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Old 04-26-2017, 07:31 PM   #1
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Default Sweet Wife's Chicken Coop

I case you've wondered where your beloved admin has been for the last few days... I have been building a hen house.



Sweet Wife decided she wanted to have fresh eggs in the back yard. My B-I-L is helping get us started with advise, brooding and other stuff. She asked him "What kind of hens should we get?" and I butted in and said "The kind that lay the big brown eggs!"

B-I-L has some that lay greenish eggs. Ahh, no thanks. I hear they taste the same but still, big brown eggs are THE way to go. So I have no idea what breed these things are but they make brown eggs. Suits me.

So here's a few pics of the work so far. although we did get the rest of the roof on today. It only took 20 minutes to do, but required 6 hands and today was the first not rainy day the 3 of us had time to work together.

It went back under a tarp. Gets painted next few days. Hens arrive next Saturday.
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:34 PM   #2
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I thought real serious about putting this under "The Funnies"
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:16 PM   #3
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Green eggs and ham!

We have 3 bantees, OK, my wife does. We built the little chicken house to match our house. They strut around all day in their run and give us 2-3 Itty bitty eggs per day. They are good eggs, just need to double the recipe.

Now is the time to get the chicks but be forewarned. Our last bunch of 6 had 3 roosters that were given to friends with larger properties.

Have fun.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:37 PM   #4
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My B-I-L is brooding our chicks and were pretty darn sure all we're getting is hens.

The local ordinances say we can only have 6 hens, no roosters. We have an acre outside city limits. This is our first attempt. We might try and squeeze 8 in there next time, but don't tell the sheriff.
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:01 PM   #5
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I was born and raised on a farm in SW Iowa. Our chickens were free range. We had Leghorns at one time but you had to get them out of the trees in the evening because that was where they liked to roost as they could fly a short distance. When we had Rhode Island Reds that wasn't a problem as there were too heavy too fly, they were easy to catch too, if you chased them they would just sit down and you could pick them up then. They lay brown eggs. When I was a young lad there was a rooster that chased me, my dad saw it and we had chicken for supper that night. Gathering the eggs wasn't much of a problem except when you tried to get an egg from under a cluck hen, she would peck the heck out of you. Most of the hens didn't bother when you reached under them for the eggs.
Next door neighbor had 6 hens for a while, he had a breed that doesn't make much noise, got a lot more eggs than they could eat, he gave me a dozen about every other week and his wife took them to where she worked. He could move his hen house and enclosure so the chickens had fresh dirt to scratch in for bugs and worms about every couple weeks. Don't forget to get oyster shell to mix with the feed to make the egg shells stronger. You may need a fan to keep them cool in the summer.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:47 AM   #6
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Have been watching a series of videos from GeoBeats called mastering your kitchen.

They have one episode on eggs and the comment is that the color of the shell depends on the diet the birds eat,, Feed them differently you get white, brown, or ____ eggs.

Do not know how true that is.. but that's what they claim.

Insert joke here about chicken farmers who are raising some special expermental chickens that are supposed to be better than regular chickens,, But they poop gray poop.

You can tell the expermental farmers because their jeans have gray poop on.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:30 AM   #7
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Here is a rundown of the various chicken breeds. https://www.coopsandcages.com.au/blo...hicken-breeds/
Here you have it, Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds are best for egg production. http://www.chickens101.com/chicken-breeds.html

Frank Purdue used to advertise that he fed his chickens Marigold petals to make the skin yellow, which it did, and it will also make the egg yoke more yellow. Yellow skin was desirable for broilers as it looked more appealing in the meat case. He didn't raise chickens for eggs but rather for the meat.

North Georgia was a major broiler production area for a long time, I think that has changed now. Arkansas is big in meat production as in Tyson foods. For egg production much of that is done in Ohio, Indiana and New York that I know of. There is a egg producer in Ohio that has over 11 million hens in egg production at one site. Rose Acres in Indiana has over 24 million birds in production but they are spread out over the state. Actually there are major egg producers throughout the US, one producer has over 35 million birds in production. Think about the number of eggs produced every day.

Don't know what you could feed a chicken to affect the color of an egg shell though. Now a Cream Legbar will lay blue, olive or green eggs. As for the color in chicken poop, we used to have fun with non farmers and ask them if they knew what the white was in chicken poop. When they couldn't answer we said "that's chicken poop too"

For a different breed of hen check out a Guinea Hen. Farmers used to keep a small flock of them around as watch dogs. If a stranger would come into the farmyard they would get excited and raise all kinds of noise to alert the farmer. They were good egg layers also but the eggs were smaller.

I am somewhat familiar with chicken production as I worked as a Regional Sales Manager for a major manufacturer of truck bodies/trailers used for feed transportation for 5 years. Many good stories about that.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Have been watching a series of videos from GeoBeats called mastering your kitchen.

They have one episode on eggs and the comment is that the color of the shell depends on the diet the birds eat,, Feed them differently you get white, brown, or ____ eggs.

Do not know how true that is.. but that's what they claim.
You might could make a brown egg browner, or a green egg greener. But my B-I-L has three breeds of chickens. They lay white, light green and tan-almost-brown eggs, and they all eat the same feed.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:22 PM   #9
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You can tell the experimental farmers because their jeans have gray poop on.
No, no. Gray poop on is mouseturds, not chickenturds. You can get gray poop on mouseturds at any grocery store.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:55 PM   #10
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White chickens, Leghorns for example, lay white eggs no matter what they eat.

Dark chickens, Rhode Island Reds for example, lay brown eggs no matter what they eat. The yolks are sometimes a little darker too.

Some breeds lay bluish eggs. Some even lay mottled eggs. Wade says some lay greenish eggs, and I believe him. These breeds are less commonly bred commercially, perhaps because the eggs would be harder to sell.

What the chickens are fed can likely have a slight effect on the color of the eggs, but not enough to cause any confusion to anyone.

Wade, have you ever raised chickens before? Keep the henhouse as far away from the peoplehouse as you can, and make sure you have a separate chicken yard. Keep the chickens out of your back yard. Chickens smell.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:23 PM   #11
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That chicken smell in semi-solid form is very good for the strawberry bed.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:04 PM   #12
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Wade says some lay greenish eggs, and I believe him.

Wade, have you ever raised chickens before? Keep the henhouse as far away from the peoplehouse as you can, and make sure you have a separate chicken yard. Keep the chickens out of your back yard. Chickens smell.
Yes, B-I-L is proud of his green eggs. Not only are they oddly colored, but oddly shaped, being somewhat longish. I agree with Dr. Seuss and Sam-I-Am, I don't think I'd like them.

We haven't kept chickens before but we are getting plenty of coaching from locals who are doing it successfully. We are aware of risks from fox, raccoon, owl, hawk and neighbors.

Sweet Wife is after two things, eggs and organic fertilizer. Should have plenty of both. And with only 6 hens in the starter flock, the smell shouldn't be too bad. The coop is in the very back of the yard close to the garden. (and compost pile.

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Old 04-27-2017, 10:14 PM   #13
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On the phone a couple minutes ago a friend told me that the chickens that lay the funny-colored eggs are a South American breed. I think she said Araucanas, which I've never heard of. Haven't looked them up yet. Didn't have such a breed when I was a high-schooler in Kentucky. Only lived there one year anyhow.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:22 AM   #14
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Araucana chickens were developed in Chile and lay blue eggs, no mention of them being elongated.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:48 PM   #15
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Speaking of funny colors... the hen house got it's first coat of paint today.

I thought it was a red-with-brown that would look barnish. It's actually a red-with-blue that looks, well, odd. Not going to rain so I can leave the tarp off to let it dry.

I just went out and had another look now that it's dried a bit. Looks less weird and more like a barn. Sweet Wife likes it.

And it's pretty good paint we got from the bad mix pile for $10. Can't complain.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:15 PM   #16
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Got your fence up yet? A little late in the construction but did you make a door on the back so you can reach in to get the nests to get the eggs easy, just thought about that. Do you think the chickens will like the paint scheme or will it make them upset and not lay eggs.
It's funny to watch a chicken lay an egg, they roll their eyes back and grunt a little.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:31 PM   #17
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Got your fence up yet? A little late in the construction but did you make a door on the back so you can reach in to get the nests to get the eggs easy, just thought about that. Do you think the chickens will like the paint scheme or will it make them upset and not lay eggs.
It's funny to watch a chicken lay an egg, they roll their eyes back and grunt a little.
We created a nest with an access to get the eggs, but guess what. The chick's didn't get the message. A previous batch of hens layer in the nest but the current ones have picked a different area which requires reaching in through the door.

BTW, we have a lid that we can put down to keep the hens in the building when needed but do not use it often. They go in on their own at night. The run is covered with chicken wire to keep the eagles at bay.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:49 PM   #18
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The nest boxes are in the little part that sticks out the back. The "roof" of the nest box comes totally off, rather than just hinged, and the middle dividers come completely out for when you want to do some spring cleaning.

Here's the inside and outside views.
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Old 04-29-2017, 03:51 PM   #19
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OK, I see it now. I thought that was a porch on the front to keep out the rain but that is the nest boxes in the back. Great, that works good. I don't know why I question your construction, I forgot you have your BIL to guide to through it.
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:20 PM   #20
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I don't know why I question your construction, I forgot you have your BIL to guide to through it.
I can think of two good reasons:

1. I know little of carpentry.
2. I know even less about chickens.

Sweet Wife found the plans on the internet. I think she had only 2 criterion:

1. It holds 6 hens
2. It's cute.

Being cheap was an afterthought, but with only 5 sheets of plywood, it's not bad.
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