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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to this whole chicken thing. By new I mean I never really wanted chickens, but now I'm saddled with two of them. It was completely out of the blue. A friend of ours had to relocate and didn't want to move her chickens, so she asked if I wanted them. At first I wanted to say no. I never really wanted chickens and wasn't exactly interested. However, the thought of two chickens needing to be rehomed and quite possibly ending up someone's dinner saddened me. So that was it. I just had to take them. I'd never even seen them before, so I had no idea what I was in for.

I have no idea what kind of chickens we have. They aren't laying right now. Then again, I can't blame them. They have no coop. From the research I've done, their pen is much to small. They stand around all day in mud with no fresh water to speak of. I don't even know what I'm supposed to feed them. I know they haven't exactly been well fed and we haven't been able to pull the money together to make them a proper coop or run or get them proper feed. This whole thing was completely dropped on our heads. Had we expected the chickens we could have had everthing ready for them. Right now we're looking for supplies to build their coop and run, preferably recycled and cheap. We may even be able to use some of the supplies from the current set-up. I just hate that the poor hens are living in such conditions. They really deserve better.

Of course, now I can't wait until we can move onto a big plot of land and can get some more chickens! I know we've just begun and we're still in the process of getting our new girls settled, but it's gotten me hopeful for the future!

Anyhow, I know this is long-winded, but I'm excited about starting this journey!
 

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Howdy from a fellow Texan. What part of Texas do you live at? I was born in West Texas, (the area, not the town), but I've lived all over the state and found each area had it's own particular charm and beauty. We now live in North Carolina and have also just begun a new journey. If you have decided to keep to this 'way of life', you are in for a real treat. I haven't been at this very long, but here are a few thoughts: We have an old wooden 8x10 shed that my husband's company was going to tear down, and he talked them into giving it to us. It was in rough shape, and we had little money at the time, so my husband patched the holes with scraps of plywood and rebuilt the floor. I picked up some of those rubber maid tubs, cut some holes in the side, and put some straw in for nests. (folks have used a wide variety of things for nests, including cardboard boxes to start.). I call it "The Chicken Shack". They just need a place to be safe and dry. Due to hawks nesting in our trees, we have to keep all our birds in pens. That was our biggest expense. But when we get muddy patches, I throw out a lot of straw in the run to help them stay dry, and they love digging through it. You may use a tarp to cover their pen to keep them dry until you can get them a hen house. Do you let them run free during the day?
First, get them safe & comfortable, then let the spoiling begin ~ Our girls are spoiled. We spend a lot of time with them and have learned their individual personalities. After I gather the eggs & change the feed, everyone gets a treat. One prefers oatmeal, while another likes leftover green peas. I think every home needs a few chickens. They are funny, relaxing to watch, and they just make home, well, feel like "home". Keep us updated on your progress & adventures. If nothing else, we can be moral support. Have a blessed day.
 

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Go to your local feed store and they can set you up with what kind of feed to purchase as well bedding to. And go into your local paper and look for used materials you can find lots of stuff even a old dog house would work well for two chickens to live in and you wouldn't need much for fencing either just research on your computer you would be amazed what info is out there . Good luck and when u do get them settled in post some pics would love to see your hens and maybe tell yah what breed they r as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, we may have a good start there. We have some stuff we might be able to use. There's a digloo dog house, which may not work too well, but it's dry and sheltered. They currently take shelter under a rabbit hutch. We may be able to adapt that to work too. I'll have to look at what we have laying around. There's a ton of wire fencing, which may not do much to ward off the neighborhood dogs and cats, but it will keep them contained. I'd love to free range them, but we live in a trailer park and I don't think the property owners would approve. We know they can't say too much about the chickens because they already live in the park. When I last talked to them they didn't care as long as we repaired any damages to the lawn caused by the chickens. As a back up plan there are two other places we could move them. I would just have to go out and take care of them, which is fine by me!

As far as fencing goes, would wooden palates work to keep the neighborhood dogs from getting through the fence? We'd probably need to turn them into something more of a fence than a palate. I'm pretty sure we can pick up some of those locally for free.

Originally we were supposed to be moving into our friend's house too, so we were going to build a new coop there, but we've heard nothing about that, so we're bringing them to our lot. I have the perfect spot in mind, but it doesn't have much shade, so we'll have to figure that out. We may actually have enough room next to our back door on the north facibg side, if the neighbors can agree to leave my poor babies alone! In the front and shading them may be better.

As for where we are, we're north of DFW, just a stone's throw away from OK. It's beautiful out here! And everyone seems to have chickens, cows, and sheep!
 

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Welcome to chickenland. :D Those chickens can be so enchanting and a great stress reliever at the end of a hard day. Post us some pics and we'll be able to figure out what you have. Chickens are pretty adaptable and happy with little. Just make sure they are able to take a dust bath somewhere. It helps them keep from getting mites. For fencing, I use 1/4 inch hardware cloth. Its more durable that regular chicken wire and nasty critters can't reach through to grab the chickens. Not sure how the pallets would work but I'm sure you'll figure out something. We built our coop too out of mostly recycled stuff. Even the siding was a hand-me-down from a friend who put new siding on their house. The girls didn't care that their house had used stuff. They're just happy to be tucked in tight and safe each night. Glad you got those 2 chickens. You'll get so much enjoyment from them. :)
 

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Hi and welcome from Cat Spring, TX! I am a new chicken keeper too and have 12 baby chicks who are 11 days old. I am so happy I made the decision to dive in and I think you will too. As others have already mentioned food, water, and a safe dry home is really all they need and the possibilities are limitless for using repurposed materials! There is a wealth of information on this site to help you along the way! Good luck!
 

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Welcome! I think you'll find that chickens can be quite addicting! It was nice of you to take on your friend's chickens even if you didn't really want them. The great thing about keeping chickens is that you can use just about anything for materials in building a secure coop and run. My husband and I built our coop out of free pallets and scrap wood from around the acre. Once they have a secure place to sleep at night and a nesting box to lay eggs, I'm sure they will lay you some eggs. We used older plastic totes that we received for free from my mother-in-law. A dog-loo would be just as good, if not better! As for providing some shade, you could put some garden shade cloth up. You might even be able to find some at a local green house- maybe they could hook you up for free pieces! :D I have shade cloth up because the afternoon sun is already getting pretty hot here. I also lightly mist their yard with water and they enjoy this a lot (mostly because they love mud baths).
Since you only have two chickens for now, a 50 lb. bag of layer pellets/crumbles will probably last you for a bit. When I only had 3 chickens, a 50 lb bag lasted nearly 3 months, with a supplement of some nice green weeds. A bag of feed costs me about $17, this will vary from place to place, but comparable. If you decide to give your chickens some weeds to pick at and eat, make certain that no chemicals like pesticide or herbicide hasn't been sprayed on them because this could harm your girls. :) Have fun with your chickens!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's not too bad of a price for feeding them. I somehow expected feed to be more expensive. I bet they'll be happy to have some good food. Thankfully, we don't use any pesticides or chemicals here, so that helps.

The kids are all excited, especially my three year old. He keeps asking when we're going to build "the chicken house with a chicken house yard". He's already named them. The black one is Emo Chicken and the white one is Ghostie Chicken. My son says they're his chickens and has to go check on them and feed them every day. It's funny how we've just barely gotten them and already they just fit right into the family!
 

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Awe! I am glad they are fitting right in! Chickens can be just as lovable as dogs. Just wait until your 3 year old finds an egg! That's one of my favorite parts of keeping chickens. :D
 
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