i’m so excited to start doing this! in june, i’ll have a plot of land. i plan on building a rather large coop out of wood and chicken wire and having four chickens in there. i want it to be large enough that they can have fun and poke at the ground for bugs. i’m gonna start reading backyardchickens.com 2 months ago
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How I did it: Well, last spring I got some little tiny chickens from the hatchery. They were less than $3 each. We kept them in a giant storage tupperware kinda container with food, water, and some kinda wood shavings like the kind you would use for hamsters or gerbils. We fixed a heat light (the kind that doesn't bother them at night) above their little home, even though our house is warm it isn't warm enough for little baby chickens. We had to clean the container every day and give them fresh water. My house started to stink pretty bad so after a few weeks we let them go outside on a nice sunny day - they seemed to do fine! Since it was getting warmer outside and they were getting bigger they were ready to start sleeping outside. We had to build a coop for them (I looked up chicken coops on the internet for ideas) they had to have enough space and ventilation but it had to be warm enough for them too. We put in a perch for them to sit on and little 1' cube boxes on one side for them to lay eggs in. We also put a little fence around their coop so they could walk around but still be in a confined area. As time went on we stopped locking them in, they just hang out around our house anyway. Before winter hit we had to insulate the coop so they wouldn't freeze. We put two layers of 2" blue board all around, and the light in the coop is 250 watts. That keeps them warm most of the time. Now we have free range chickens and we are getting almost an egg a day from each :) We started with 10 and we are down to 5, a couple died when they were babies, a couple drown in the duck pond, and one was attacked by a dog. For the most part I really enjoy having them, this spring we are going to get more.! Read how I did it… 4 years ago
My girls are 10 months old now and I still love them and adore their eggs! Raising chickens is a really worthwhile endeavor for those with the space and the time. I highly recommend it!! 5 months ago
In the middle of the day a HUGE raccoon tried to get my chickens. Thankfully they weren’t out free ranging, but they were in their portable pen. The raccoon pushed on the pen opening up a small crack allowing two to escape. He was chasing down one just as I got outside with my broom. He was not afraid of me yelling like a crazy woman and waving my broom, so I actually had to fight him off by hitting him repeatedly with the broom! He finally backed off a little and I kept whacking the ground with my broom yelling. He backed off more and I kept walking toward him with my broom and he eventually went off across the street. I think now that its cold in New ENgland more critters will be looking for food and will be trying harder to get at my girls. Time to strengthen Fort Knox (my name for their coop) and not let them out during the day—even when I am home.
On another note, egg production dropped to nothing for a couple of weeks. The molting has pretty much been constant and the cold temperatures are a double whammy. So I’ve added the heat lamp to the coop and have it on for several hours at night to heat things up for the ladies. Got two eggs this week, so I think its working!! 6 months ago
OK. I am extending this to cover the RESCUE of chickens as well.. There is a giant Biada chook farm across the way from my place, and I know those poor things dont have the best life. I’m going to give a few of them a new home! 6 months ago
Bought 5 baby chicks last week. They were born on Monday and arrived on Tuesday. CUTE!!! 8 months ago
I started yesterday letting my chickens free range in my yard. They are bigger and heavier now and hoping that as long as I only let them out in the middle of the day, that no predators will mess with them. They LOVE having room to roam!! I still set the pen up as a “safe place” for them to run to if they need protection, But I’m not sure they are smart enough to use it if there was a hawk swooping in…. 9 months ago
The girls are really getting big and looking like mature hens now!! Looking for a larger “roaming pen” to set up on the grass. The little playpen I have works, but I’d rather they have more room. Starting to keep an eye out on craigslist and online for something that would work…. 9 months ago