January 22, 2010

The Chicken To-Do List

The chicks are on order so now we need to get serious with our preparations.

Here's what we have to start ...

Dan cut out the door on the right & added the gate, for goats.

Goats will go on the right, chickens on the left, with a partition in between to store feed and supplies.

Entire floor is a concrete slab. Good or bad for chickens & goats?

When we bought the place, this shed was overflowing with trash and junk. I know that someone kept chickens here at one time, because the key caddy in my kitchen (pic here) has a peg labeled "chicken coop."

A fenced in chicken yard will be in back, under the shade of the pecan trees.

View of the back. The hardwoods are pecans.

Besides the fence and gate, we need to make a chicken door out the back of the coop, which will go on the lower right side of the building in the above photo.

This is how a design problem becomes a design feature.
The gap between post and corner is where we'll add a gate for the chickens.

At the back left corner of the shed will be a chicken gate, between the shed and the end post. This will allow the little flock easy free range access to the back field.

To Do:
  • Clean out coop (Done! So nice having at least one thing crossed off)
  • Remove the old sink & shelves stored there
  • Add support to roof (which is sagging in one spot. Fortunately it doesn't leak)
  • Fence in chicken yard
  • Wall off feed storage area
  • Make chicken door (from coop to chicken yard)
  • Make chicken gate (from yard to field)
  • Make brooder
  • Build roosts
  • Build next boxes
To Get:
  • brooder lamp
  • brooder bulb
  • chick feeder
  • chick waterer
  • chick grit
  • chicken wire
  • chick litter
  • starter feed
  • storage cans to keep feed in
I've also been doing a little searching on the Internet and have found some sites with ideas for homemade equipment:

The Chicken To-Do List photos & text copyright
January 2010 by Leigh at http://www.5acresandadream.com/


charlotte said...

This looks so exciting, what a lovely shed to have chickens and goats. I look forward to follow to see the animals arriving!

Laura said...

Looks like a great set up. Just a suggestion, though. If you have hawks in your area, you probably should limit your chickens free-ranging activity (as I have had to do), and consider covering their yard - bird netting works fine and it's cheap. I lost quite a few birds before I figured out that the hawks were enjoying the Finney Creek Farm buffet!

Leslie said...

You have a great building to use as the coop. They will love it. I look forward to seeing how the progress goes. (I have enjoyed your blog very much and mentioned it on yesterday's post on my blog.)

Life Looms Large said...

The chicks are on order....so exciting!

I like that you have a chicken to do list!! I can't say I've ever made that kind of list....but you know that I love lists in general!


PS: If it actually looks that way outside at your house right now, I'm a wee bit jealous! I'm tired of tromping through snow!

Leigh said...

Charlotte, I confess to being very excited! Once we get the chickens situated, we will finish up the fencing and prepare for the goats. I'm looking forward to both.

Laura, yes. we've seen hawks so that's a concern. You're the second person to suggest bird netting to me so it's definitely something I'm going to look in to. Like you, I don't want to feed the hawks at all if I don't have to!

Leslie, I feel really fortunate to have it, although I doubt the chickens will care one way or another as long as their needs are met. And thank you for the kind compliment and the award! Hopefully I can get it up tomorrow or the next day.

Sue, I figured you'd appreciate my lists! I couldn't live without them. I have to admit that I'm glad we don't have any snow at the moment, though I'm getting really tired of all the rain.

Benita said...

How well sealed is the floor and walls of this building? You need to make sure skunks and weasels can't get in.

Did I miss something? What breed(s) of chickens did you decide on?

Leigh said...

Benita, fortunately this part of the building is well sealed and hopefully we've taken extra measures to ensure our chickens safety. No, you haven't missed anything because I haven't yet mentioned what kinds of chickens I'm getting, but here they are: Delawares, Barred Hollands, Ameracaunas, and Welsummers. More on that after they get here.

bspinner said...

I am so jealous!! I love chickens!! Just think this time next year you'll be enjoy fresh eggs. Nothing better! Are you getting milk goats?

Leigh said...

Barb, I'm very excited about the chickens and the (future) eggs! Yes, milk goats are on the list next. Nor sure if we'll start with a milking doe right off the bat though. I need to get a second refrigerator to store the milk, though most of it will be made into yogurt and cheese. :)

cyndy said...

OH! new chicks are very exciting!!

What breed did ya get? All one kind, or assorted flavors ;-)

They will love the house you are making for them. And you will love the fresh eggs ;-)