Monday, April 18, 2011

Q & A regarding my Chickens and Coop?

First the formalities. 
I'm adding this post here. 

Now on with the Q & A
Actually, I'm showing and telling... and all these Questions are some that I have for all of you knowledgeable CHICKEN WRANGLERS.  
1. What do you call yourself? (those of you that raise chickens?) 

 This is the ladder/ steps/ ramp for our chicken coop. When last I showed you... we'd not gotten this far.
These are 1x4 boards screwed to a 1/4 inch plywood with 2x2 frame on the back for strength.
2. Will these 'steps' be to big for my chickens? 

We used some old brown paint we had to paint the whole thing. 
 It is sort of watered down... so it went on more like a stain.  It is latex and cleans up with water.
We painted the inside --just in order to give it a layer of protection; when cleaning.  It is OSB...? particle board siding. The paint side is down for protection from moisture outside.
3. Do you think paint is enough? I know this has to be cleaned periodically; Do you think some cheap linoleum would be better? 

This is the front access door. For cleaning out the chicken coop. 

4. I don't have any questions about this aspect. Unless you have something to offer? 

Below is one of the ends. 
This is open and will be covered I think with Chicken wire in warmer months and plywood in cooler months... 

5. Do chickens lay well if they are not in an enclosed unit? 
Would they do better if this part were closed off? Kind of like a 

I live in East Texas (north east) ...although we are South East of Dallas? (make sense) ...Anyway. My point gets really warm here. So I wanted there to be a breeze and good ventilation. But, I don't want them to feel vulnerable. That is why I asked Q # 5 

This is the handle on the ''egg access" door. I don't know any terminology or Chicken Lingo... so bear with me. To the left is a hook and eye for latching...see it isn't latched. In moving this thing around I noticed it 'UNLATCHED' fairly easy. 

6. What is the best type of latch? A slide bolt, perhaps? 
This is too high up for dogs. But, children and raccoons are the most mischievous (spell checker didn't know how to spell that either by the way) of all creatures around these parts. 

 This is just a shot of the door open 
(so you could see how I cannot cut a straight line with the skill saw! LOL) 
 I don't think I have a Q here either. Except maybe: 
7. Do all chickens lay at the same time? Do I just need to watch and gather eggs throughout the day? or I guess I'll know when the time comes? Kind of like when I had my own children, Huh? 

There are six boxes inside.  
Oh! 8. Do they have to have a divider between the laying boxes? 
Do Little Hens Like their privacy? 

the coop is finished! 
All we need now is to fence it in-- So the little chickens can have a scratch yard. 
Or whatever it is called. 

9. What do you think? 

10. Do you have any answers for me? 

11. Are you tired of me asking questions? 

No really,  These are all questions that I've had. I read all the different homesteaders and backyard chicken raisers (or whatever you're called)  and I'm learning bunches. 
For instance today, I read and watched about trimming or clipping the chickens wings so they can't fly. 
That will probably be necessary. 
12. Don't you think?   LOL...just kidding. 

That's all for now. 

God Bless you and Thanks for Reading! 


Coleen's Corner said...

Well... I call myself the "Big Chick" or the "Super Chick" when I enter the hen house, just so they know who's boss! Looks like you have all the basics down for your coop... but be sure to secure it everywhere with chicken wire... you'd be surprised what kind of predators are out there wanting eggs. We've always had a "roof" of chicken wire too because little creatures can climb right up the sides and drop down into the yard... and there's no escape for the chickens. I think your "chicken run" is okay. We just used an old door - no rungs on it. Eggs? We collect them once a day, usually after work when we get home. Ours lay about 1 egg per day. Ventilation is most important - you don't want them getting smothered in the heat! For the winter months, we have a heat light in the chicken coop to keep them warm... but our temps drop below zero, ya know. We don't have a painted floor or lineloium (sp. No matter what you use, it will just get ruined over time. Just keep fresh straw for them to scratch around in... and they will lay eggs wherever they darn well please! We have nesting boxes for them, but they don't seem to realize that's what they're for! Good luck with your chickens... fresh eggs are the best! We have Rhode Island Red chickens. They lay the brown eggs. Yum!

Laura @ Green Legacy Farm said...

This may seem a bit like a Jedi Knight trick for chickens, but if you put a golf ball or two in the nesting boxes, it clues them in as to where they should lay eggs. Great blog!

Kolein said...

I buy all my eggs and chickens at the supermarket. So I couldn't 'bawk' out a single answer for ya! But since EC wants to buy a farmette, I may be balking at, I mean, 'bawking' out, the same questions at some point. Good luck! LOVe what Greenacres Mama wrote!!! Is that true???

cluckingly yours,

Pamela said...

Chickens can take cold, cold temps, they say not to enclose them as it will create foul air and that is more dangerous than cold. Chickens do not need extra heat added as long as you keep them dry and out of drafts when they roost. Chickens do like a darker area to lay their eggs, they think they are hiding them from predators. Seeding the nest boxes (ie: the golf ball trick) does help in getting them to lay in the boxes. I agree with making sure everything is secure from predators, we have raccoons and skunks that are nefarious chicken killers and can scale straight walls and dig under fences!

Lowry517 said...

Hi! I too live in East Texas and e-mailed you a few weeks back. My hubby bought chickens, but we don't have a coop. They are boarding with the in-law's chickens for now. We too have been studying how we want to build our coop. Have to share what we have gotten off of Craig's List, so you may want to be watching it or posted a WANTED posting for certain materials. We bought a 10x20x6 ft. tall chainlink dog kennel that just sits ontop of the ground. That is going to be the chicken run right off of the coop. We will be putting chicken wire across the top of the kennel thingy. I just picked the wire up last night. We got it for FREE. I posted a Wanted posting on Craig's List and a very generous man called and gave us several rolls. While there, he also gave us about a flat of tomato plants he grew from seed as well as okra. Now, we have to take him some homemade bread. Oh, and I paid only $150 for that kennel. My in-laws got a 10x10 for $75. That is wayyyy cheaper than buying one of those babies. Good luck!

Lisa said...

I found my first eggs on the ground in a corner, just put them in the nest and left them for the first week...they got the picture! I ended up putting a taller side on my nests as they would scratch out the bedding and sleep in the nests...and then putting a piece of burlap
sacking from the top to about 1/2 way down because they do like privacy! hmmmm...modest chickens? lol! but they quit knocking the eggs out after that and now I have a broody hen and she stays in there a long time!
I think your chicken coop looks great! and very efficient!

I use a slide bolt for the door and a hook and eye for the pen is easy to unlatch but I haven't had any problems.

My chickens lay all day long but I only collect the eggs once in the morning unless I am out there doing something! They will stay fresh for 2 weeks just sitting on the counter! the ones from the grocery store are about 3 weeks old before you get them and they stay good another 3 weeks with refrigeration...I think you will have a great time with chickens, you will know after awhile exactly what they need...just like kids! LOL!