Preparing for Chickens!

20 02 2010

We are confident and hopeful that the City of Sacramento will change the current law banning chickens in the city.  So confident that during our winter holiday break, instead of hanging out by our fire and reading books, we were pulling apart pallets and pounding nails in the cold, rainy week between Christmas and New Year to construct our chicken coop. 

Prior to actual construction, countless hours were spent going over the coop section of “My Backyard Chicken”  a website that has a wealth of information for do it yourself coop builders.  We didn’t actually purchase plans, instead we took inspiration from the play house design.
At first building a coop during a wet, rainy week doesn’t seem like the best idea.  However, I think building in adverse conditions really made us think about the chicken coop design.  We have had many weeks of rain, weather I don’t want any animals running around in for a long period of time.  We made sure that the coop and run are completely covered with a roof.  There are a lot of designs out there where only half of the run is covered.  In good weather that is great, but I don’t want to be dealing with tarps and rigging make shift shelters up next year.  Our coop and run are completely covered with an overhang.  We plan on three chickens, so I think if they are confined to the coop in bad weather they will still have plenty of room to move around.
Most designs have nesting boxes that are access able from the outside.  We didn’t include an outdoor access because it seemed like extra work and I will be going into the coop at least twice a day anyway.   Our coop is over 6 feet tall so most people can walk in easily.
We are committed to being good neighbors, so our coop is not close to anyone elses house just a back fence.     It is unlikely the hens will even be noticed by our neighbors.  One extra we included is a recycled plant hanger to hang a large fly trap off of.  Some people have concerns that chickens will attract pests.  To avoid this the coop will be cleaned often, food will not be left out for rodents to access and our fly traps will prevent the area from having a fly infestation during the summer months.  I encourage all chicken/dog/cat owners to include some type of fly control program in animal enclosures, ideally my neighbors won’t even know that I have chickens!
With that being said there are some changes I would make to any future designs.  I like the idea of building storage into the coop.  It would be very nice to have a place to store straw, chicken feed, extra water bottles, etc.  incorporated into the coop design.  A well thought out design with storage included is an important component to good chicken keeping!



One response

30 03 2010

I already have 4 chickens in E. Sac. “Great” with all my neighbors…2-3 eggs a day already, and eating lots of wasted food from our kitchen, oranges in gutters, etc. I couldn’t make the meeting at Old Soul, but I’m looking forward to next. WHAT can I do to help? What is bill before city council I can advocate for?

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