In March, 2020 we decided we needed chickens so Aohdan, Paige, Christine and I went to Murdochs to select our chickens. We each got to choose the chicken we wanted. I chose 2 Rhode Island Reds and the others chose 4 different breeds.
I used my guest bathroom as their first headquarters, putting in wood chips in the bathtub, hanging up a red light for heat, placing a water container on a tray to keep chips dry and giving them a container for their first chicken feed.
They stayed in the tub for about 6 weeks. By that time the weather was warm enough to put them outside in a chicken coop with a run which we bought on line and had to assemble. We covered the small run with tarp because the chickens didn't like the bright sun. Needless to say, this was one tiny chicken coop for 6 chickens. Be careful when buying a coop. The size is important if you plan on keeping them in the coop when they are full grown. We knew they would be outgrowing it soon, so we got busy making them a permanent home.
I wanted to be able to see them from my home, so we decided on our shed we had bought for storage (8'x'10'), and it was about 75 feet from my house. We used half the shed for the chickens and the other half for storage.
For the chicken run, we used three 50"x16' cattle panels attached to a wooden frame made from 2x4 wood. We covered it with chicken wire, We added 1/4" hardware cloth along the bottom sides extending out into the perimeter to block any access from predators. We put in wooden doors at the end of the run.
Our door was easy to put in with the help of these door hinges bought on Etsy. We kept the tarp down with 2" wind straps, the same ones we used on the hoop house.
As the chickens grew we discovered one of our Rhode Island Reds was not a hen but a rooster.
We have not heard good things about having a rooster with 6 hens, except it is a great thing for the rooster. Aohdan says we are not giving the rooster away. So far his cook-a-doodle doo is quiet enough that it is not annoying. In fact we feel you can't really be a farm without the sound of a rooster.
When our chickens reached 20 weeks old, they were not laying eggs yet, so Aohdan and I went to Murdoch's and bought 2 fake eggs and put them in their nesting boxes. We had taken the coop and nesting boxes from the little coop and put it in their new coop.
A day after we put the fake eggs in the nesting box, there appeared 2 eggs in one of the boxes. And somehow they had taken one of the fake eggs out of that box and moved it to their chicken run. I wish I had a camera to see how they managed to move the fake egg.
We are hoping the rooster behaves himself so we can keep him.