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Thread: New chickn house

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Default New chickn house

    I spent the past 3-4 days knocking together a new house for the birds. Nothing fancy, just a warm dry place for them to hang out and sleep during our nasty weather.

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    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?


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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Hey cool, is it moveable?.....I can see a wheel....
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    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    They've definitely gone up in the world. BTW, you missed an egg. lol.
    Recession; A period when you go without something your Grandparents never heard of.

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The old pen was movable. I pushed it from place to place until I wound up at the bottom of the hill and there is stayed! No way I was going to push that sucker back to the top of the lot! The last move was from about 20 feet away to where it now sits attached to the "outhouse". There is a 4x8 coop that is closed in and another 4x10 of open run. I also turn them loose for a short time each evening so they can scratch and play.

    I left that egg on purpose due to them not setling completely in right now. I dismantled their nest boxes and upset their routinue. When one lays they will all lay in that spot if they can. So far they are laying in both the nest boxes as they should and I am only collecting once a day until they settle down.

    I did the math last night. They give me 4 eggs a day and at that rate it will take them 8 months to cover the cost of the new house. Actually longer if you factor in the cost of food. But these eggs are much better than I can buy at the store and they are a continuious source of protien. And if worse came to worse I could simply turn them out each day to roam and find their own food. They just tend to hike down the road for a mile or two if I turn then out too early in the day.

    A pack of ramen or rice and sauce, some greens from the roadside, a bird or rabbit now and then and three eggs a day would keep this old man fed for a long time. I consider the hens part of my preps.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    The old pen was movable. I pushed it from place to place until I wound up at the bottom of the hill and there is stayed! No way I was going to push that sucker back to the top of the lot! The last move was from about 20 feet away to where it now sits attached to the "outhouse". There is a 4x8 coop that is closed in and another 4x10 of open run. I also turn them loose for a short time each evening so they can scratch and play.

    I left that egg on purpose due to them not setling completely in right now. I dismantled their nest boxes and upset their routinue. When one lays they will all lay in that spot if they can. So far they are laying in both the nest boxes as they should and I am only collecting once a day until they settle down.

    I did the math last night. They give me 4 eggs a day and at that rate it will take them 8 months to cover the cost of the new house. Actually longer if you factor in the cost of food. But these eggs are much better than I can buy at the store and they are a continuious source of protien. And if worse came to worse I could simply turn them out each day to roam and find their own food. They just tend to hike down the road for a mile or two if I turn then out too early in the day.

    A pack of ramen or rice and sauce, some greens from the roadside, a bird or rabbit now and then and three eggs a day would keep this old man fed for a long time. I consider the hens part of my preps.
    Darnit, I wanted to see the chickens! I am building a chicken condo with a fenced in yard next spring in preperation for the results of the fiscal cliff. I can't wait to get some chickens!

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildthang View Post
    Darnit, I wanted to see the chickens! I am building a chicken condo with a fenced in yard next spring in preperation for the results of the fiscal cliff. I can't wait to get some chickens!
    I will get shots of the birds tomorrow, it has gotten dark on me right now. They are handsome birds. A big yellow Oprington rooster and black austrolope hens. They just hatched out in April and started laying nonstop in September. I am now getting 3-4 eggs a day out of the five hens at only 8 months old.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Senior Member jfeatherjohn's Avatar
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    Nice little coop for your co-op friends.
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    They should be very happy in their new home.
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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    Looks like a keeper. My coop is way to heavy to move much. It is portable, with a tractor or 4 strong guys. You should get a few plastic eggs. That way they know where to lay, and they can peck at it until they get bored and realize it does no good to peck at it. One thing I have to do if I put them in a new coop is to lock them in for 2 or 3 days. It resets their brains as to what is "home". Then they will come back to it every night, and lay in the right spot. Of course, I had one chicken that just didn't want to follow the program and would lay anywhere she wanted. I ended up giving her to a friend. The just reported that they thought she stopped laying, and all of a sudden found over 2 dozen eggs in a hidden part of their yard.
    When you compare costs, make sure you use the cost of the more expensive "free range" eggs at the store. Otherwise, you aren't comparing apples to apples. I don't factor in cost of eggs. I am too scared.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of shots of the birds.

    The rooster is a yellow Orpington. I named him Bill Clinton for appropriate reasons. The hens are Black Astrolopes. They are stil small, only 8 months old. Pres. Clinton is already knee high and will get a bit larger. The hens will plump out more.

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    They were ticked at me because I had been sitting on the back porch having a discussion and they thought I should have let them out of the pen. Way too early for them to be out. They would be in Canada by supper time. Bill is giving me the "stinkeye".
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 11-21-2012 at 12:40 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Wow, those are some cool looking chickens Kyrat! How do you keep the critters from eating them? I have studied the proper ways to build a chicken coop and yard, and it said to bury the fencing 12" into the ground to keep predators from digging under and getting in and eating the chickens.
    Do you not have predators around there?

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I have found that the trick with protecting them is to keep them secure at night. Build them a house that is enclosed and attach the run to that house. They will go inside at dark and you simply close off their little entryway door.

    You are not going to have a lot of daytime predatory activity unless coyotes are thick in your area and if the birds are inside any kind of fence that is about eliminated. Free range birds are up for grabs! They also lay their eggs all over God's creation and you will never find all of them and will always wonder how fresh the one you find hidden really is. I keep mine penned all day, let them out for a couple of hours just before dark and they march back into the henhouse when the sun goes down. I go out, count heads and lock the door. The rooster is boss and chases the hens inside when dark comes.

    I lost one bird back in the spring when it fell out of the house because I forgot to latch the door. Racoons got her. That gave them a taste of chicken and the war was on. They were on top to the cage, on the sides of the cage, trying to tunnel into the cage. I was working like a serial killer on a binge through that period. If I had not had them inside their house each night I am sure they would all be gone.

    One tip I can give on predator control is that a 22lr will not give clean kills on racoons, I do not care what the .22 worshipers claim. I been there and done that, it don't work if you expect to drop them in their tracks with clean kills. I had to use .22lr due to close neighbors and need for noise abatement. I was also not worried about "clean kills" I will accept dirty kills and look for where the buzzards are the next day.

    A shotgun with an aimpoint would have done the job fine if I could have used one.

    And you will need night vision goggles if you get into real problems. Now you will have an excuse to purchase them. I would go with a device that attached to the rifle/shotgun and accented the scope or aimpoint. Night shooting critters is also easier with an aimpoint than sights or a scope, even an illuminated scope or "night sights".
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Guardin' the chicken coop...any excuse is better than none.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Oooooo Racoons. Hadn't thought about that.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I think we have a brand spankin' new F.A.R.T. unit. Of course they need a moniker.......... Tutela of Pullus (Guardians of the Chickens)

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Well I think I am going to build a mini Alcatraz for my chickens. The chicken coop will be quite a ways from the house, and I am a sound sleeper. So it will be a fowl fortres because I have coyotes, coons, and lot's of cats roaming around here!

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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    If I could have afforded it I would have built a .223 w/night vision scope set up for 70 gn subsonic slugs w/supressor. That would have been lovely!

    Every homestead needs a dedicated silent varmit/sniper rifle for use in the dark.

    Yes Rick we should have a dedicated ToP section of the FART unit!

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    Last edited by kyratshooter; 11-22-2012 at 06:52 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    So I suppose that my city pellet rifle with laser for BYB, counts?
    The lazer will light up their eyes in the dark....so I don't have to kill clumps of leaves.
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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildthang View Post
    Wow, those are some cool looking chickens Kyrat! How do you keep the critters from eating them? I have studied the proper ways to build a chicken coop and yard, and it said to bury the fencing 12" into the ground to keep predators from digging under and getting in and eating the chickens.
    Do you not have predators around there?
    This is correct,but you do not have to bury it that deep,however burying the wire with it bent outward AWAY from the pen,stops predators from digging into the pen,if you bury it straight down,or bent inward to the pen,the they simply dig under it and get in on a murderous rampage.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I lined the bottom of my cage with landscaping timbers, the round ones about 6" diameter and 8' long. The racoons simply tossed them aside. They would be 6-8 feet from the pen when I woke in the morning.

    I forgot to mention that I installed motion sensor lights on the pen during the racoon war. That would alert me to their presence and it never stopped them from messing around with the pen. They would march right up to the wire with the spotlights on them. It did help with target identification though.

    I suppose it all depends on the critters you have in your area. Around my place I only have to worry about coyotes, during the daylight. It was night that caused me problems and a good well built shelter takes care of that. My chickens simply march inside every night and wait for me to close the door.

    It does take some deligence. With livestock you can not decide to skip a night of care or a day of food. You have to be there and deal with them when you are supposed to be there. Unless you have dependable help, with your first livestock purchase you have ended your weekends away, sleeping in and staying out late.

    I penned my birds up to go to the jamboree and they have not been the same since. I messed up their behavior paterns and they responded with reduced egg production. They demand their outside time even if it is only a few minutes each day.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 11-23-2012 at 10:37 AM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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