Are you looking for a fun new hobby? It took me a long time to find the hobby that I would enjoy for the rest of my life. The purpose of this blog is to share with you my experience in raising chickens for eggs.
My love and enjoyment of raising chickens came from my Midwestern roots in Illinois. As a young child I remember my grandfather having a small farm with chickens on it. It was a fun experience to be able to go out and collect your breakfast whenever you spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
In those early years of my life that memories stuck with me for a very long time. Throughout my life I called upon that memory several times when I wanted things to seem simpler. Year after year I would joke with my family about getting chickens one day. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I moved out to the country in an area that would be ideal for raising chickens. Although the location was ideal in the fact that it was outside of city limits. It is still located in a residential area. Ultimately after many jokes about having chickens and finally a few real conversations with my wife we ended up deciding to build a chicken coop in our backyard.
When deciding to put up a coup there’s a couple of things to take into consideration, location is one of the most important factors. If you live here in the Midwest we have strong northwest winds that come through in December January and February. So when we decided on a location for our chicken coop we decided to place it where the west and northwest walls had the most insulation and protection from the winter winds.
Ultimately, choosing a good location in placing your coop in the correct position could have a few advantages that you need to consider. The fact that you get good ventilation and air flow will ensure that your chickens are healthy and have no respiration issues. Chicken coops that are poorly designed or overly insulated with no ventilation could be very problematic for your chicken’s ability to breathe.
After a lot of consideration, research and design we came up with what we believed was the ideal size chicken coop for our purposes. So the question comes to mind; how do you choose the ideal size chicken coop for you or for your family? After doing the research for myself I decided on a 5 foot by 5 foot chicken coop. I was looking to house between 12 to 15 chickens with the thought of getting a half a dozen to a larger number closer to a dozen eggs per day. As chickens only produce about an egg every other day.
Of course budget is always a part of this is well. The larger the cube the more money it’s going to cost you on materials. So after we decided on a location and size then we decided on the materials that we would use to create our coop. We decided that we wanted to use 4 inch by 4 inch post sunk into the ground to raise the coop up off the ground. We decided to raise it off the ground and run a plank system out of the front of the chicken coop. By keeping it off the ground you’re creating more ventilation and also a more secure location for your chickens from predators.
The ideal 4×4 post to sink into the ground we found was a 10 foot treated lumber. We use these for post as the corners and framework of the chicken coop to build upon. The 4 inch by 4 inch 10 foot long treated post allowed us to raise the coop a full three feet off the ground. Allowing the chickens to have a place to rest during the hot summer day beneath the coop in a shaded environment.
The shaded environment under the coop really serves a great purpose during the summer time. From a maintenance standpoint, your chickens drink less water so you’re not constantly having to go back and refill their water.
The next step for us before we got our chickens was to build a secure fence in an area that was proportionate to the numbers of chickens that I would have. So again we used the treated 4 by 4 by 10 foot post to anchor in a fenced in area for my chickens. Next we had to stretch fencing across all these posts and anchor the fencing to the post.
Some people when they put up a fence use a tool called a fence stretcher. That particular tool was not available to us at the time so we ended up just making it very taut and playing with the slack so the fence looked perfect. After getting the fence installed the most important next step was to make sure that we install the door so we can have easy access not only to the coop but to the actual fenced in area as well.
Choosing the door with a very simple task all we did is look for a screen door one very typical that you would find on a house. We’d already decided on a location, closest to the ramp is where we would install the door. After we installed the door we put a kick plate at the bottom of the door made from metal to protect the chickens from any potential predators.
Without getting into all of the details, we decided on the chicken coop plan and finished the complete design and build out. The next step for me after doing the build out was to treat the sides of the coop with the stain that would be water resistant.
The hope by treating it with a water-resistant stain it that I wouldn’t have to go back and rebuild or do much maintenance to the coop for several years.
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