Raising Chickens

JSJJ388

GREEN GREMLIN
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Location
HAMPTONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Wife and me were talking the other day about wanting to get some chickens and raise. She wants the eggs and wants munchkin to learn from it. I had chickens growing up, but haven't messed with them in years.

Weve got a few acres and room to put a coop and run. Looking at dominique's and Rhode island reds currently. Looking at 5-8 birds to start with.

So let's see your setups and hear any advice you have for raising birds here in the foothills. Thanks.
 

DSM Turbos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Location
Raleigh, NC
I have 3. I built the coop and run myself, it is way overkill for 3 of them.

I have about a 1 acre yard, a lot of the time when we get home from work and on the weekend we let them roam free. They don't really go very far.

Best investment has also been an automatic door on the coop so we don't have to close the thing manually every night. We haven't had a single one taken by a predator, thankfully.

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DAWGTOY

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Location
tanzania
In our experience having the bigger breeds (reds and dominique's) rather than small breeds makes it less likely
that hawks will get them. if you raise them from dibs be sure they are in a fully enclosed pen and if you let them out to scratch around stay with them and make sure they get back in the pen. we don't turn ours out until they are nearly grown and large enough that the hawks don't mess with them. it's been a while since we have raised any from dibs tho cause lots of people that get a few birds for eggs etc soon grow tired of the daily routine involved
with chicken care so they give em away and we take em in. we got close to 40 birds at the moment.
wife loves messing with the goats and chickens and takes very good care of them.
 

WARRIORWELDING

Owner opperator Of WarriorWelding LLC.
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Location
Chillin, Hwy 64 Mocksville NC
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Home built. Bunch of photos on my Facebook. Dog kennel repurposed for a run with fence on top has kept everything out.
Used to raise 30 meat chickens in a separate raised coop. Few rounds in it was to much like work.....but dang tasty birds.
If you get an egg eater, kill it.
 

paradisePWoffrd

Recovering Project Junkie
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Location
Newton, NC
We have ~16 layers currently and are planning to add another 10 this spring. Some of ours are in a stationary coup and run, similar to what others have posted here. The majority of ours are in a moveable coop and net.

For a stationary coop and run, look up deep bedding method. I built a Suscovich tractor for most of the layers and move them around with a Premier1 Poultry net. They dont need a nest box until ~18wks of age.

We typically keep them in the brooder for 6-8 wks before putting them outside. So far we havent had any hawk attacks. After you move them outside, lock them in the coop for a few days to a week so they learn home. You might need to bring them in at night for a bit, until they learn.

You can also spend a little more and purchase "ready-to-lay" pullets or find some older hens, if you dont want to deal with chicks at first.
 

JSJJ388

GREEN GREMLIN
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Location
HAMPTONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Thanks for the input yall. I had some down time today and drew up some plans. Its overkill for what we are starting out with, but gives us a lot of room to grow. Am I going too overboard? Trying to make maintenance as easy as possible for my wife, as she will do most of the day to day stuff.

Excuse the drawings, they're just idea sketches.

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JSJJ388

GREEN GREMLIN
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Location
HAMPTONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Dang, lumber costs too much...
 

JSJJ388

GREEN GREMLIN
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Location
HAMPTONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
It adds up quick. I have about 1k total in mine I think and it’s way overbuilt. I built it just like a house since that’s what I know how to do lol.


Just quick figuring I'm at about 300 in lumber for what's shown. That's using 24" studs.
 

GubNi

8 lug disc brakes?
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Location
Jonesborough, TN
I did it for about 3 years. I got rid of them because in the winter they almost stop laying and still need to be fed. Also my biggest advise is to lock them up every night and let them out every morning. I tried many times to just allow them to come and go and always lost some. If I ever do it again I will have a solar powered door opener that will close the door an hour after dusk and open at dawn.
 

DSM Turbos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Location
Raleigh, NC
I did it for about 3 years. I got rid of them because in the winter they almost stop laying and still need to be fed. Also my biggest advise is to lock them up every night and let them out every morning. I tried many times to just allow them to come and go and always lost some. If I ever do it again I will have a solar powered door opener that will close the door an hour after dusk and open at dawn.

Mine isn't solar but runs on 4 AA batteries and in 2.5 years I have replaced them once about 2 months ago

https://www.amazon.com/Cheeper-Keeper-Automatic-Chicken-Opener/dp/B00J7DOXJ0

It was less money when I got it I think, but so worth it.

Winter here, they stop for about a month (and produce less for about 2-3 months), when the days are the shortest, but its not as cold where I am. Feeding and upkeep for my 3 is probably only 15 bucks a month.
 

McCracken

Logan Can't See This
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
With your mom at a nice seafood dinner
I made a 4x4 coop with scrap materials I had laying around and from what people gave me. I think all I had to buy was a few studs and some shingles. They claim all they need is 2-4 sqft per bird in the coop, which makes sense. All they do is go in to eat, sleep, and drop an egg. The run is where they need space IMO. People like chicken tractors because you can move them around to new patches of grass. Otherwise they'll work the lot down to dirt. I used to get a couple of bales of straw from time to time and chuck it in there. They seemed to like to kick it around and look for bugs.

I highly suggest putting down linoleum on the floor. It preserves the floor underneath and makes clean up easy. I've also seen people build chicken wire floors. I'm not a fan but that's me. As far as nest boxes go, I'd build three max. You'll find that the birds will share. Also, you may have to block them for a little while. The lazy hens will go in them and sleep for the night. This also means they'll crap them up and you'll have to clean them out.

Coop pic.png
 
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DSM Turbos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2006
Location
Raleigh, NC
I made a 4x4 coop with scrap materials I had laying around and from what people gave me. I think all I had to buy was a few studs and some shingles. They claim all they need is 2-4 sqft per bird in the coop, which makes sense. All they do is go in to eat, sleep, and drop an egg. The run is where they need space IMO. People like chicken tractors because you can move them around to new patches of grass. Otherwise they'll work the lot down to dirt. I used to get a couple of bales of straw from time to time and chuck it in there. They seemed to like to kick it around and look for bugs.

I highly suggest putting down linoleum on the floor. It preserves the floor underneath and makes clean up easy. I've also seen people build chicken wire floors. I'm not a fan but that's me. As far as nest boxes go, I'd build three max. You'll find that the birds will share. Also, you may have to block them for a little while. The lazy hens will go in them and sleep for the night. This also means they'll crap them up and you'll have to clean them out.

View attachment 312858

One of my hens now 3 years later all of a sudden wants to sleep in the nesting boxes, keep having to block them off every night. She was fine for 2 years but now, its annoying. I actually did flex seal on the floor of my coop and up the walls a little for easy clean up with deep litter. Linoleum is a good idea too.
 

Pacfanweb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Location
Wake Forest
Put a roof on whatever their enclosure is.

We live in a subdivision and our next door neighbor has some. She used to let them free range, then they started disappearing. Raccoon.
Had to start keeping them in the pen.

Word gets out among predators that there's easy pickings.

I grew up with them. We had around 300 at one point, mostly show chickens, but always in a pen. Found out the hard way that raptors like them. They can't carry the big ones off, but if they are dead anyway that doesn't really matter.
 

awheelterd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Location
johnston co./ ncsu
Put a roof on whatever their enclosure is.

We live in a subdivision and our next door neighbor has some. She used to let them free range, then they started disappearing. Raccoon.
Had to start keeping them in the pen.

Word gets out among predators that there's easy pickings.

I grew up with them. We had around 300 at one point, mostly show chickens, but always in a pen. Found out the hard way that raptors like them. They can't carry the big ones off, but if they are dead anyway that doesn't really matter.
Yup. My parents lost several in the run to red tails before they put netting over the top. They'll swoop in and eat them in the pen. And they have barred rocks and Rhode Island reds. Not really small breeds. At my old house I'd have trouble with possums and raccoons occasionally. They'd catch the hens on the nest and eat them from the bottom up. My run isn't covered yet but so far I haven't had any trouble. My dog stays outside and his favorite place to lay is right beside their house so I think he is inadvertently keeping the four legged predators away.
 

JSJJ388

GREEN GREMLIN
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Location
HAMPTONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
Well, this just got put on the front burner. Was given a building to use as a coop, and just got 5 truck loads of wood from someone rebuilding their deck. Looks like all we will need now is wire, supplies, and birds. Building cost just dropped way down.

Shed is ~4x8 with a man door and two open windows.
 
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