No chicken or coop yet. Need advice!

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by badman400, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    My wife and I live in Upstate SC, near Greenville. No chickens or coop yet. Just beginning to learn, and would like to figure out the best coop to build on a budget but still look decent. It's just the two of us now. I have just under an acre of land in a sub division. Semi-rural atmosphere, no restrictions. I have enough trees and a lower area in the back where I could locate the coop where it would not be seen from the road, but still close enough to go back and forth to feed, water, etc.

    Don't know which chickens to choose. Moderate climate. Warm Summers and moderate winters with a rare snow and only about a month or two of freezing temps. Posted this answer up in the introduction forum. But figured I would start another thread here to ask for advice.

    If you veteran chickeners had it all to do over again from "scratch" (no pun intended), how would you build the perfect small coop. Which kind(s) of chickens would you use? How tall for easy access. Outer doors for outsisde harvest of eggs? I've learned to listen to those with experience to shorten the learning curve. Thanks in advance for any help. :cool:
     
  2. chickflick

    chickflick New Member

    171
    0
    0
    It depends on how many chickens you are planning on getting. You could do a tractor style if only a few. They have some really nice coops. You can look at a bunch and decide what meets your needs. Chickens are hardy on the whole. I don't know if this forum has a coop section, but I know BYC has a coop section that you could check out. You can make one from scraps, if you have any. Make sure you can get in to clean and collect eggs. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions.
     

  3. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

    1,425
    0
    0
    Alot of different things can come into play ... so ... just a little advance. :)

    Check out your local library and get a few books on chickens and research, research and then do a little more research. :)

    Best of luck and let us know how it works out.
     
  4. kahiltna_flock

    kahiltna_flock New Member

    839
    0
    0
    You can always watch Craigslist too. There are often people who decided chickens weren't for them and sell them cheap. I got mine, you can see it in the coop registry, for free! It's basically an 8x8 shed. The hubby put in new roosts and nesting boxes. Just a thought
     
  5. kimberley

    kimberley New Member

    69
    0
    0
    i like austrolops ( spelling might be incorrect) they seem not to be so messy as other chickens. friendly too. you can make a coop with about anything. you will love your birds.. it seems everyone is hesitant at first but end up love having chickens.
     
  6. kimberley

    kimberley New Member

    69
    0
    0
    plus astrolorps are the record breaker for egg laying.
     
  7. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    Thanks for all the comments and bits of info!
    1). What is the BYC? Here, or another forum?
    2). What is a tractor style coop?
    3). Does the Astrolorp species need a top wire on the run or not? I have heard that some larger species such as RIR do not need a covered top, since they cannot fly.

    I was thinking 6-8 hens. Trying to reach a good amount for two people and maybe enough extra eggs to gift some to family at times. But would also like to eat some chicken as well from time to time.
     
  8. chickflick

    chickflick New Member

    171
    0
    0
    BYC is another forum. Backyardchickens.com It's been around longer so it has lots of people with lots of experience.
    A tractor style coop is one that is built so you can move it around your yard. It is not stationary.
    Astrolorp probably won't be able to fly out of a 6 ft high fence. They are beautiful birds and lay brown eggs.
    I don't eat my pets, so can't or won't comment on the fact the you plan on eating them! Don't name them!
     
  9. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

    1,425
    0
    0
    Once you have had your own home grown fried chicken ... you will never go back to the chicken like substance from the store. ;)

    So you may want to look at a duel breed. (egg & meat from the same bird)
     
  10. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    Thanks for the help and info. Didn't mean to offend your finer sensibilities by talking "fried chicken".
    Happy New Year! ;)
     
  11. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    Are you puling my leg about the "duel breed"? We were raised around chickens and I remember the taste of fresh fried chicken vs what we get in the store. The free range eggs are better too.
    maybe I'll get a few of the Astrolorps for egg production and something else bigger/meatier for the frying pan. Thanks!
    happy New Year! :cool:
     
  12. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

    1,425
    0
    0
    Sorry for the typo ... dual - purpose chickens.
     
  13. woody

    woody New Member

    13
    0
    0
    Block any cold wind. Make the pen open to the southeast and blocked well from the Northwest (depending on your geography)

    Plan for predators. I use double wire. Welded wire to fend off dogs and hardware cloth under to fend off snakes. Don't put the pen too far from the house and that will help some on the predator issue (some)

    Start small as far as numbers of chickens. Talk to people at your local feed store. Plan for some failure, it always happens. If it does, pick up and keep going. I knew one lady that had a dog come in and wipe out her entire flock in one night.

    Keep the water clean, the feed dry and try to keep the floor of the pen as dry as possible.

    That's a few tips I could think of
     
  14. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    Withdrawn comment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  15. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

    692
    1
    0
    1.) Stay away from BYC....
    2.) a Chicken Tractor is a Coop you can move, typically with an open bottom for the chickens to eat grass, bugs etc.
    3.) put wire over your runs to prevent predators from killing your chickens....a good fence around the coop is also a good idea to keep predators out
    4.) 6-8 hens will lay plenty of eggs for two people but if you want chickens for meat consider a few more if you have space
     
  16. TheLazyL

    TheLazyL Member

    267
    0
    16

    I live in an woods so I covered the run not to keep the chickens in but to keep the raccoons, possums and hawks out.

    I also wanted a breed that would provide eggs and when they slow down laying, food. I went with Buff Orpingtons from Meyers Hatchery.

    They are just over 7 months old and averaging 5 or 6 eggs a day.
     
  17. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    Thanks to all for the good info! ;)
     
  18. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

    1,425
    0
    0
    Sorry ... when you first posted that you were "Just beginning to learn" ... I did take that as "you had no clue" ... but as you were raised around chickens, that does change the whole thread and I will bow out.

    Best of luck to you and your chickens to come ...
     
  19. BuckeyeChickens

    BuckeyeChickens New Member

    692
    1
    0
    Excellent advice LazyL:)
     
  20. badman400

    badman400 New Member

    16
    0
    0
    Hey when I say "raised" around, it is more accurate to say during my younger years as a kid, chickens were always around. And they were all free range chickens as far as I can remember. I don't remember a coop or how the coop was constructed or the gathering of eggs. So you see, I still am a beginner in most ways that count. I welcome any and all advice from all here. And when you talked about "dual purpose" chickens earlier on in this thread I wasn't sure if there a certain type of type of breeds that it was better to use for laying and eating. Feel free to make any comments or give advice. And thanks again to all who have commented and in advance to those who will. :)