you don't NEED to refrigerate your eggs. Un-washed, they are fine for weeks on the counter. Yup, weeks. That said, salmonella (which is a normal gut bacteria for chickens, which is why chicken is always "contaminated" with it. Always consider chicken products to be "contaminated" with salmonella) is not active below 40 degrees F. That is why you refrigerate eggs. Its slightly more complicated than that, but that is the basics of it.




How to tell good eggs from bad: Get a cup or pot or bowl deep enough that the egg could stand vertically and still have an inch or so of water above it. Fill said container with water. Take egg and put in water. If egg sits at bottom horizontally, it is nice and fresh. If it stands vertically, but still touches bottom, it is good but use it right away. If it floats, bad egg. Note that once you float test your eggs, you have removed that protective film. They MUST be washed and refrigerated if not used right away.




All I've got right now.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 8:18:31 PM EDT
[#18]
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Quoted:


To get your hens to quit eating the eggs, just collect the eggs first thing in the morning and put golf balls in there place. Chickens will get over the problem real fast.
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Quoted:
We are going through our 6 hens eating their eggs.  I would look into incorporating an egg collecting nesting box while you are in the construction phase.  Just a little angle to the base of it so the eggs roll into a tray for collection.  We live in Vt and do not use a heat lamp so I would pass on that.  Rats have been a huge drain on the feed we go through, so the Chickateria feeder mentioned is a good idea.


To get your hens to quit eating the eggs, just collect the eggs first thing in the morning and put golf balls in there place. Chickens will get over the problem real fast.



We had a soft egg and my finger went straight through it,  My hands were full of the other eggs and 2 hens hit the broken eggs faster than I could think.  We tried the mustard filled eggs and they ALL went for them until they got a taste of the mustard.  The problem is they lay an egg, stand up and eat it.  There is no collecting them soon enough.  We cut the lights, slowing the production for the rest of winter and will go from there.  

Also get them used to treats, it they free range when you're home it makes it easier to corral them up if you wanna leave.  A coffee can with the some nuts and bolts in it works to get their attention, then throw some scratch feed out for them.
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 8:27:25 PM EDT
[#19]
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 8:37:43 PM EDT
[#20]
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No, if your wife is anything like me, you won't be eating those birds.  

Besides, tame birds you can walk over and pick up are convenient to manage, and to get that way, you have to make pets out of them from day 1.  It's hard to eat pets.  Beyond that, old chickens are tough. If you're going to raise meat birds, raise meat birds. If you're going to have a happy little henhouse,  plan for it.

So...plan enough space for the chicken retirement village while still having enough younguns to lay for your family.

Barred rocks (or what the old folks called "domineckers" though I think that's a specific something or other according to those who know more than I know) have always been awesome for us.  

Buff Orpingtons are nice and gentle

Rhode Island Reds--not so gentle, but good layers.

Okay here is Kitties two cents about roosters..

Yes, roosters will indeed defend the flock.  Most folks here have heard my stories too many times about the white leghorn rooster who fought and killed a bobcat and protected the hens (he lost his whole face, so had to be put down--it was a very, very sad day).

A rooster who fights you will also fight a  real threat.  Remember that when you get pissed at him.

The beauty of contained birds is that you don't have to worry about walking out your back door without a stick to fend off the rooster.

Roosters are individuals. There is no breed guaranteed to give you a gentle rooster (though some are more inherently aggressive than others).  So if you don't ever want to have to deal with a rooster coming after you or yours, don't get a rooster.

Oh and ETA:

Do not believe anybody who tells you that you can have a garden, flower beds, and free ranging chickens.

There are three ways to defoliate an area.  One is to use a chemical. The second is to fence it and put pigs in it.  The third is to fence it and put chickens in it.  In truth, the chickens are just about faster than the pigs.  So...you like those tasty, tender veggies?  So do the chickens.  And they like the plants that grow those fruits.  Yes, they can see color, and they like tomatoes.  They like them green too, and will peck holes in all of them.  they won't eat just one.

They'll defoliate your wife's flowers and take dust baths in the flower beds just before they move to the vegetable garden.  Essentially, they'll destroy your landscaping.

Either decide that's okay, or fence your birds.

Chickens can fly.  Not great, but they can.

Unless it has a top, six feet is the height your fence needs to be.  Not four.  Six.  Five will do.  Mine's five right now.  But I don't keep many and don't give them a reason to want out.  (not that they need a reason.  They're like cows.  Grass is greener over there and all that rot.)

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What do most of you like to keep for birds? I'm trying to find something that will be a good layer, put up with Iowa winters and summers. I think we will mainly use for egg production and I don't think the wife will let us eat them when they stop producing
Also can you have a too large window in the coop ?  I have an old house window I was planning on re using



No, if your wife is anything like me, you won't be eating those birds.  

Besides, tame birds you can walk over and pick up are convenient to manage, and to get that way, you have to make pets out of them from day 1.  It's hard to eat pets.  Beyond that, old chickens are tough. If you're going to raise meat birds, raise meat birds. If you're going to have a happy little henhouse,  plan for it.

So...plan enough space for the chicken retirement village while still having enough younguns to lay for your family.

Barred rocks (or what the old folks called "domineckers" though I think that's a specific something or other according to those who know more than I know) have always been awesome for us.  

Buff Orpingtons are nice and gentle

Rhode Island Reds--not so gentle, but good layers.

Okay here is Kitties two cents about roosters..

Yes, roosters will indeed defend the flock.  Most folks here have heard my stories too many times about the white leghorn rooster who fought and killed a bobcat and protected the hens (he lost his whole face, so had to be put down--it was a very, very sad day).

A rooster who fights you will also fight a  real threat.  Remember that when you get pissed at him.

The beauty of contained birds is that you don't have to worry about walking out your back door without a stick to fend off the rooster.

Roosters are individuals. There is no breed guaranteed to give you a gentle rooster (though some are more inherently aggressive than others).  So if you don't ever want to have to deal with a rooster coming after you or yours, don't get a rooster.

Oh and ETA:

Do not believe anybody who tells you that you can have a garden, flower beds, and free ranging chickens.

There are three ways to defoliate an area.  One is to use a chemical. The second is to fence it and put pigs in it.  The third is to fence it and put chickens in it.  In truth, the chickens are just about faster than the pigs.  So...you like those tasty, tender veggies?  So do the chickens.  And they like the plants that grow those fruits.  Yes, they can see color, and they like tomatoes.  They like them green too, and will peck holes in all of them.  they won't eat just one.

They'll defoliate your wife's flowers and take dust baths in the flower beds just before they move to the vegetable garden.  Essentially, they'll destroy your landscaping.

Either decide that's okay, or fence your birds.

Chickens can fly.  Not great, but they can.

Unless it has a top, six feet is the height your fence needs to be.  Not four.  Six.  Five will do.  Mine's five right now.  But I don't keep many and don't give them a reason to want out.  (not that they need a reason.  They're like cows.  Grass is greener over there and all that rot.)



Thank You very much for the advise!!!

as well as everyone else! Let me see if I can figure a way to get pictures from cell phone up to here and I will post updates on my coop build



Tonight I got all 4 walls assembled I used carsiding which was all left over from another project I glued and nailed 2x4 into the ends (vertically) making a box, once the glue is dry I will unscrew and cut the angle for the roof. like I said I am making this entire thing so I can assemble in my basement then unscrew then carry threw the house and outside when the weather gets nice
Link Posted: 2/16/2016 9:02:03 PM EDT
[#21]
I live about 45 mins west of Des Moines on an acreage and have raised chickens and turkeys, along with Boer goats the last 8 years. We currently have around 50 hens and rotate them out every 3 years for a new stock due to egg production slowing down. We have road island reds, buff orpingtons and barred rocks. Any specific questions or anything feel free to send me a pm
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 1:06:31 PM EDT
[#22]
I let mine roam free, although they come home each night to a really nice coop.  The coop has a door with a light sensor that automatically raises when the sun comes up and automatically lowers when the sun goes down.
Link Posted: 2/17/2016 10:04:34 PM EDT
[#23]
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Quoted:
I let mine roam free, although they come home each night to a really nice coop.  The coop has a door with a light sensor that automatically raises when the sun comes up and automatically lowers when the sun goes down.
View Quote

That is way cool I am starting with a manual door for now maybe down the road I will upgrade if everything goes well tonight I got the chicken door cut 12x12 and I also cut opening for window worst part is I needed my table saw but being I don't have a garage my table saw has become my bench.
Right now all glue is drying and back at it tomorrow
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 9:31:32 PM EDT
[#24]
Quick question, I am getting along on the building of the coop. how is everyone attaching the nesting box to the side? do you have them removable ?

also what about roof options? I think I want to use steel. I have shingles left over from another project that I should use up but they are black and I think they will draw heat. I think I am going to use white tin. and I want to paint the rest of it red with white trim.
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 10:40:30 PM EDT
[#25]
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 11:00:30 PM EDT
[#26]
I have a door I made roughly 27" wide when you open it up you can pull the bedding out and pull it right into the wheel barrel I made the door with a barn look to it
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 11:21:25 PM EDT
[#27]
Link Posted: 2/18/2016 11:23:13 PM EDT
[#28]
I will get pictures soon. I have the whole thing in pieces and apart now. I just have to have nesting box and roof then its time for paint
Link Posted: 2/27/2016 12:39:02 PM EDT
[#29]
Set up a watering system, and figure out how to keep it from freezing.. Feeding and watering your birds daily, (especially in the freezing temps assuming you have this problem) gets old, fast.. Build your coop as small and airtight as you can, I have 8 hens, and a roosters in a coop half the size you plan on building, they all huddle up and stay warm at night, but during the day they hardly hang out inside other than to drop some eggs... Elevating your coops is a great idea, that's the plan I went with, gathering eggs is easier, and critters have a harder time getting in.. Heres a pic of my coop before I added the watering system ( I just made a water tower that gravity feeds a pipe with chicken nipples in it) The run is just PVC, the whole thing is quite mobile. The birds free range 80% of the time but scoot inside the run when theres hawks around,
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 10:39:51 AM EDT
[#30]
Thanks for the picture I like the arch run you have made. I still need to plan a way to keep the water from freezing I bought some poultry nipples and I plan on making a large water system so I would not have to babysit the water system if I wanted to leave for a weekend or longer. I will plan on making something similar for the feeder.
My coop still coming along all I have left to do is make my nesting box and paint. I will finish the roof when I have it put in place outside. I have it made so I can install 4x4 post in the ground and then set a 4x8 set of plywood on top I will have to add some reinforcements  then I can set the coop right on top of it then lay a sheet of plywood for the roof and put down the tin I got.
then once it is in place I will plan on building my run attached to the coop I may make the run smaller than I initially planned because from what I am seeing everyone has a smaller coop and run with 5-6 birds compared to my giant structure. once we get some consistent nice days here in Iowa I will be bringing the coop outside and finish it up. along with ordering my birds
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 1:03:47 PM EDT
[#31]


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Thanks for the picture I like the arch run you have made. I still need to plan a way to keep the water from freezing I bought some poultry nipples and I plan on making a large water system so I would not have to babysit the water system if I wanted to leave for a weekend or longer. I will plan on making something similar for the feeder.


My coop still coming along all I have left to do is make my nesting box and paint. I will finish the roof when I have it put in place outside. I have it made so I can install 4x4 post in the ground and then set a 4x8 set of plywood on top I will have to add some reinforcements  then I can set the coop right on top of it then lay a sheet of plywood for the roof and put down the tin I got.


then once it is in place I will plan on building my run attached to the coop I may make the run smaller than I initially planned because from what I am seeing everyone has a smaller coop and run with 5-6 birds compared to my giant structure. once we get some consistent nice days here in Iowa I will be bringing the coop outside and finish it up. along with ordering my birds
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I forget how many chickens you plan on, but I keep water wet down to -20 no problem with a submersible bucket heater and chicken nipples in the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket. My bucket is inside the coop, so out of the wind but not heated.


 



ETA: Just re-read you want 4-8 hens. No issue with a single 5 gallon bucket and 2-4 water nipples.
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 2:05:17 PM EDT
[#32]
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 5:35:38 PM EDT
[#33]
I think it may be pvc with zip ties
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 6:05:35 PM EDT
[#34]
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 7:18:20 PM EDT
[#35]
I will have to grab a pic of our PVC feeders when I get a chance.  They work really well and are nothing more then a straight bit of PVC, and some recycled windshield washer fluid jugs.

Our coop is also simple construction, 16'X7' all 2x4 construction, tin roof, and some tongue and groove siding...  Oh and lots of chicken wire.

-Other posters are correct, if you let your chickens roam free, your pretty much unleashing miniature self propelled rototillers loose on your land

They are fun and rewarding.  If you get a rooster don't let him forget who the boss is.    I like the idea of having one, adds a little extra protection for my free rangers.
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 7:32:02 PM EDT
[#36]
here are some pictures of the coop as of now. excuse the mess I have about 8 projects going on in the basement right now like I said I have no garage so everything is done down there.
it seems that every memory card in my house has walked off so excuse the cell phone pictures and the shitty img hosting threw photobucket. I do not know any faster ways to go from cell phone to net to the webs!
Best part with this entire project so far is about 85% is reused only cost I have as of right now is. hardware. and tin for the roof. I will need to buy some plywood for roof and some for floor then I am set. I already have 1 4x4 I can use but I need to get anchors to mount in the ground somehow




Link Posted: 2/28/2016 8:12:30 PM EDT
[#37]
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 8:29:58 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


That looks fantastic!

Very sturdy.  You must have big doors in your basement!
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
here are some pictures of the coop as of now. excuse the mess I have about 8 projects going on in the basement right now like I said I have no garage so everything is done down there.
it seems that every memory card in my house has walked off so excuse the cell phone pictures and the shitty img hosting threw photobucket. I do not know any faster ways to go from cell phone to net to the webs!
Best part with this entire project so far is about 85% is reused only cost I have as of right now is. hardware. and tin for the roof. I will need to buy some plywood for roof and some for floor then I am set. I already have 1 4x4 I can use but I need to get anchors to mount in the ground somehow

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/943988_10206795812391910_2568586429812318088_n_zpsyvmjjipo.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12806107_10206795812791920_5794647453380199200_n_zpsibd9lhmt.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12718047_10206795812631916_3841790934893957320_n_zpsnuall1cu.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12799021_10206795812311908_6370901694843635883_n_zpsqlxpvxvw.jpg


That looks fantastic!

Very sturdy.  You must have big doors in your basement!



Nope like I said everything is very modular so I can remove it and pull up each side then pull up the roof and screw back togeather outside
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 11:30:18 PM EDT
[#39]
Thank you for this thread! We plan on diving in to this world soon as were looking to buy a few acres and new to us home.  This thread has been very helpful.

Everyone should post their coops...not to hijack..
Link Posted: 2/28/2016 11:31:37 PM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Set up a watering system, and figure out how to keep it from freezing.. Feeding and watering your birds daily, (especially in the freezing temps assuming you have this problem) gets old, fast.. Build your coop as small and airtight as you can, I have 8 hens, and a roosters in a coop half the size you plan on building, they all huddle up and stay warm at night, but during the day they hardly hang out inside other than to drop some eggs... Elevating your coops is a great idea, that's the plan I went with, gathering eggs is easier, and critters have a harder time getting in.. Heres a pic of my coop before I added the watering system ( I just made a water tower that gravity feeds a pipe with chicken nipples in it) The run is just PVC, the whole thing is quite mobile. The birds free range 80% of the time but scoot inside the run when theres hawks around,
http://s12.postimg.org/m8oqep4d9/photo.jpg
View Quote



Your design or did you build from plans? Love this..
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 1:59:39 AM EDT
[#41]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I will have to grab a pic of our PVC feeders when I get a chance.  They work really well and are nothing more then a straight bit of PVC, and some recycled windshield washer fluid jugs.

Our coop is also simple construction, 16'X7' all 2x4 construction, tin roof, and some tongue and groove siding...  Oh and lots of chicken wire.

-Other posters are correct, if you let your chickens roam free, your pretty much unleashing miniature self propelled rototillers loose on your land

They are fun and rewarding.  If you get a rooster don't let him forget who the boss is.    I like the idea of having one, adds a little extra protection for my free rangers.
View Quote


Here is our coup:

We get long deep snowy winters so tractors are outa the question.  We free range our crew during most daylight hours, even during nice days in the winter, though there isn't much for them to scavenge during dec-feb...











Those are original construction pictures...  This past fall I put a small "addition" to where the egg collection double doors are.  I put a roof opening nesting box hanging off the side with two little support stills.  We did this after adding to our flock.  We originally had 8 hens, then added 4 more plus a rooster.

I will try to grab some new pics in the next couple days to post up.  This type of coup is really easy to build.
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 2:01:11 AM EDT
[#42]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


here are some pictures of the coop as of now. excuse the mess I have about 8 projects going on in the basement right now like I said I have no garage so everything is done down there.

it seems that every memory card in my house has walked off so excuse the cell phone pictures and the shitty img hosting threw photobucket. I do not know any faster ways to go from cell phone to net to the webs!

Best part with this entire project so far is about 85% is reused only cost I have as of right now is. hardware. and tin for the roof. I will need to buy some plywood for roof and some for floor then I am set. I already have 1 4x4 I can use but I need to get anchors to mount in the ground somehow



http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/943988_10206795812391910_2568586429812318088_n_zpsyvmjjipo.jpg

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12806107_10206795812791920_5794647453380199200_n_zpsibd9lhmt.jpg

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12718047_10206795812631916_3841790934893957320_n_zpsnuall1cu.jpg

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12799021_10206795812311908_6370901694843635883_n_zpsqlxpvxvw.jpg
View Quote
Maybe I just don't see it in the pics, but what is your strategy for cleaning the coop out?

 
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 2:05:13 AM EDT
[#43]

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Thank you for this thread! We plan on diving in to this world soon as were looking to buy a few acres and new to us home.  This thread has been very helpful.



Everyone should post their coops...not to hijack..
View Quote
Here is ours:

 


















With our long, cold winters, I build insulated coops now. Everything is in the coop: 55 barrel of feed, 6 bags of bedding. Well, I guess that is about it
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 7:45:47 AM EDT
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Maybe I just don't see it in the pics, but what is your strategy for cleaning the coop out?  
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
here are some pictures of the coop as of now. excuse the mess I have about 8 projects going on in the basement right now like I said I have no garage so everything is done down there.
it seems that every memory card in my house has walked off so excuse the cell phone pictures and the shitty img hosting threw photobucket. I do not know any faster ways to go from cell phone to net to the webs!
Best part with this entire project so far is about 85% is reused only cost I have as of right now is. hardware. and tin for the roof. I will need to buy some plywood for roof and some for floor then I am set. I already have 1 4x4 I can use but I need to get anchors to mount in the ground somehow

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/943988_10206795812391910_2568586429812318088_n_zpsyvmjjipo.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12806107_10206795812791920_5794647453380199200_n_zpsibd9lhmt.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12718047_10206795812631916_3841790934893957320_n_zpsnuall1cu.jpg
http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w297/4drgt/12799021_10206795812311908_6370901694843635883_n_zpsqlxpvxvw.jpg
Maybe I just don't see it in the pics, but what is your strategy for cleaning the coop out?  


I have the 2 foot door on the side which I can use a scrape to pull bedding to the door and a wheel barrow will fit under it and pull it right into that like I said it will be raised then I can also remove the nesting box which isn't built yet to get more acess if I wanted down the road I can make giant holes in one side
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 8:12:26 AM EDT
[#45]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Here is ours:   http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad171/MN_Rat/NCM_0514_zpsienqjhc0.jpg



http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad171/MN_Rat/NCM_0550_zps0fd507f2.jpg



http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad171/MN_Rat/NCM_0522_zpsrjblkhmc.jpg



With our long, cold winters, I build insulated coops now. Everything is in the coop: 55 barrel of feed, 6 bags of bedding. Well, I guess that is about it
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Thank you for this thread! We plan on diving in to this world soon as were looking to buy a few acres and new to us home.  This thread has been very helpful.

Everyone should post their coops...not to hijack..
Here is ours:   http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad171/MN_Rat/NCM_0514_zpsienqjhc0.jpg



http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad171/MN_Rat/NCM_0550_zps0fd507f2.jpg



http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad171/MN_Rat/NCM_0522_zpsrjblkhmc.jpg



With our long, cold winters, I build insulated coops now. Everything is in the coop: 55 barrel of feed, 6 bags of bedding. Well, I guess that is about it


I would have liked something like that but I didn't want to have a large walk in coop if we found out it wasn't for us I like not having to bring feed out though
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 10:06:26 AM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Here is our coup:

We get long deep snowy winters so tractors are outa the question.  We free range our crew during most daylight hours, even during nice days in the winter, though there isn't much for them to scavenge during dec-feb...

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_003_zps0l2jv2dq.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_004_zpsipm0s8ga.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_007_zpse0vjxtk1.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_010_zpsdsdk6fyx.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_011_zpsorocqije.jpg

Those are original construction pictures...  This past fall I put a small "addition" to where the egg collection double doors are.  I put a roof opening nesting box hanging off the side with two little support stills.  We did this after adding to our flock.  We originally had 8 hens, then added 4 more plus a rooster.

I will try to grab some new pics in the next couple days to post up.  This type of coup is really easy to build.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
I will have to grab a pic of our PVC feeders when I get a chance.  They work really well and are nothing more then a straight bit of PVC, and some recycled windshield washer fluid jugs.

Our coop is also simple construction, 16'X7' all 2x4 construction, tin roof, and some tongue and groove siding...  Oh and lots of chicken wire.

-Other posters are correct, if you let your chickens roam free, your pretty much unleashing miniature self propelled rototillers loose on your land

They are fun and rewarding.  If you get a rooster don't let him forget who the boss is.    I like the idea of having one, adds a little extra protection for my free rangers.


Here is our coup:

We get long deep snowy winters so tractors are outa the question.  We free range our crew during most daylight hours, even during nice days in the winter, though there isn't much for them to scavenge during dec-feb...

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_003_zps0l2jv2dq.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_004_zpsipm0s8ga.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_007_zpse0vjxtk1.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_010_zpsdsdk6fyx.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n52/thederrick106/chickens/WP_20150715_011_zpsorocqije.jpg

Those are original construction pictures...  This past fall I put a small "addition" to where the egg collection double doors are.  I put a roof opening nesting box hanging off the side with two little support stills.  We did this after adding to our flock.  We originally had 8 hens, then added 4 more plus a rooster.

I will try to grab some new pics in the next couple days to post up.  This type of coup is really easy to build.


Did you have any plans anywhere when you built that or did you just freestyle?  I would love to build one like that it looks really nice.  
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 12:25:22 PM EDT
[#47]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Did you have any plans anywhere when you built that or did you just freestyle?  I would love to build one like that it looks really nice.  
View Quote


No specific plans.  While I can do limited carpentry/ construction I really despise it so I like to do things as simple and easy as possible when it comes to building.
The wife wanted an octagon gazebo style coop but it would take me forever to build anything that's not rectangular!  
We found some pictures online of ones similar and I felt a lean-to style building would be the best, in sizes that are easily manageable.  

The roof is literally 16x8.  I then just judged sizes off from that  We decided a raised interior area would be best, and give them the most bang for our buck, room to roam come winter time.  It ended up working out far better then I figured.

The raised platforms and hay are not there in the summer time.  We have had a super wet winter and wanted to give them spaces to get out of the muck and water.  They will get cleaned out come spring, coop mucked, then fresh sand put down once it starts to dry out.

The feeders work well, just some recycled windshield washer jugs cut down.  The PVC is notched at the bottom...  They usually don't pull much out, I spilled a bunch of feed last time I was filling the feeders  

This type of construction is easy, If I can do it, anyone who can run a circular saw and hammer can do it.

I bet all said and done we were into the chickens for a total of $500.  That includes everything from the 2x4, nails, chick feeders, chickens etc.  The most expensive thing was the tin roof panels.  I bought the big roll of chicken wire from lowes or homedepot, I have plenty left over, probably enough to re cover the entire coop.

I also used non stainless nails on the "siding" so it would look rustic quicker.  We used tongue and groove because we had several boards left over from another project.  Paneling of sorts would have been cheaper, but she wanted it to look "cute."  

We did use OSB for the floor of the interior portion, but we gave it two coats of poly to help seal it up, we figured it would need replacing in a 4 or 5 years no matter what we used.

Uploading pics now...

Link Posted: 2/29/2016 12:49:11 PM EDT
[#48]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


No specific plans.  While I can do limited carpentry/ construction I really despise it so I like to do things as simple and easy as possible when it comes to building.
The wife wanted an octagon gazebo style coop but it would take me forever to build anything that's not rectangular!  
We found some pictures online of ones similar and I felt a lean-to style building would be the best, in sizes that are easily manageable.  

The roof is literally 16x8.  I then just judged sizes off from that  We decided a raised interior area would be best, and give them the most bang for our buck, room to roam come winter time.  It ended up working out far better then I figured.

The raised platforms and hay are not there in the summer time.  We have had a super wet winter and wanted to give them spaces to get out of the muck and water.  They will get cleaned out come spring, coop mucked, then fresh sand put down once it starts to dry out.

The feeders work well, just some recycled windshield washer jugs cut down.  The PVC is notched at the bottom...  They usually don't pull much out, I spilled a bunch of feed last time I was filling the feeders  

This type of construction is easy, If I can do it, anyone who can run a circular saw and hammer can do it.

I bet all said and done we were into the chickens for a total of $500.  That includes everything from the 2x4, nails, chick feeders, chickens etc.  The most expensive thing was the tin roof panels.  I bought the big roll of chicken wire from lowes or homedepot, I have plenty left over, probably enough to re cover the entire coop.

I also used non stainless nails on the "siding" so it would look rustic quicker.  We used tongue and groove because we had several boards left over from another project.  Paneling of sorts would have been cheaper, but she wanted it to look "cute."  

We did use OSB for the floor of the interior portion, but we gave it two coats of poly to help seal it up, we figured it would need replacing in a 4 or 5 years no matter what we used.

Uploading pics now...

View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Did you have any plans anywhere when you built that or did you just freestyle?  I would love to build one like that it looks really nice.  


No specific plans.  While I can do limited carpentry/ construction I really despise it so I like to do things as simple and easy as possible when it comes to building.
The wife wanted an octagon gazebo style coop but it would take me forever to build anything that's not rectangular!  
We found some pictures online of ones similar and I felt a lean-to style building would be the best, in sizes that are easily manageable.  

The roof is literally 16x8.  I then just judged sizes off from that  We decided a raised interior area would be best, and give them the most bang for our buck, room to roam come winter time.  It ended up working out far better then I figured.

The raised platforms and hay are not there in the summer time.  We have had a super wet winter and wanted to give them spaces to get out of the muck and water.  They will get cleaned out come spring, coop mucked, then fresh sand put down once it starts to dry out.

The feeders work well, just some recycled windshield washer jugs cut down.  The PVC is notched at the bottom...  They usually don't pull much out, I spilled a bunch of feed last time I was filling the feeders  

This type of construction is easy, If I can do it, anyone who can run a circular saw and hammer can do it.

I bet all said and done we were into the chickens for a total of $500.  That includes everything from the 2x4, nails, chick feeders, chickens etc.  The most expensive thing was the tin roof panels.  I bought the big roll of chicken wire from lowes or homedepot, I have plenty left over, probably enough to re cover the entire coop.

I also used non stainless nails on the "siding" so it would look rustic quicker.  We used tongue and groove because we had several boards left over from another project.  Paneling of sorts would have been cheaper, but she wanted it to look "cute."  

We did use OSB for the floor of the interior portion, but we gave it two coats of poly to help seal it up, we figured it would need replacing in a 4 or 5 years no matter what we used.

Uploading pics now...



































Damn photobucket has been getting slower and slower...  What a process to upload and post a few pics!

ETA/ lower tarp is just a winter wind break.  Once the temps warm up that will come back off.
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 2:46:24 PM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



I love that arched run.  It looks like you could walk right in (or I could. I'm only 5'1")

ETA:  Did you build that run?  How is the pipe joined together at the curved connections, and how did you fasten the chicken wire to it?

ETA 2:  Wait...is it pvc?  I thought it was metal/chain link or conduit at first, but I can't see a hinge system for the door and with a closer look, that looks like it's flexing.

Okay, you said right there in your post that it's just PVC.  No idea how I read and didn't see that.

That's amazing and I'm wondering how long the zip ties last in the outdoors/sunlight, etc.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Set up a watering system, and figure out how to keep it from freezing.. Feeding and watering your birds daily, (especially in the freezing temps assuming you have this problem) gets old, fast.. Build your coop as small and airtight as you can, I have 8 hens, and a roosters in a coop half the size you plan on building, they all huddle up and stay warm at night, but during the day they hardly hang out inside other than to drop some eggs... Elevating your coops is a great idea, that's the plan I went with, gathering eggs is easier, and critters have a harder time getting in.. Heres a pic of my coop before I added the watering system ( I just made a water tower that gravity feeds a pipe with chicken nipples in it) The run is just PVC, the whole thing is quite mobile. The birds free range 80% of the time but scoot inside the run when theres hawks around,
http://s12.postimg.org/m8oqep4d9/photo.jpg



I love that arched run.  It looks like you could walk right in (or I could. I'm only 5'1")

ETA:  Did you build that run?  How is the pipe joined together at the curved connections, and how did you fasten the chicken wire to it?

ETA 2:  Wait...is it pvc?  I thought it was metal/chain link or conduit at first, but I can't see a hinge system for the door and with a closer look, that looks like it's flexing.

Okay, you said right there in your post that it's just PVC.  No idea how I read and didn't see that.

That's amazing and I'm wondering how long the zip ties last in the outdoors/sunlight, etc.


Yes, its PVC with Zip ties. I also used some tie wire. Zip ties were used to get it in place, then tie wire for re enforcement.. I did not glue anything together, the ground is never level, so it helps to have the pipes adjustable. The fencing holds everything together when you move it.. The door has no hinges, I stuck a 3 foot rod in the ground and the bottom right corner of my door is a PVC T, to the rod sticks up inside and the door swivels on that..
Link Posted: 2/29/2016 2:49:14 PM EDT
[#50]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:



Your design or did you build from plans? Love this..
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Set up a watering system, and figure out how to keep it from freezing.. Feeding and watering your birds daily, (especially in the freezing temps assuming you have this problem) gets old, fast.. Build your coop as small and airtight as you can, I have 8 hens, and a roosters in a coop half the size you plan on building, they all huddle up and stay warm at night, but during the day they hardly hang out inside other than to drop some eggs... Elevating your coops is a great idea, that's the plan I went with, gathering eggs is easier, and critters have a harder time getting in.. Heres a pic of my coop before I added the watering system ( I just made a water tower that gravity feeds a pipe with chicken nipples in it) The run is just PVC, the whole thing is quite mobile. The birds free range 80% of the time but scoot inside the run when theres hawks around,
http://s12.postimg.org/m8oqep4d9/photo.jpg



Your design or did you build from plans? Love this..


Drew it on a napkin in my garage one night, a trip to lowes and 2 days later I had a coop
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