Gettting started with chickens

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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby 4seasons » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:54 pm

I finally got the run done this weekend. With changing jobs and working long hours my time at home got wasted on things like eating and sleeping so I spent very little time building. I noticed a couple of hen starting trying to dust bath in the mulch on the hen house floor so I had to get the run done. I didn't take any pictures of the process but the build was pretty straight forward.
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Basically 2x4s for rafters and braces around the perimeter, scrap 1x6s for the roof to screw the metal down to. Around the perimeter I buried ceder poles and nailed the welded wire to them to prevent predators from digging in. I got a little fancy with the pop door.
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I can pull the latch out then pull the rope from the outside of the run to raise the door then push the latch in to hold it open.
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It only took a few minutes for the ladies to come out and start picking at the weeds and taking dust baths in the dirt.
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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby mannytheseacow » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:55 pm

That looks awesome, 4! Nice job. I really like that door idea. Man, if I could finagle some kind of rube-Goldberg device to pull that string from my bed when my alarm goes off in the morning.... actually, I think it might be possible..... Drew?
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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby DrewInToledo » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:03 am

Haha Manny! Youve got this! Funny thing, though.. I just programmed an aruido to moderate a servo to open a slider on the beehive at a distance in proportion to the ambient temperatre.. Silly, but wanted the challenge... Putting the time into powering it and weatherproofing it wouldnt be worth the effort however.
Love the coop. Wondering how many chicks is a minimum amount to produce a few eggs each week and keep social status?....
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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby DrewInToledo » Fri May 01, 2015 1:33 pm

no response.... hmmm...

So I always thought birds are social animals and would tear their feathers out or something if the don't have a couple of friends around... would it be possible to only have 3 chickens and still produce eggs?
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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri May 01, 2015 3:40 pm

Sorry Drew, I never saw your question. Yeah, I think 3 would probably be optimal. Depends on how often you eat eggs, I guess, too. Three to six.
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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby 4seasons » Sat May 02, 2015 5:57 pm

I started with 6 mature birds that had already been together for 6 months. One died after a couple of months for unknown reasons. But the 5 I have now give us an average of 4 eggs a day. I built my co-op to house 12 hens plus a rooster so the 5 have plenty of space. As it turns out though I under-built the co-op since I wanted too add some more hen this year. If you buy mature birds you need to quarantine them for a month to keep from spreading diseases. If you buy baby chicks you have too keep them in a brooder for at least 6 weeks so no quarantine is needed. But any hatchery that I looked at had a 15-25 minimum order so I ended up getting 6 chicks at TSC (their minimum) but that really limited my breed selection. Around here the farmer Co-op is the only place with no minimum order unless you go private sale. So unless you know someone selling the breed you want, or are just not picky about breed, I would not plan on less than 6, and only if you never see yourself expanding your flock. I already wish I had built for 20-30 so I would have better options on expanding my flock.
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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby DrewInToledo » Sat May 02, 2015 7:26 pm

Thanks for sharing guys.... I would have never known... I have an area behind a shed where I throw compost that seems ideal to setup a coop and allow the compost to be consumed. although it's probably in full shade... not sure if that's an issue... maybe gnats and flies?
I'm thinking that if I get get away with 3 birds, that would give us (3 at max) enough ovum to enjoy breakfast and baking.

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Re: Gettting started with chickens

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat May 02, 2015 8:44 pm

You might also consider ducks. My Pekin ducks out-produce my chickens, hands down. Only hard part is sexing them. Especially if you're in a neighborhood situation where the noise from the chickens might be a problem. I faithfully get an egg a day from each duck. Bigger eggs, better for baking, too.
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