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Thread: Chicken Coop?

  1. #1
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Question Chicken Coop?

    Does anyone have information or experience with doing your own chicken coop? We are highly considering purchasing a batch of chickies, growing them, and doing a butcher before the snow launches again.

    So... advice, suggestions, and experience posted would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in Advanced!
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  2. #2
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    Default great idea

    Afew years ago(when we lived in eagle river) we had a coop. It was 5'x8' and well insulated. I attached a fenced in area about 10'x20' that the birds had access to all day(while we were at work). When I did the fencing I buried the edge of the fence in a "L" shape about 16" deep and had fencing over the top of the area too. I did this because of the lynx and fox in our area. When we were home and outside they had free range of the whole yard. We had around 6 laying chickens, 4 bantees, 2 ducks, and a turkey. The fresh eggs were great and in late fall we butchered all but the bantees. Made for nice fresh freezer fillings. The bantees were the wife's pets and so we gave them to a friend of ours in Hope that had a huge coop and kept birds year round. We also noticed the drop in yards bugs(skeeters included) once we let them free roam in the yard.

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    Definatly protect from dogs and cover the top. If there are predatory birds in the area they will figure out your birds are easier to catch then the wild ones. If you are not over wintering them then all you need for shelter is something that allows them to get out of the rain.
    I recomend that you also place food and water in different locations. Some of the meat chickens will actually out grow their legs ability to hold them and die. Making the chickens move across the pen for food and water will help.

  4. #4
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    Default

    These are great suggestions. I really appreciate the both of you taking the time to generate your posts and responses.

    We are highly considering doing the chicken coop thing this summer and doing a butcher in the fall. We think that even though it's definitely more time consuming, it will be healthier in the long run.
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  5. #5

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    I had birds one summer. It was great to have the fresh meat that was untainted by the commercial industry but the feed bill was high. We had 20 chickens, 5 ducks, 5 geese, and 2 turkeys.

    When you get them as chicks, you need to keep a heat lamp on them until they can stabilize their body temp.

    When we did the harvest, we hung them by a leg with zip ties on the clothes line and with one knife stroke, we bled them out.

    Good eats! Great experience! Best of luck.

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    If you have some yard space and your just raising them for the summer season then a "chicken tractor" is the way to go. Low to the ground about 36" high and coverd on top and one end is usually covered to, if light enough you just pick it up and move it to another spot or larger ones will have wheels on one side or both for moving it around.










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    We tried a chicken tractor but found that it was pretty easy for dogs to get in to.

  8. #8
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    Default Butchering chickens

    We would heat a tub of water to 140* and place the chicken in it then test the wing tip feathers to see if they are easy to pull off. If so, rub the feathers off and then
    hang the chickens on a clothes line by folding their wings
    over the line and let them dry.

    We usually cut up legs, thighs and wings for one package for two people then cut the breasts in half one for each person. Breasts are great for Lemon Chicken

    We then vacuum pack each quantity.
    If no vacuum packer, use Saran Wrap and then a Freeze bag. Will last about a year or more.

    We save the gizzards and hearts for a large dish, boiled in water with salt and then pour a cheddar cheese sauce over the dish.

    If Cornish Cross are used and their legs won't hold them up, cull them and eat them, don't let them sit their and die.

  9. #9
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    This is a great idea, but put wire mesh on the bottom and move the pen daily. The chickend can eat all of the bugs and green stuff under the pen daily. More than one day and you will get too much nitrogen located in one area and burn the soil. Your chickens will have a much better taste if you do them this way instead of having a non moveable pen and feeding them. Also many pre made feeds have steroids in them, your chickens will grow fast but they will taste bland. Also for more ideas you might want to read "The Omnivore's Dilemma".



    Quote Originally Posted by rdrash View Post
    If you have some yard space and your just raising them for the summer season then a "chicken tractor" is the way to go. Low to the ground about 36" high and coverd on top and one end is usually covered to, if light enough you just pick it up and move it to another spot or larger ones will have wheels on one side or both for moving it around.









    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Member grcg's Avatar
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    Default look at Mother Earth News

    The Mother Earth News website has a bunch of Chicken coop ideas and plans. Here is a recent one that I think is a neat idea....it would work really nicely around my garden, except that I really don't like chickens.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Susta...Enclosure.aspx

    Have fun!

  11. #11
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    That's awesome that you just posted this from Mother Earth News. We have the magazines and that's where the husband got this idea.
    I'll be sure to share this article with him as well...
    Thanks, GRCG!
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    I don't have pictures, but I built a chicken tractor and we are currently raising six laying hens. The chicken tractor ended up being more of a chicken bulldozer, due to my inability to build something that won't survive a nuclear blast...The wife and I are very much on the strong side of average, and we can't move it more than ten feet at a time. It's pretty stout.

    It's about 3'6" x 7'6". It has a full roof with tarpaper, flashing, and composition shingles. There is an insulated (1.5" blueboard) coop area that's pretty small, with a bottom exit/entry. The coop is elevated off of the ground, so the chickens have access to the full ground under the bulldozer. The access door to the coop is very tight and sealed with weatherstripping. Because of the small size, the insulation, the bottom entry, and the tight door, the chickens should be able to survive the winter just fine.

    The hens should start laying roundabouts the end of June. They take care of most of our table scraps. We move the bulldozer about every other day. We will assess our egg needs and production, and the ability of the bulldozer to house six full grown hens later this fall. two or three of the hens might end up disappearing into our freezers...

    http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/index.html is where we got the tractor (bulldozer) idea.

  13. #13

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    After reading your post I decided I should build a coop and start my own flock. Drove out to Triple D's Farm and picked up a few Black Link Sex Chickens. Should start getting eggs here by July I hope. They are just little guys but they sure do like to eat. Does anyone know how many chickens your legally able to own in the Muni of Anchorage. I was guessing at zero but I'm still going forward with the farm fresh idea.

  14. #14

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    My geese and turkeys are homeless (no coop, no heat) and make it through the winter, we had -21* to -38* for about six weeks this last winter. I just ordered 40 more turkeys, and ten more geese. For eggs I like the geese, for meat the Big Turkeys are best.

  15. #15
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Kim i just picked this up..

    a small shed about the size of your boiler room would hold 30-40 chickens over the winter with a heat lamp.

    make it a short roof just tall enough to stand in for heat . with roosts.

    the chicks will brood well in the hanger under a light until feathered out. with just a box..about 24Inches tall. you just want to cut the drafts off them. if you build a pen. make sure you cover it. up here the Ravens love young chickens. and will kill and eat an entire flock in a morning.

    Gimme a shout if you need help. or bob needs ideas. when it comes to fowl i have raised most of them up here...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeak View Post
    For eggs I like the geese, for meat the Big Turkeys are best.
    We never fully wintered any of our turkeys (bronze or mammoth bronze). We would butcher them all right at Thanksgiving.

    Try as we did, we just couldn't get accustomed to waterfowl eggs, either Chinese geese or ducks. It's just too hard to beat chicken eggs for flavor and consistency, but the geese and ducks can deal with winter much, much better.

  17. #17

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    Has anyone had any chickens die off lately? My small flock seems like it is infected with something. I use wood chips on the ground and try to change it at least once a month. Maybe I need to change out there pin area more often? Does anyone have any ideas?

  18. #18
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    We were only considering this possibility when my husband took the dive today. He went ahead and purchased some ducks and chicks.

    I guess this is it. We are starting the process. I am still in a bit of shock. He's not going to be the one that's taking care of all these animals. It's me. I am not complaining, but with my work schedule and other commitments including gardening... I don't know how in the world I am going to have time to take care of 50 chicks.
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  19. #19

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    How much did they cost....? What type are they......?

    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    I don't know how in the world I am going to have time to take care of 50 chicks.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeak View Post
    How much did they cost....? What type are they......?
    I have no idea. We got them at Alaska Feed. Do you want them? I'll sell them to you. I think that FIFTY CHICKS is RIDICULOUS!
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