View Full Version : Chicken Coops

TU 'cane
09-30-2015, 08:37 AM
This is a question for anyone who has one, who is thinking of building one, grew up with them, etc.

There are regulations around Tulsa but they are permitted with minor caveats (distance, etc.)
What is your experience with hens and coops? Do you have neighbors around you that are bothered by them? Are hens (of any breed) particularly loud or annoying to the point where a neighbor may call in your opinion? How about overall maintenance of the coop?

And yes, I have already done research, but I find this something I'd like active and current opinions and thoughts on from my fellow Okies. This is something I've been considering doing (and would encourage others to do if you're up to the maintenance) for a variety of reasons.

Thanks in advance.

09-30-2015, 02:37 PM
What size lot are you on? Are you wanting to free range or keep them coop'd the whole time?

Do you want to build a coop, buy one built or buy a build it out of the box version?

what are you expectations - get some eggs each day, more of a pet to watch, etc?

TU 'cane
09-30-2015, 06:04 PM
What size lot are you on? Are you wanting to free range or keep them coop'd the whole time?

I would attempt a mix. Keep them coop'd during the day, let them roam in the early evening and on weekends mostly.

Do you want to build a coop, buy one built or buy a build it out of the box version?

Haven't put that much thought into it, but I would like to build my own.

what are you expectations - get some eggs each day, more of a pet to watch, etc?

Eggs either daily or every other day or so. I would only have 2-3 at least starting out. Definitely not a pet…


09-30-2015, 08:37 PM
I have 7 chickens including a rooster and 4 guines so a total of 11. I don't let them out because of the hawks and coyotes. I have a chicken house with footings so that racouns and other critters cannot get in and kill and eat them. Mine lay eggs but are spoiled pets. N scraps for them, they want the good stuff. Some like one thing and some like another. Yah, I shop Sprouts for their treats. Fred the rooster only likes sweet apples and not tart. I like tart, so Yah I buy the sweet and deal with it. that is spoiled. I don't have any resident neighbors so I can do as I please, I'm on 10 ac in Oklahoma county. Mine is basically a converted 13 by 13 pole shed that I added footings down about 2 1/2 ft and interior walls of 2 x 8's. I have the front covered with chicken wire with cut up calf panels so that nothing can eat its way in. I had a lont time ago the asst DA's $10k hunting dog get in. I use gal feed buckets for water and switch to the heated one in winter. The shed is built under a large shade tree so that helps keep it cool in summer. I also use a mister. I have metal nest boxes on one side and the roost on the other.

09-30-2015, 08:38 PM
I'm trying to post on this thread and it seems to be messing up my post. Not sure what is going on.

10-01-2015, 12:06 AM
I'm trying to post on this thread and it seems to be messing up my post. Not sure what is going on.

chicken pox.

10-01-2015, 05:49 AM
If you are on a large lot you could go free range. The benefits are a smaller coop size, usually healthier/happier chickens, free pest control and the fun of watching them scratch around the yard. The down size is you'll still need a coop, they'd be open to predators (large hawks, foxes, coyotes, raccoons and dogs), might annoy your neighbors, if they become too friendly they will poop around your doors, porch, sidewalks, etc. because they will try to be around you. Also, free range chickens have to be let out and secured into their coop twice a day (rain, shine, blizzard, vacations, etc.).

For smaller lots or if you don't want to free range on a larger lot, then you'll need a coop big enough to shelter them and provide them with room to exercise (a run).

You can go with a stationary coop or a 'chicken tractor' (if you have room). A larger coop (as in more exercise area) will mean happier, healthier and less smelly chickens.

You also have to decide on what breed of chicken you want. Some are more prolific layers than others. I personally like Turkens. They are a larger bird (too big for most hawks) and are very disease resistant. But will require a bit larger coop and run.

For 2-3 chickens you don't need all that big of a coop and run for most breeds. Starting out you can either try and construct something yourself or buy a kit and put it together. I've known several people who have bought kits similar to what they sell at Sam's and they've been happy. They sell for $300 new, but at the end of the season they were blowing them out on Memorial Rd. for $115.

Put them together with care (wood glue, stainless steel screws, some caulking and a coat of weatherproofing) and do not place them directly on the dirt (rot and termites) and they will last several years at much less cost than building one or buying a pre-built unit. Plus, they look nice.

These units are great to free range up to 5/6 average to smaller breeds or coop raise 2/3.

You can also easily add a chicken tunnel (run) to these coops if you decide to give them more space.

Depending on where you live there are a few poultry auctions that are fun to go to. You see all kinds of breeds - from plain ol'chickens to really bizarre $100+ birds. My wife loves Silkies because they look so different - but they are bad egg layers.

There are also some good breeders around.

Guineas are an excellent bird (non-chicken) if you are on 2+ acres and have neighbors that are friendly to the idea. Your yard will be tick and spider free.

Don't get a rooster unless you're on an acreage (noisy).

With three good breed hens you'll average 2 eggs a day most of the time.

You'll need to decide if you want to buy already laying hens or pullets (not quite laying) or raise them from chicks. Buy from a good clean breeder. Swap meets and Craigslist trailer park type breeders are a crap shoot - could be buying sick, old or worn out hens. If buying adults, make sure to worm them. If buying chicks or good pullets you may not worm them if you don't want to. Some people do regardless.

Just some random thoughts. Have experience with family with chickens.

TU 'cane
10-01-2015, 07:21 AM
Thanks for the responses. I forgot to answer your first question, I'm on a small lot in a neighborhood. My coop would absolutely be stretching the city ordinances from the closes "dwelling" (the house). So, that's why I'm doing some research because if I do decide, I'd want everything as neat and perfect as can be.

Still just thinking though. If I am able to follow through with this I'll keep everyone posted.

Also, are there any particular breed of hens that are noisier than others?

10-01-2015, 08:03 AM
Most all hens are quiet - especially when coop'd. The exception would be when they are sorting out the pecking order. Free range hens can cluck some when looking for the rest of the flock (like when emerging from laying an egg). There are some hybrid varieties that lay a much larger egg. You can also get breeds that lay "Easter Eggs" - blue or green eggs. Which looks nice on the kitchen counter and kids think they are cool to get from the coop.

Keep in mind, don't wash your eggs when you collect them and you can set them out on the counter (away from the window) for a couple of weeks if need be. However, once you wash an egg you must refrigerate it and eat it sooner.

Personally, in your situation I'd get a build it yourself coop from Sam's or Amazon. You can build your own low profile feeder/waterer with supplies from Lowe's and maybe add a run to the coop later. Then pick 3-4 pullets of different breeds from a good breeder so you have some variety to look at and see their different dispositions. They won't lay for a few to several months. But they will all get along and will be very tame to handle and be used to being coop'd. Enjoy!

10-01-2015, 02:12 PM
Rhode Island REd or Production Reds can be nice birds, friendly and good layers with few health issues. They lay big brown eggs. Leggerns lay the supermarket white eggs and really lay good, almost everyday. Smaller bird and eat less. Some are less friendly, My little one is extremely friendly and will fly up and try to sit on your arm. She is the one that keeps me in eggs over the winter when everyone else quits. Guineas will lay almost everyday but will quit sooner during the winter and start later in the spring. They send to be less friendly. I have 3 guinea hens and one day had 7 eggs from them. Anyway, have fun with them. They love bread and grapes. Mine are spoiled and expect their daily treats. Just fun to mess with them.