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Build a Backyard Chicken Coop

The First 60 Days

Whether you buy your chicks online or at your local feed store, prepare for the first 30 days with your new chicks by constructing a young chick brooder in your garage or other enclosed and protected area.

Using something as simple as a sturdy cardboard box or a small animal cage, line the floor with pine shavings and set up a 100 watt bulb pointed in one corner to create an area that’s about 90 to 100 degrees for the first week. You’ll then decrease the temperature 5 degrees per week for two months, or until they grow their feathers.

Moving Day

Once feathered out you’ll want to move your adult hens into their new coop. It’s best to move the birds at night if possible, as they will generally be calmer and will go right to sleep in their new place and wake up in the morning already feeling at home.

A typical hen will start to lay eggs at about 6 months of age. The eggs will start out small, then get increasingly larger. During the first year of laying, the hen (if she is a good egg producer) will lay one egg, almost every day.

Note that during the bird’s lifetime–typically in 2 to 5 years–they will stop laying in the late fall/ winter months and start again in the early spring. However, you can encourage egg laying through the colder months by keeping a light on, inside the chicken coop.

Do you have chickens at home? Leave a comment below and share some advice.

Related:
Organic Eggs: Easy Greening
Urban Chickens Moving from Barnyards to Your Backyard
Eggs in the City

Read more: Lawns & Gardens, Less Common Pets, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, , , , ,

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84 comments

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12:09AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Thanks for posting.

7:55PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Good lookin' coop.

11:40PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

I am glad to know the lifespan of a chicken, and I didn't know they could fly at all.

9:53AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

THANKS!

12:57PM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Great chicken coop and run design.
I have had laying chickens for years. Nothing like going out to collect your breakfast eggs every day. Once you taste them, you will never want a store bought egg again. Mine are completely free range and come back to the coop at night to sleep. I have to go searching for their eggs, but that's part of the fun of having chickens.

12:11PM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Yes Charlee M you are right to teach your children how to treat animals, pity more people don't do that. I have 6 X battery hens and they are beautifull all girls so no babies. They love cooked potatoe peelings and their droppings make wonderfull manure.

5:57PM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

I wish you had put in a video, and diagrams etc.

8:14AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

Cute coop!

8:58AM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

Herman Cain for US president!

5:26AM PST on Mar 2, 2011

There are lots of ways to build a chicken coop.Lots of designs also.Your design is great.

Daniel Dan
http://buildachickencoopplans.net

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Good to know. Thanks Diana.

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