A couple of months ago I got two chicks from the local feed store on a whim, and they have survived pretty well. My buddy Justin and my buddy Dave came over to help me build the coop that they will be in until the racoons get them or I run out of money.
After browsing on BackyardChickens.com, I decided to build a variant on the Dutch Hen House. It seemed the most simple without looking like a rundown shed, and, since I only had two chickens, I didn't need something larger.
Justin did the basic design and the three of us went to Home Depot for materials. All in all it cost about $190, and I had some wood leftover. Not too bad. I have zero pictures of the building process - I was too busy trying to remember how to swing a hammer. But despite Dave's squiggly cutting, I think we made a pretty rad chicken coop. Thanks to those guys!
So, when you have chicks, you keep them protected and under a lamp for 5 weeks, then they go in the coop. All this time I was really concerned about the noise level - I didn't need the neighbors throwing stones at my birds, much like I do to their dogs when they don't shut up. I have to say, these things are much quieter than I thought they would be. No noise, save for some low clucking when I get in there to clean the poop or refill the food. I'm digging on them, so far.
If you are looking at getting some chickens, check out Backyardchickens.com - they are a great resource and a nice community.
Here it is, my chicken coop!
And from the side.
Note the flag, lest you forget where you are ...
The side door opens, like so. The string
is to pull the inside door up, allowing the girls
to get out of the coop and into the run.
A better view, with the perch there and the laying boxes
to the left, where, eventually, they will lay eggs.
Butterworth and Lucretia at around 12 weeks.
I let space under the coop for them to hang out in, and
it's their favorite place to be.
Awkward teen years.