chicken coop

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Eagle Rocker's picture
Eagle Rocker
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chicken coop

Has anyone ordered a relatively inexpensive chicken coop that they can recommend?  I've been looking around online, but it's hard to tell what's well made and what's not.  I'm looking for one with a built in run and only plan to have a few birds.

Thanks!

Eagle Rocker

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Try a chicken tractor

 

A chicken tractor is a smaller, mobile coop that is designed to be frequently moved around the yard. This offers a great many advantages, one of which is low cost. Check out Joel Salatin who has written a book "Pastured Poultry Profits" on the construction, advantages and use of chicken tractors. Others have published on these as well.

IMHO it's the only way to raise chickens.

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Coop

Eagle Rocker, we just built a coop this summer!  I have 21 chickens now   My original plan was 5 or 6.  lol

Check out the plan designs at BackYardChickens.com, plus there is a ton of info about everything chicken.

 http://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html  

The forum on coops is fabulous & lots of great people to help with questions & recommendations galore!

 

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Movable Coop or Paddocks is Important

I agree with earthwise.  If you buy or  build a stationary coop for use on grass, unless you use rotating paddocks, you'll end up with an unattractive, unhealthy, mud pit for a run in a few weeks.   If you can move your chickens in a chicken tractor every few to several days, you'll be giving them fresh grass, bugs and giving them more to occupy themselves, resulting in happier chickens.

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coop

To save money and get well made coops I built my own; see my article for photos; they are heavy but built to last for years.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/raising-your-own-chickens/49527

I keep the coop in a large fenced paddock so the chickens can range during the day and lock up the coop at night when the chickens come in to roost.

 

 

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Woodman wrote: To save money
Woodman wrote:

To save money and get well made coops I built my own; see my article for photos; they are heavy but built to last for years.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/raising-your-own-chickens/49527

I keep the coop in a large fenced paddock so the chickens can range during the day and lock up the coop at night when the chickens come in to roost.

 

 

Doh!!! Where's my brain!! I've referred several potential chicken wranglers to your article, Woodman, and then draw a blank at an opportune moment. Sorry.

Sure glad you were there to back me up.

Great info, by the way.

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home made chicken "tractor"

Like Woodman, I built my own "tractor" out of scraps and about $100 of new materials (mostly wheels and threaded rod to serve as axles).  I fenced off a section of the garden and kept the tractor in there over the summer while the chicks grew and started laying.  They happily weeded and fertilized that section and I intend to repeat that practice rotating to different sections of the garden each year.

The tractor doesn't seem very practical for the winter, so recently converted a portion of a shed near the house for winter quarters.  They were moved into the coop a few weeks ago.  I fenced in a small area around the coop, but I usually let them roam free after their morning egg laying is done.  Fortunately, we have congenial neighbors who actually encouraged me to let them roam.

This is the first time I have ever had chickens, and I didn't realize beforehand how much amusement they provide, not to mention the eggs.

Doug

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Coop ideas

 For the original poster, you probably found searching online buying a well built coop is fairly expensive. You could try Craiglist; I see ads there all the time from folks wanting to get rid of coops.

Depending on the size of your run the coop need not be very big.  Mine never go in the coop except to lay or at night to roost, so crowding is not a problem and probably helps them keep warmer in the winter. T

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If you want a cheap one. but

If you want a cheap one. but materials and build from scrach. It will be more cheapes and will be done like you want

Doug's picture
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Woodman's article

I just reread Woodman's article and appreciate his insights and experience more than I did before I had chickens.  There is one point I'd like more feedback on.  A neighbor has a dozen chickens, one of which is a rooster.  We got six chicks, three of them roosters.  If they are supposed to sex them at the factory, they did a bad job in our case.  You may want to check if this is done at the source of your chicks.

One question I have is about roosts.  I put one in the winter coop about 7' long, 18" off the floor, but they don't roost on it.  Most of them huddle together on the floor while one has decided she likes the window I put in and another prefers a nesting box.  I used a tree branch for the roost.  Any ideas?

Doug

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Roost

Sexing new chicks is at the hatchery is not 100% accurate; I one rooster out of 12 last year.  Doug are you sure you got female chicks and not just straight run?  One option is a sex  link breed, like a Black Star, which is cross between a RI Red and a Barred Rock; you can tell by the color of the chick immediately which sex it is.  

For a roost you could try a 2x3 laid flat; they might like a flatter surface to sit on, especially in winter.  Most of mine roost, but a few prefer the floor or a nesting box.  

I keep learning more every day!  Tom

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Re: Doug's "Kinky" experience with chicks

 

To make sure this:

doesn't happen, where you're expecting a "woman" and get "something else" make sure you specify that you want pullets, which are girl chickies. Otherwise you'll get straight run which are unsexed.

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Roosts

 I put tree branches in my coop, when I first put the chicks in the coop, they were about 2 months old.  The first week, most of them huddled together on the ground.  As the weeks go by, they are all starting to get up on the roost.  It's funny to watch them pushing each other out of the way for the best 'spot'.

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kinky chicks

Thanks guys, I probably got straight run chicks.  Sometimes I surprise myself with the things I don't think to ask.  It is, however, funny watching the roosters try to outstrut and outcrow each other.  There is a definite "pecking order."  The hens are much more down to earth, focusing on what needs to be done and not wasting energy.

I'll try the 2x3 roost.  They are pickier than I thought they would be.

Doug

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Rude awakening

It's 4:20 am. And I have blood on my hands.

I was sound asleep, as one is prone to be at 4 am, when I was woken by the sound of distressed chooks. We've lost so many chooks and ducks over the years, that I always wondered what it was that was killing them, and this time, with a full blown rush of adrenaline, I threw some shorts on, snatched a torch, and ran down to my chickens' enclosure only to find a fox and my rooster fighting it out over a hen lying on the ground! Your head goes into overdrive in such a situation...  Never seen a fox up this close before, smaller than I expected too... but unfortunately for foxes, they have a long tail, and after wondering for one nano second whether foxes have ever bitten humans, I grabbed its tail, hurled it into the air and slammed it to the ground, killing it in one blow..... I can tell you, I'm even more amazed than you are!

Half dazed, I walked into the bedroom to show it to Glenda who said "don't f*** with Mike's chickens.."!

When I returned to the chook pen, I found the poor animal mortally wounded, and had to dispatch it as well, and now I have to process the poor traumatised bird so that at least all the work that went into raising it isn't wasted.

I think I'm fully awake now..... life's full of turns let me tell you...

Mike

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Protecting the "Girls"

Hi Mike,

I bet you were awake! Still, better than finding yourself holding a tiger by the tail. (Sorry -- corny but I couldn't resist).

Surprized the hen was outside the coop before dawn. Do you close them in at night? If you are interested, the best automatic coop door opener / closer That I found is sold by Discount Home Automation. The direct link is: 

http://www.discounthomeautomation.com/Add-A-Motor-Chicken-Coop-Motor-AD20?gc

 

 Hopefully no more chicken dinners for predators.

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Wow, that's some story Mike

Good job with the fox.  Point of info, foxes have been known to bite humans and they sometimes are rabid.  Don't you have a gun?

Doug

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Protecting the "Girls"
ikursat wrote:

Hi Mike,

I bet you were awake! Still, better than finding yourself holding a tiger by the tail. (Sorry -- corny but I couldn't resist).

Surprized the hen was outside the coop before dawn.

No, this all happened INSIDE the coop.....

Those buggers are so cunning...

Mike

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Wow, that's some story Mike
Doug wrote:

Good job with the fox.  Point of info, foxes have been known to bite humans and they sometimes are rabid.  Don't you have a gun?

Doug

No Doug I don't own a gun.... it's much harder to get a gun/licence in Australia, and besides, all this happened at such close quarters, and it was all bedlam to boot, I could've easily shot the rooster instead of the fox!

Good thing I didn't get bitten, but you know how it goes when you're full of adrenaline....  commonsense goes out the window!  But I'd do it all over again if need be.

Mike

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the capon crusader
Damnthematrix wrote:
Doug wrote:

Good job with the fox.  Point of info, foxes have been known to bite humans and they sometimes are rabid.  Don't you have a gun?

Doug

No Doug I don't own a gun.... it's much harder to get a gun/licence in Australia, and besides, all this happened at such close quarters, and it was all bedlam to boot, I could've easily shot the rooster instead of the fox!

Good thing I didn't get bitten, but you know how it goes when you're full of adrenaline....  commonsense goes out the window!  But I'd do it all over again if need be.

Mike

NIce job Mike.  I love the chooks and the torch.;-)  I didn't even know you had foxes in Australia.  Were they brought in for the rabbit problem?

How about a baseball bat?  I used one once to dispatch a big woodchuck that my old dog had cornered in our garden.

Anyway, with your mighty deed, you have officially achieved superhero status.  May I suggest this pseudonym?

 

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Damnthematrix wrote: Doug
Damnthematrix wrote:
Doug wrote:

Good job with the fox.  Point of info, foxes have been known to bite humans and they sometimes are rabid.  Don't you have a gun?

Doug

No Doug I don't own a gun.... it's much harder to get a gun/licence in Australia, and besides, all this happened at such close quarters, and it was all bedlam to boot, I could've easily shot the rooster instead of the fox!

Good thing I didn't get bitten, but you know how it goes when you're full of adrenaline....  commonsense goes out the window!  But I'd do it all over again if need be.

Mike

Geez, I didn't realize it was all inside the coop.  If yours is like mine that's pretty tight quarters.  This is our first year with chickens.  I'm surprised we haven't lost any to coyotes or foxes, both of which seem to be growing in population.

Doug

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opossums - they do play dead

Wow Mike, great job protecting the ladies! 

About a month ago I was also woken up in the middle of the night by a ruckus in the hen yard.  The hens were running around the yard going crazy and I found an opossum in the coop.  Tried everything I could think of to get it out, but it just played "dead".  (Kind of thought that was just an old wives'  tale)  Ended up having to skewer it with a pitchfork.  Messy business that I did not enjoy, so I feel for you, but no one or thing messes with my chickens.  Worked out for the best though as I was then able to move my older hens into the newer coop which they had no desire to stay in prior to the opossum visit.  It's 15 degreesF and snowing here tonight so I'm sure they are much happier in the newer, warmer coop.

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ao wrote: NIce job Mike.  I
ao wrote:

NIce job Mike.  I love the chooks and the torch.;-)  I didn't even know you had foxes in Australia.  Were they brought in for the rabbit problem?

How about a baseball bat?  I used one once to dispatch a big woodchuck that my old dog had cornered in our garden.

Anyway, with your mighty deed, you have officially achieved superhero status.  May I suggest this pseudonym?

 

I'd never heard of a woodchuck, so I googled them.....

Man, you need more than a baseball bat with those bastards......!

And some come from the dark side..!

Wallpaper Lightsaber, fun, humor, sword, grass, marmot, woodchuck

No wonder all you Americans have guns!

Foxes were introduced by the poms (that's Orstrayan for Englishmen..!) for sport hunting...... boy I'd like to get my hands on the idiot who dreamt up THAT idea.  Tasmania is the only State that has no foxes, though some idiot apparently tried to introduce them a couple of years ago but quick action got rid of them (we can only hope).

Oh and what do you call torches?

 
Classic Australian design - the Eveready Dophin torch.

Mike

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One of my partners came in

One of my partners came in on a saturday last month and borrowed some suture and went home to stitch up a dog caused gash in one of his chickens.  The chicken is still alive today -- the bionic chicken.  The suture cost more than the chicken did, but I guess he thought it more a pet than a chicken.

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 Sorry you lost a hen, but

 Sorry you lost a hen, but sounds like the rooster defended the rest of the flock until you got there.  One morning this past fall, the one night I forgot to close the coop up, I actually found a skunk chewing on one of my hens it had dragged outside.  Needless to say I didn't get too close, but finally chased it off by throwing rocks. 

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Chicken Coop healthy Places

Chicken Coop is must for backyard chickens.

Maximum Benefit you can get from this chickens which are kept in a Chicken Coop.

You can use automatic chicken coop door for your Healthy Chickens.

Roaming Freely Makes chickens Happier.

They love to roam around here and there in search of food.

Chickens like to eat small insects and Ticks and small flies.

But will definitely stay in the night at Coop which is used by chickens.

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It looks great and worked

It looks great and worked fine in our small backyard. The color is beautiful, my hens love it and feel safe there, but I have heavily modified this coop as my chickens grew.

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Olson your link

takes me to video gaming.... not what you intended, is it?

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