Tag Archives: chicks

Coop Plans

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Today is my first day of unemployment land! All of the area schools are closed again due to that Polar Vortex we keep experiencing, so it will not be representative of my normal week days. Right now my son (10yr old) makes a mess faster than I can keep it clean. My goals are to get and keep the house clean and organized!

One of the things that I have to plan quickly is the chicken coop!  I have 20 baby chicks in my kitchen. Some are still at the fuzzy ball cute stage, and others are starting to look a lot like pullets with real chicken feathers, at 2 weeks old. This means I have 3-4 weeks to build a coop!  Scary that I have that little time, so the plan design is very simple. I’ll make it look cute once it’s up and functional.

Below is the initial plan. According to the 4sqft per chicken, it looks like I might have to make the coop itself a bit larger. This is going to be a huge building!! A lot more cost than I had originally estimated. (Imagine that!) Good thing my loving hubby seems to be pretty flexible about this.

We found a killer bargain at the local Lowes on chicken wire. 50 foot rolls, 48″ tall for $6 each. So we bought 2 – 50′ rolls, and 2 24″x50′ rolls. And 1 roll of hardware cloth for less than $40! I am kicking myself that we didn’t buy more of them though. They had other kinds that I could should have bought.

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When posting the coop idea on a Chicken Facebook page, one of the ladies had an open air coop design like this. Her entire back yard was privacy fenced in though. I would love such an open air plan but I believe that my chickens would get eaten by a raccoon if I did so. I would also worry about the crazy Indiana weather!

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What are your coop designs like? Any feedback on my coop for functionality that I should change while I still can?

The Chicks!

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It’s about time that I posted again. Since I put my notice in at work, things have been hectic. That and there have been two new baby boys in my immediate family and a round of stomach flu in about everyone! So needless to say, blogging has not been in the forefront of my mind.

I gave a 30 day notice in to work. It’s bittersweet. I am thrilled to not have to work anymore but I will miss everyone and my job. For all the stresses it created – and sometimes I came home with little more worth than a lump of blubbering mess due to the stress – I loved my job. It’s just time for me to move on to different things. And what I am about to do is vastly different than before. I was a technogeek at a local college. And pretty darn good at my job. However, as of Friday, I am turning a complete 180 degrees. I am going to be a full-time house mom, mini-farmer, and creator of organic crafts! Oh, and work about 10-15 hrs a week for my brother to help finance my new endeavors.

As part of this, we went down to the local Rural King. To be honest, I didn’t know that this place existed. Or that I would enjoy it as much as I have. Think of it as a mini-Walmart in farming stuff. And guess what they have?! Baby chicks!

We picked up 8 this time and will be picking up another 12 tonight. I am finally ready to get out of the house (stomach bug hit me Tuesday/Wednesday) and so will head there this evening. So to see some of the babies I have so far? They are the cutest! On Monday, we did attend a Chicken Orientation and it has changed my ideas on breeds a bit. I was looking to get a lot of dual-purpose chickens in the effort to become closer to my food source. These girls will be my egg layers and after 2-3 years when they stop laying, chicken stew. What I will do with the next season (this is the changed idea part) is I will raise broilers. Cornish Cross chickens who are ready for harvesting at 6 weeks of age! Crazy to think of that, but if I did it right, I could raise these chickens and get my home-grown chicken meat for the freezer. I would know exactly where my food came from, without sacrificing these other chickens that will no doubt become my pets.

So let me introduce you to my peeps:

At this time I have 2 Golden Lace Wyandottes, 2 Bantans (think mini-chickens, my kiddo fell in love!), 2 Light Brahmas, 1 Jersey Giant, 1 Black Australop. This next round to Rural King, I’ll be buying Rhode Island Reds and Isa Browns for their egg laying skills.

What about you? Do you have chickens? What are your favorite breeds? If you raise meat birds, how do you cope with the harvesting process?

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