Author Topic: Raising Chickens and Poultry  (Read 90065 times)  

Offline Carol Hanrahan

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Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
« Reply #150 on: April 19, 2010, 08:45:23 am »
. DH and I moved stuff back in to coop. DH keeps talking about what a nice workshop the coop will be when I am tired of chickens.  ::) ;D ::)

LOL! ;D

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #151 on: April 19, 2010, 11:26:34 pm »
    Photos of most recent work:

    DH added 2x4s to finish corners and then helped to clear the coop so that I could clean the plywood floor and put vinyl flooring down. Pegboard on south wall is complete. Piece cut from 4'x8' sheet to fit roofline was used over the door opening.  :D


    Vinyl flooring is in place but not attached. A single 8'x12' sheet was cut to fit the corners and doorway so that the flooring could curve 4" up the walls. That should make for easier cleaning. We will put white tempered board (without holes) on the lower half of the walls in 8'x8' area allocated for chickens and white pegboard on the upper half of the walls and in the 4'x8' area allocated for access and storage by south wall and doorway. Additional wiring and insulation needs to go in first. :D The markerboard is temporary in that position; I hope to find a way to fit it above the light switch; I may need to cut an inch or two off the width.


    NW, NE, and SE corners of floor show how a single 45 cut was made and the vinyl overlapped. The SE corner shows how the flooring will be against the wall after the tempered board is in place. At that time we will cover the edge with something and attach it at each vertical 2x4. The interior wall will also be fastened to the floor joists and anchor the flooring in place under the wall. There may also be a board attached to the floor in the 8'x8' section as an anchor for a temporary dividing wall for the times I want to separate the flock. Hopefully the floor will hold up for years as it will be covered with 3-6 inches of pine shavings where the chickens will be. If not, it will be relatively easy to replace since the vinyl is not glued down.



    DH thinks the coop would make a great workshop. (All the pegboard is his idea.  :D) The power outlets in the ceiling were very handy for running the power saw and charging the batteries for the other power tools. ;D The tools remain for building the interior wall next weekend. The interior wall will go across at the 2x4 where insulation stops in the first photo of this set. The door in the interior wall will be in front of where chair is placed. The shelf on the long wall must come down before the wall is built. Pegboard organizing set on wall from our local Ace hardware store, source of the 2x4s, drywall screws, foamboard glue, etc. as can be guessed from the trash bag hanging on the wall.  :D


    View from outside. The large shed near the coop would make a better workshop if it was possible to get inside without tripping over stuff.  ::) I do not know how DH got the power saw out by himself!  ;) (Future project to clear and organize that shed. We may have to build a carport or garage first. :o) More stuff stacked against back (north) wall.


    Bag of pine shavings in preparation for chicks. I needed to get it inside before the expected rain arrives in the next couple days. Half of the shavings fit in one tub with the other half, still in the bag, in the other tub. The wireless thermometer is in the pool.
    « Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 11:49:47 pm by Annalog »

    Offline geoffthomas

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #152 on: April 20, 2010, 10:11:37 am »
    Thank you so much for continuing to provide the pics.
    It is fascinating to watch the progress.
    And to anticipate the arrival of the chicks.
    I know that we are not allowed to do this - zoning laws forbid it.
    And I suspect that we do not have the patience to take care of a bunch of chickens over the long-haul.
    But we have some friends who have about 50 acres and they have enough chickens that they provide fresh eggs often.
    But I never have seen how they went about it.

    So thank you again.

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #153 on: April 20, 2010, 11:55:35 am »
    You are very welcome GeoffThomas. I should add the notice that this is how a couple aging geeks with book knowledge and about 10 years from retirement approach keeping chickens. We are a bit like the Goods from Good Neighbors/The Good Life but a lot more cautious.

    Since we are in a rural area the zoning rules are not a problem. However DH heard from the neighbor across the street that he had a deed restriction concerning chickens. The only restriction we remember from 15 years ago was we could not have horses but across the street could have one horse per acre. We spent part of this weekend searching for the deed paperwork but with no luck. It was not where it was supposed to be. We found other papers, just not the ones we wanted. We don't think we would have bought the property with restrictions for chickens or goats. More searching to do.

    Offline geoffthomas

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #154 on: April 20, 2010, 12:26:00 pm »
    Yeah the Good Life was one of our favorite shows when we lived in London.
    I am sure that you are more sensible than Tom and Barbara.

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    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #155 on: April 20, 2010, 02:44:02 pm »
    Yeah the Good Life was one of our favorite shows when we lived in London.
    I am sure that you are more sensible than Tom and Barbara.
    :D I certainly hope so!

    Wait, both DH and I are still employed and hoping to stay so until everything is paid for and set up. Yes, I think that is more sensible. ;D

    Offline Brendan Carroll

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #156 on: April 20, 2010, 04:26:17 pm »
    Hey, Miss Annalog!  Haven't checked in here in a while and see that you are making grand progress on your chicken coop.  I have only recently retired and am about to move to a rather rural setting.  I asked the HOA if having chickens was permitted and they said as long as there were no crowing roosters, free-ranging chickens or large permanent structures, they had no problem with it.  So I'm thinking of investing in a small chicken coop for say 4-6 laying hens?  One of those that you can move around the yard to spread the wealth so to speak.  What do you think? 

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #157 on: April 20, 2010, 08:21:58 pm »
    Hey, Miss Annalog!  Haven't checked in here in a while and see that you are making grand progress on your chicken coop.  I have only recently retired and am about to move to a rather rural setting.  I asked the HOA if having chickens was permitted and they said as long as there were no crowing roosters, free-ranging chickens or large permanent structures, they had no problem with it.  So I'm thinking of investing in a small chicken coop for say 4-6 laying hens?  One of those that you can move around the yard to spread the wealth so to speak.  What do you think? 
    Hello Brendan, while I have not yet had chickens of my own, I have heard that either a small mobile or stationary coop can work very well for keeping a few chickens.

    Some things to consider:
    • Since chickens are flock birds, you need at least two to have happy chickens.
    • How big does the structure need to be? Each hen needs 2-3 square feet of shelter space and 3-4 square feet of outside space. This is the reason why many of the small coops for 4-6 hens have two levels with the shelter above at least part of the outside area.
    • How big is the area in the yard for a movable coop? Is the area easy for moving the coop? How many times can the coop be moved before the coop is back on the original location? Will the vegetation have time to recover?
    • Moveable coops are great in the spring, summer, and fall. What will the climate be like in the winter? Is there a sheltered space where the movable coop and hens can stay in the winter?
    • Most of the chicken droppings fall under the roosts. Is that part of the coop easy to clean?
    • A nesting space (about a cubic foot) is suggested for every 4 hens in order to prevent the waiting line from getting too long in the morning. :D.
    • Is the shelter strong enough to protect the hens from predators? Remember that 'chicken wire' is not very strong. If the coop is in a fenced/walled area, then it might not need to be as strong.
    • Remember to protect the top so that hawks and owls cannot get to the chickens.
    • Remember that wild birds can carry diseases that can make your hens sick.

    There are many sites with information on the Internet. Some are:
    « Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 11:03:17 pm by Annalog »


    Offline geoffthomas

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #159 on: April 21, 2010, 04:35:20 pm »
    I saw the friends mentioned above who have chickens tonight.
    So I asked them how many they have.
    18 hens now laying.
    And 33 peeps on the way.

    That is more chickens than I thought they had.


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    Offline Brendan Carroll

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #160 on: April 21, 2010, 07:32:45 pm »
    Wow! You really know your chickens, Miss Annalog!  Well, I like the white coop myself.  About four hens and about two acres of fairly flat ground to move it around.  The winters are mild and the chickens will be safe from extreme cold in the winter.  SE Texas normally has mild winters with only a few freezes and sprinkles of snow... normally.  Not this year, however, but let us hope that the ice age is not upon us, brought about by global warming, of course.  Do you happen to know what it takes to drag one of these babies around the yard... flat yard?

    Thank you for all the trouble.  I will go and look at the websites and put them on my favorites.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #161 on: April 21, 2010, 11:34:52 pm »
    I saw the friends mentioned above who have chickens tonight. So I asked them how many they have. 18 hens now laying. And 33 peeps on the way. That is more chickens than I thought they had.
    Thanks for letting me know that. It suggests that I might not be too crazy for having 25 chicks on order in the hope of having a dozen laying hens. :D

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #162 on: April 22, 2010, 12:07:15 am »
    Wow! You really know your chickens, Miss Annalog! Well, I like the white coop myself. About four hens and about two acres of fairly flat ground to move it around. The winters are mild and the chickens will be safe from extreme cold in the winter. SE Texas normally has mild winters with only a few freezes and sprinkles of snow... normally. Not this year, however, but let us hope that the ice age is not upon us, brought about by global warming, of course. Do you happen to know what it takes to drag one of these babies around the yard... flat yard? Thank you for all the trouble. I will go and look at the websites and put them on my favorites.
    I am away from highspeed Internet and posting from my K2. I don't remember which one was white. However some are easy to move while others are difficult. Most have wheels on at least one end. I saw one which was mounted on skids and pulled by a riding mower. The chicken tractors are usually moved at the speed that the chickens inside can walk.
    EDIT: The white one is nice. That one has removeable wheels. It is also set up nicely for containing the hens inside the structure for moving. (I know chickens can be trained to go into a shelter when called for treats. :D)
    « Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 12:14:53 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #163 on: April 28, 2010, 01:35:07 pm »
    The hatchery I ordered the chicks from should have put the eggs that will hatch into my chicks in the incubators at the beginning of this week. (Does that sentence have too many prepositional clauses?) The chicks should arrive in three weeks.

    The interior wall did not get built last weekend as allergy medication and power tools do not mix safely. However my plans for portable roosts/brooder have been greatly simplified and will bear a striking resemblance to saw horses. (Is DH secretly working on turning the coop into a workshop? ;D) Saw horse brackets have been purchased as well as most of the lumber and insulation. (I am glad my Prius can easily transport 8' 2x4s as well as 2 foot wide insulation sheets that are 8 feet long.  :D The lumber yard people are surprised when they see me load the materials into my car. ;D However we still need to use a pickup truck to get the 4'x8' sheets of whiteboard and pegboard home.)

    I found some vents intended for use under eaves that we will use to increase the air flow in the coop after the chicks are fully feathered. These have resolved one of the problems that DH and I have been discussing.

    This morning DH mentioned that he is thinking of putting a rabbit fence in to enclose the area between the sheds and the house, as well as around the garden. This will make work on the chicken moat and garden easier as well as providing a place where we can let the chickens roam while under supervision. :D (And he still says that he does not like chickens; he calls them cannibalistic dinosaurs. He is such a sweetheart! ;D)

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #164 on: May 02, 2010, 04:29:02 pm »
    Chicks are due to arrive in just over two weeks. According to Stages in chick embryo development:
    Quote
    By the seventh day, digits appear on the wings and feet, the heart is completely enclosed in the thoracic cavity, and the embryo looks more like a bird.

    The interior wall did not get built this weekend either. However, the lumber is cut for the two saw horses that is the basis of the brooder and the future roosts. I attached to legs to the brackets. The step left is to attach the horizontal piece of wood. However, in their current state the saw horses do not take up much space. I wll finish them next weekend, hopefully after the interior wall is built. I attached wood trim around the covered insulation on the door to keep the Contact liners in place.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #165 on: May 03, 2010, 10:35:08 pm »
    It was still light when I arrived home from work today. Since it wasn't windy, I cut insulation for the section with the wiring for the door. (EDIT: I cut more insulation Wednesday after work. :D) My goal is to have as much ready for this weekend as possible.

    I bought a 25 pound bag of organic chick starter/grower. I put it into airtight containers and then put those into the freezer so that the chicken feed would stay fresh; it should also kill any insect eggs present.
    « Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 11:13:26 pm by Annalog »

    Offline Angela

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #166 on: May 04, 2010, 06:44:16 pm »
    Annalog, I grew up out in the country and we almost always had chickens. First for the eggs, secondly for the meat. I absolutely hated the days I would look into the backyard and see Daddy setting up the big iron kettle on the fire to boil water. This meant it was time to move some of the chickens from the coop to the freezer!! I would go hide, but I was always found. It didn't bother me to see Daddy kill the chickens, my problem was that my job was to pluck feathers. I hated that so much that even to this day I can barely touch a raw chicken. I was one happy young homemaker the first time the grocery store began carrying frozen chicken pieces that I didn't have to cut up or touch!!

    I love fresh farm egss, but don't know that I could raise chickens on my own, but I admire you and the work you are doing!

     

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #167 on: May 04, 2010, 08:57:22 pm »
    Thanks Angela! We had bantam chickens when I was growing up. The eggs were wonderful. It was years after I left home before store eggs started looking or tasting normal to me. The only chicken that ended up on our table was one bantam rooster who kept attacking us until my mom put a final stop to his activities. She took care of him while we were at school. She had grown up on a farm where she and her mom were responsible for hundreds of chickens. They provided eggs and meat for local stores. I am only going to keep a dozen or so.

    I will also be keeping the chickens first for the eggs and secondly for the meat. It will be my job to kill, pluck, clean, and freeze any chickens that we or my mom eat.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #168 on: May 07, 2010, 09:41:06 pm »
    Bump: Came home to find that DH had worked on the chicken coop walls. Thump: In the process, he tore the vinyl flooring in a few places along the walls. I will have to see what I am going to do to fix it.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #169 on: May 08, 2010, 08:48:02 pm »
    I plan to upload pictures tomorrow.

    Yesterday DH bought regular (brown) hardboard in Benson for the lower four feet of the walls in the area where the chickens will be. He cut the board and set it in place. It was when he set the last piece down that he tore the vinyl flooring. I decided this morning that using a vinyl repair kit on the vinyl in the chicken coop will be good practice for repairing the small tear in the vinyl flooring in the kitchen. For the last several years the tear has had a brick sitting on it while waiting to be repaired.

    This morning I cut all of the insulation for the bottom four feet of each wall; I glued the insulation on the east and west walls. After lunch, we bought a gallon of semigloss exterior latex paint. DH set all three sheets of hardboard up on the saw horses that will eventually become the roosts. I painted each of the sheets of hardboard with two coats of paint. While each sheet dried I glued the insulation in place. I would phone DH to come help me move the painted (top) sheet to the coop. He would go back inside and I would start on the next sheet, etc. After the three sheets were painted and in the coop, I took the saw horses apart and put two coats of paint on each of the pieces of wood. The sun set before I finished so DH set up some lights so I could see to finish. I used almost 3/4 of the gallon of paint.

    When we were out shopping after lunch we also bought an inexpensive box fan at Wal-Mart. While we were there DH saw a small window-style air conditioner for $98. He suggested we buy that instead of the box fan. We didn't. Later he said that the air conditioner would come in handy when I got tired of chickens and he would then have a great workshop. ::)

    Offline Angela

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #170 on: May 08, 2010, 10:15:12 pm »
    Quote
    When we were out shopping after lunch we also bought an inexpensive box fan at Wal-Mart. While we were there DH saw a small window-style air conditioner for $98. He suggested we buy that instead of the box fan. We didn't. Later he said that the air conditioner would come in handy when I got tired of chickens and he would then have a great workshop. 

    LOL  :D
     

    Offline Carol Hanrahan

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #171 on: May 08, 2010, 10:50:43 pm »
    I don't know how I've been missing this thread.  Got caught up tonight though! :D
    Great progress, Annalog!  I can almost hear those chicks peeping!

    Carol Hanrahan

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #172 on: May 09, 2010, 12:07:14 am »
    I don't know how I've been missing this thread.  Got caught up tonight though! :D
    Great progress, Annalog!  I can almost hear those chicks peeping!
    The chicks should arrive in a week and a half. The chick embryos should have their feathers and their egg tooth by now. :D They should hatch in just over a week. ;D
    « Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 12:12:19 am by Annalog »

    Offline B-Kay 1325

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #173 on: May 09, 2010, 09:18:26 am »
    Wow it's getting close!!  Will you receive a shipping notice when they actually ship?  You have made great progress.

    Offline Annalog

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    Re: Raising Chickens and Poultry
    « Reply #174 on: May 09, 2010, 09:47:20 am »
    B-Kay, I doubt I will get a shipping notice as the chicks must be shipped the day they hatch. The hatchery sets eggs in the incubator based on the promised orders. I expect a phone call from the post office when they arrive instead.
    « Last Edit: May 09, 2010, 10:14:07 am by Annalog »

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