How to try chickens out on the cheap?

keepitlow(6)November 11, 2009

Next spring I wanted to try raising some chickens to eat. I saw some of the coops cost near a thousand dollars. Is there way to test raise some chickens, say 6 or so, to see how one likes it before investing tons of money? I don't have lots of land, so they need to be enclosed somehow.

Thanks

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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Chickens don't care about fancy. They need shelter that keeps them out of the wind and the weather. Heat is not necessary, though if it gets really cold where you are they do like a lamp to warm themselves by. Commercial feed around here is $10-12 / 50 lbs. They like some cracked corn, too, that's about $9 / 50 lbs. Put up some woven wire fence so when they go outside they stay in the area where you want them to be. That's about it. Anything else is extras.

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: Busy Solitude Farm

    Bookmark   November 11, 2009 at 5:56PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Try getting construction materials from various sources: curbside finds, look at cheap/free ads on Craigslist or your local paper. Check salvage yards and recycling centers. Offer to remove someone's unwanted fence or whatever if they will give you the materials. Ask for cast-offs at construction sites or damaged items from hardware stores (chickens don't care if it's scratched!). Like johanna said, chickens don't care if it's pretty. :)

My own run is made from the steel tube frame of one of those carport covers and a found steel mesh security door. Chicken coops made from found materials often look quite charming!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   November 12, 2009 at 3:04AM
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therealdeal

Here is a great pl;ace
http://www.backyardchickens.com/

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 11:40PM
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bekisar(8)

Have you given any thought to building a coop with FREE pallet skids!!??

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 9:38PM
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tracydr(9b)

I've never spent much money on chickens. First ones I had, I built a coop out of a used shipping container. Wooden container, about 5 feet X 3-4 feet. Stood it on end, added chicken re with hinges for a door. Built some shelves for nesting and they had a coop. Let them free range.
I've had everything from that to 50 year old shed to the cheap little barns from Home Depot. They're not picky.
I'm living in the city right now for the first time, trying to figure out how to house them to get a few this spring. I'm sure I'll spend less then $100.00 all said and done.
I've even made money on guinea, bantam and peafowl chicks with one of those cheap styrofoam incubators. I used a dog ex-pen to raise the chicks after they grew out of a their cardboard moving boxes.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 10:57PM
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prmsdlndfrm

use your imagination, just remember dry and draft free , anything else is luxory.
josh

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:46AM
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