Friday, March 11, 2011

So you want to get chickens??!! The Coop


You can go as fancy or as simple as you want. There are many places that you can go to buy chicken coops both online and locally. When we first decided to get chickens we drove from Binghamton to Oneonta looking and searching for coops. We looked in peoples backyards to get ideas...we went to every farm store in the area. The ones we found in the farm stores were all too small and too expensive. We searched Craigslist and at the time didn't find anything that we were really interested in. In the end, we ended up buy a coop with a run from AGWAY - some assembly required of course. Here is a picture of our coop:

This worked out great while they were little but once they started getting bigger they quickly outgrew it. I ended up moving the coop between our deck and our garage and putting a fence up so they had room to move around during the day. (by the way...chickens LOVE fresh grass). Once they outgrew this coop we knew we had to figure something out. The end of our garage had a overhang that we used to store the kids toys. Well the kids toys soon found a new home and so did my chickens. We put up a few sheets of plywood, cut a whole in the wall and pushed a dog kennel up to the side of the coop. VOILA....a new home for my chicks - they must of approved and liked it because a few days later I had my FIRST egg!!!!


  1.  SIZE = You need to allow a minimum of 2 square feet of indoor shelter area per bird (but ideally 3-4 feet is better), and you need 3-6 square feet of outdoor run area per bird. 
  2.  VENTILATION = A coop needs good ventilation year-round. Good ventilation usually consists of some way for cooler air to enter near the floor, be warmed, and then exit near the top. The amount of ventilation a shelter needs depends on how many chickens are kept in that amount of space and the weather in your area. Lack of adequate ventilation can cause a number of problems (ammonia fume buildup, increased humidity, increased moisture leads to mold
  3. ROOSTS = Roosts are an important part of a coop. This is where they sleep - chickens prefer to sleep off of the ground because they are so vulnerable while asleep. A 2x4 on edge or a 2-inch round wooden dowel is about right for full-sized chickens. (smaller Bantam chickens will be more comfortable with a small roost). The roost should be placed about 2 feet off the floor. 
  4. NESTING BOXES = these are important if your keeping chickens for their eggs. They provide a safe and comfortable spot where layers can lay their eggs. Young pullets like to play house so if possible, try to have nesting boxes in place by 20 weeks old. Chickens like nesting boxes that are big enough to turn around in but not so large that they don't feel comfy. They prefer the nesting boxes to be dimly lit and secluded . For an average sized hen, a 12-inch square nest box is the minimum to use. One nest box for every two hens is ideal. We made our own nesting boxes and even though we have 10 chickens, we only have 3 nesting boxes. This is probably something we should work on in the future. We use pine bedding and hay in our nesting boxes - although the chickens usually kick the hay out...they prefer the pine bedding. 


RESOURCES: Most of this information is from my experiences. I also used the book "Raising Chicken for Dummies". You can also find great information at the following places (where I go to for answers and help): 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

So you want to get chickens??!!

I have had a LOT of people sending me messages and asking me questions about preparing, getting and raising chickens. So many in fact that I'm going to start a SERIES on my blog called:


I know that I will include coops and brooders, where to buy, chickens and children, eggs, behavior etc. I will write about my personal experiences (like about the first time I clipped their wings and why I did it) But would you help me out??!! It would make this a lot easier if you would ask me questions. What do you want to know about chickens and raising them??!!

Here are a few pics:

COUNTRY BOB'S Review/Giveaway

I recently received two bottles of "Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce" to review and let all of my readers/friends know my thoughts on it!!!! We LOVED the sauce!! It came in a very kid-friendly and safe plastic bottle and the taste of it was mild enough that even the baby was able to enjoy it with us but it was robust enough for the adults too. My Dad enjoyed so much, in fact, that we is already talking about making some delicious burgers and topping them with the sauce! 

Gluten FreeCountry Bob’s All Purpose Sauce is in a class by itself. It is more than a steak sauce, because of its unique flavor and the variety of uses. You can grill, cook, and marinate with it, or put it in your soups, stews, baked beans, and your other favorite dishes. Experience the Taste of our Gluten Free All Purpose Sauce!

Use our All Purpose Sauce on:
Steak, Chicken, Barbeque, Fries, Hamburger, Fish and so much more!

We used it one two different occasions so far (I see more use in the future). The first night I made:

1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
12 saltine crackers, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon season salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the ground beef, onion, cracker crumbs, eggs, Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce, milk, season salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Shape into a loaf and place into a baking pan (I used a loaf pan). Spread the desired amount of additional Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce on top of the loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the loaf is cooked through. Removed the loaf to a serving plate. Let stand for several minutes before slicing

yield: 6-8 servings

You can find other great Country Bob recipes on their website by clicking: HERE

The second night we just used it on some left-over pulled pork and ribs that we had. It was excellent on both!!! 

In 1968 Country Bob perfected the sauce of his dreams. After years of giving the sauce to friends and family he began to sell it in 1977. The reaction was overwhelming just as it is today. Almost everyone who tries Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce becomes a lifelong user. And why not, it is the perfect complement to practically any meal set on your table.  Along with our All Purpose Sauce they have expanded their product line to include BBQ Sauce, Seasoning Salt and Spicy All Purpose Sauce.

For more information about the company, you can visit their website at For special promotions and events etc. you can check them out on Facebook and/or Twitter

Thanks to Country Bob's, TWO of my lucky readers are going to win TWO bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce!!!! 

How to Enter!
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 Remember, to please leave a separate comment ON THIS BLOG for each entry. And please enter only in the ways listed above. I reserve the right to delete comments not adhering to the above entry guidelines. The last day to enter this will be March 25 . I will use to pick a winner. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me, if I have not heard from the winner within that amount of time I will pick a new one.