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6 Feb 2011

We Have Chickens!

Author: Stefan | Filed under: Construction

That’s right, we have chickens!! I posted a gallery at the bottom of the page to see all of our chicken coop building pictures and ultimately, I will upload pictures of our chickens once they start producing eggs and anything chicken related. Cluck cluck!

Chicken Coop Plans

Chicken Coop Plans

I am not going to just post about chicken coop plans, I am going to post all the pictures of the construction of our chicken coop from start to finish. I even have some pictures of the temporary chicken coop that we built, with a light, for the baby chickens to live in until they got big enough to move to the full size coop.

Finished Chicken Coop

Finished Chicken Coop

If you want to build your own coop, you don’t have to build one like ours. This coop is pretty much the Taj Mahal of chicken coops. I doubt chickens in Puerto Rico need such an extravagant coop, but it was fun to build and it looks great in the yard. I also wanted it to survive hurricanes and not blow over. I firmly believe that a happy chicken will produce us more eggs once they start producing. This brings me full circle to one of the reasons why we bought chickens and decided to build a coop in the first place.

Organic eggs in Puerto Rico are expensive! They run $5.99 a dozen and we are going through 12-20 eggs a day between the kids, adults and baking. That’s just plain expensive!

Building the coop was fun. I picked up all the supplies at Home Depot because they were cheaper than the local hardware store “Do It Best”. When all was said and done the cost of building a chicken coop was around $400. The first round at Home Depot didn’t quite cover what we needed so I made another run to buy more supplies.

The coop has 4 doors (8 hinges) to help clean, get eggs and let the chickens run around in the back yard. The roof is built out of a material that is relatively soft so if mangos drop from our tree, they won’t bang on the hot tin roof like a gunshot in mango season.

We aren’t planning on getting any roosters because they are just too loud to have this close to our house. Some roosters in our neighborhood start crowing at 3:00am, not at sunrise. If we had one of those, he would end up in the freezer inside 7 days.

We bought special feed for the baby chickens, but 1 month later they are practically full grown and are eating regular chicken food which seems to consist of mostly yellow corn.

Chicken Coop Nesting Boxes

Chicken Coop Nesting Boxes

Once these guys get bigger, we’ll be scooping the chicken poop and adding it to our compost to make the perfect batch of black gold for our trees and garden. A full grown chicken will produce one egg a day, unless there is a rooster present and then they may produce up to two eggs a day. A chicken does NOT need a rooster around to produce eggs. They ovulate and drop eggs daily regardless, but if a rooster is around them they want to impress him and produce more to show how great of a hen she is. When the hens start producing eggs, the climb up into the hen house, choose a nesting box, lay an egg and sit on it. If the nesting boxes are not separated, the hens may peck at each others eggs and your egg production will go down…and we don’t want that…do we? NO!

Sydney loves the chickens and Monkey and Cheech are learning NOT to kill and eat them.

Summer, Sydney and Eli at the new chicken coop.

Summer, Sydney and Eli at the new chicken coop.

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If you want some help learning how to build a chicken coop, check out Ricky’s blog Born Activist. He has plans there and will be happy to help you out if you email him any questions!

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6 Responses to “We Have Chickens!”

  1. Rosa Says:

    Congratulations! It looks great, yes I was one of those that said “how r the chickens going to have eggs without getting Roosters” I guess my granny had many roosters because those darn chickens had so many at a time..I even had to pull a few out…yikes! some get stuck..good luck.

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  2. Cassie Says:

    I am so happy for you guys! Chickens are the best pets ever and fresh eggs taste so awesome you will never want to go back to store bought eggs. I’ve never heard that they lay more if there are roosters around. Britton built our coop too, and then I painted it! What breeds did you choose? Where did you find the chicks? We look forward to having chickens in Puerto Rico too!

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  3. Carol Says:

    Hello guys! I didn’t know that hens don’t need a rooster to put eggs! I learned something today. Do you plan to eat the chickens or just use them to produce eggs?

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  4. Josh McCullough Says:

    Sick one!!!! Debo, wants to come by and make sure that coupe is legit!!!!

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  5. jennifer Lovelace Says:

    Killer! i Have chickens too! We used an old metal door for the roof. Reuse, Recycle, refuse! You should be getting eggs in no time. I feed my chickens any nasty bugs i find (like spiders in my house) they seem to love the tasty treats!

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  6. Matt Says:

    Looks Great, Bien Hecho! I wouldn’t mind livin’ in that little 5-star Chicken Resort, just concerned about what that might do to your egg production levels (I could wear a rooster suit if you think that would help), plus you’d have to clean up after me along with the other tenants. Cheers to many super healthy ommlettes, deviled eggs, quishes, eggs benedict, etc. and any other egg related dishes. Do you deliver?.. I’m in Mexico City, so I’ll pay shipping…

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