Top products from r/BackYardChickens

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Top comments that mention products on r/BackYardChickens:

u/XxionxX · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

I have read so many books but I got most of them from the library years ago and they are probably all out of fashion. I think this one from Amazon is good despite the fact it's geared towards larger flocks. The length is right for a comprehensive guide (400+ pgs) and cage design and development is discussed.

One of the reviews links to a book geared towards smaller flocks which only gives one cage design and skips over things like slaughter. That's not necessarily bad but I have always found more information to be better, which is why the library is awesome.

The tone is more lightweight in backyard or urban chicken books. Which can be good depending on the audience. Again, my only complaint is that this tends to lead to skipping information which may be valuable. I have no problem with people keeping their chickens as pets but I am not a fan of books which skip over the less pleasant details to appeal to that audience. While they may sell like hotcakes, the readers are just sticking their heads in the sand because they find certain authors distasteful.

No matter what design you choose here are some ways to keep your flock safe:

  • Put them into a completely wood enclosed coop at night. Critters can't break down wooden doors.
  • Don't forget to open it up in the morning, especially if it's hot!
  • When you let them out of the cage watch the skies as well as the ground. Hawks like chicken for dinner too. Keep them under the trees if possible.
  • Critters can dig under chicken wire, plan accordingly. Rocks and closed coops are your friends.
  • Wire gets old, check on it once in a while. I have lost a few chickens because raccoons and skunks checked for me instead.

    I hope that helps :)
u/quince23 · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

Sounds like you're well along the path to becoming a crazy chicken lady--welcome aboard :)

Honestly, you don't need most of the stuff on your list. Chickens need an off-the-ground roost in a predator-proof space to sleep, access to water and food, a safe place to lay eggs, and that's about it. Feel free to go crazy with extra perches in the run, toys, mirrors, swings, etc. but don't feel like they are necessary. My chickens have far more fun digging through a big leaf pile than any other amusement I've devised.

Your chickens may have issues learning to use the treadle feeder. Mine have yet to manage it, so I changed to using a hanging feeder for the rodent resistance.

Sand as litter is controversial, with some bloggers claiming it's the best and easiest and others claiming it's unhealthful. You probably want to switch to what's sold in the USA as "builder's sand" rather than "play sand". It's coarser and much cheaper, and less likely to cause respiratory distress.

On constructing a dust bath: I'd only recommend this if they don't have access to dirt in their run. I meticulously created a beautiful dust bath in a sawed-off wine barrel, with the so-called perfect mix of sand and dirt, but my hens literally never used it. They preferred to dig their own dust baths in their run's litter or in my yard.

One optional addition is Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens; I'm not sure how much overlap there is with the book you already have, but Storey's is excellent.

I'd also consider buying nest pads, though you can just use wood shavings.

I personally find sweet PDZ to be helpful, and if you're using sand as litter (I use deep litter) you'll probably find it even more so. It absorbs ammonia, odors, and moisture.

u/Retrooo · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

Get this book. I picked it up before I got my first chick and it taught me everything I needed to know from egg to old hen.

My first chicken was a Speckled Sussex and she was the best girl I ever had, friendly, smart and not flighty at all. Other breeds that have been easy for me: Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Brahmas, Welsummers, and Barnevelders. Silkies are cute, but they are always the dumbest chickens of the flock it seems like. I would say the variation isn't so bad that you can't just get the breed of chicken you like best for whatever reason: egg color, egg production, feather pattern, etc.

Chickens can tolerate quite a bit of heat (with basic shade and lots of water), and quite a bit of cold (with shelter from the wind and friends to huddle next to). I would think you probably don't need anything special in SW Missouri, but if it looks like your mom's chickens are in extreme discomfort, there are ways to help them out then.

The most important thing is to make sure the coop is completely secure and protected against predators. The #1 cause of death for my chickens has been raccoons.

Good luck to your mom!

u/redpepper261 · 13 pointsr/BackYardChickens

Reading a book about chickens may make it seem harder than it is. Silkies are great birds. Here is some practical advice. If you are buying hatching eggs that will get shipped through the mail, make sure that you get at least 6 if you want three birds. If you cannot have roosters, then get even more eggs. My experience is hatching eggs get damaged in shipping, so the hatching rate could be very low. I recently got 10+ Japanese hatching eggs. Only one shows signs of life. I opened some of the bad ones and the yolk was broken.

Chicks will need a feed that has higher protein and no calcium. Most commercial feeds will explain the ages to use what feed. Go to a local store that sells chicken supplies and look at the feeds.

The nipple type feeders are nice, as stuff doesn't end up in the water. Birds can easily learn to use them, but you may have to nudge and show them a bit. This one has worked well for me:

Silkies can easily handle below freezing conditions. They have a pea comb so aren't prone to frostbite. They also have great feathers. I don't do much of anything to make things cool or warm. Make sure they have access to shade and water. They will pant kinda like dogs to cool off. They also use their comb to regulate body temperatures.

A 3-4 chicken sized coop will work for easily six silkies, as they are a small bantam birds. Good ventilation is important for a coop, as a build of ammonia from chicken poop can damage chicken lungs.

Bantam birds are especially vulnerable to hawks. If you are keeping the birds in a restrained run, make sure it's also covered.

These have worked for me against raccoons and other night predators:

Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens!

u/kayakyakr · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

Food and water typically goes in a covered area of the run. Only way to keep rodents out of it is to only feed them a day's worth of food at a time. This prevents waste as well.

Chickens will go in every night. If the run is fully secure (2"x4" welded wire, chain link, or other strong wire, not chicken wire), then you don't need a door. If the run is open on the or is otherwise not fully secure, then you do need a door that can latch. They could probably figure out a swinging door, but so can a predator. Unless you're in a very cold area, just leave it as an open hole if your run is going to be 100% enclosed.

As for cover for the run, it depends on the size and how you're building it. 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth is the best if they're going to be roosting somewhere that a raccoon could reach. Chain link or 2"x4" welded wire is sufficient for the most of the run. 50' 1/2", 50' 1/4"

I free range my birds, so I don't really do much coop cleaning. Laying down fresh hay after a rain in the uncovered portion of my coop is about all they get. You probably want to replace the substrate when it's dirty... People love walk-in coops for that purpose.

u/UsagiYokai · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

This one I bought and it came in sooner than expected (in SoCal). It's slightly different, doesn't have those observation windows on top and the panel is slightly different (slants back but same front). The one I got works perfectly fine, temp and humidity is consistant, auto turns them and so far my baby chicks are developing properly from what I see from candling. If you have any questions I'm sure a lot more experienced people can chime in here as well! Good luck. :D

u/jsmith65 · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I personally like Barred Rocks better than any other heritage layer, but I wouldn't say they're exactly flashy. Really, to me, hens aren't that flashy in general. Flash is the rooster's realm of expertise. Might try grabbing a Silkie or a Polish if you want something more exotic, but they aren't the greatest layers in the world. If you're doing an urban flock and you want something docile that lays well, get a production breed (don't know any off the top of my head; anyone want to chime in on good production breeds?). I free range, so I like heritage breeds which are better at fending for themselves and running from predators.

To me, THE definitive resource to look at is The Small Scale Poultry Flock by Harvey Ussery.

u/chemosabe · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

It's not available right now, but I bought this from Amazon. It was less than half the price of Home Despot, and with free shipping, it worked out well. It's super sturdy, and good for keeping out predators.

u/ship_tit · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

Think a lot about how you're going to clean out the coop in your design. Nice big doors with good access will make your life a lot easier. Also, keep in mind that chickens will attempt to roost literally anywhere they can manage to fly and perch to, and will manage to get poop into any of those spots, so make sure you design well for that eventuality especially where food and water are concerned. And don't underestimate predators. Be thorough with your security.

Edit: Also worth mentioning: I dropped $100 on an automatic door opener (this one), and it's seriously the best $100 I've ever spent. My ladies get to go out right at the crack of dawn every morning and I don't have to be home to shut them in in the evening. Of course, if you build a super secure run you might not have to worry about that in the first place, but still, chickens are generally safer in a coop at night no matter how secure you make the run.

u/nguets · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I use one and it works great, you do have to get a separate timer and build a sliding door with little to no friction but it’s cheaper than all the others I’ve see and we just had our second light snow today and it’s still going strong. Good luck!

u/Azuaron · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I tried the cups, but my chickens couldn't figure out how to get the water out and almost dehydrated. So, I got the sideways chicken nipples and those have been working great. I have three of them on a 5 gallon bucket lifted a few inches off the ground. Then, I have a PVC pipe that goes into the lid on top and out of the run, so I can fill it without going into the run. There's a minor problem of the chickens roosting on the bucket and pooping on the lid, but I'll solve that pretty soon by just putting something up there.

u/WangCaster · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

So what you are saying is that I's want to wrap and secure it to the coop:

Would I have to secure it top to bottom or could I get by with just wrapping the bottom of the coop? Thank you so much for the help.

u/Furry_Axe_Wound · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I got a little ahead of myself posting the video. I'm excited it works! I've still got some more to do, at which point I'll do a complete post about the process.

It's pretty easy though. Everything runs off an extension cord right now. The security camera is this:

The coop motor is this:

and we turn it on and off using a WeMo Wifi plug:

u/goldilockz · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

It could have pasty butt if its messy down there. If that's the case clean the area when it needs it and dap some olive oil on the down feathers around the vent. I would seperate it from the others for quarantine and observation
It could also be some sort of respiratory infection , if that's the case there are several methods you can use, VetRx can help a lot. Tylan 50 is an antibiotic used for chickens, not sure about dosing for chicks. Do you have something like sav-a-chick to put in the water?

if you dont have access to somewhere that sells electrolyte/ probiotic formula you can make your own, here is the recipe

1 1/4 tsp sodium chloride (common salt, use unrefined sea salt if possible)
1 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt substitutes contain mostly potassium chloride)
2 Tbs honey or molasses

Mix solution thoroughly with 1/2 gallon of water. Solution must be discarded after 24 hours.

the salt substitute is usually at the supermarket. I would definitely try electrolyte/ probiotics first. Other things you can try:
feed the chick some plain yoghurt and scrambled eggs, raw apple cider vinegar in water (1TB per gallon)

u/josmo1 · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

Yes! This is the type of setup I was thinking would be good. Something that would just take the chill off and keep the water from freezing.
Thanks for the info!

>I took a birdbath heater and put it under their metal water dispenser in the coop. On the cord that feeds it I put a thermostat-controlled plug that only gives the heater power below 40 degrees or so. That should keep the coop a little warmer and keeps the water from freezing.

>Birdbath heater:

>Thermostat plug:

u/jrwreno · 8 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I would HIGHLY recommend that you consider getting a Heat Plate Brooder. For example, this one.

The year I used Heat Bulbs like you are, I witnessed one explode into the brooder (sitting quietly on the couch when it happened), and I had another nearly start a fire despite being bolted into the frame I built.

When I upgraded to my Brinsea Heat Plate Brooder for my latest chick batch....I kicked myself in the ass because I did not buy it sooner!

Not only does it provide better warmth and overall coverage for a larger group of is almost completely safe! The only thing you must watch out for is if they get unplugged accidentally....resulting in very cold chicks!

There are a few options on Amazon for cheaper or more expensive/larger ones. It may be an investment, but it is worth it! Especially due to the potential of fires happening while you are away!

Edit: Here is a cheaper option. You might find used ones on Ebay/Amazon, elsewhere!

u/jetpackchicken · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

Hit the public library and get a book. They'll no doubt have a bunch, especially if you live in a hipster backyard chicken area. Once you go through several, purchase the one you like best. Storey's is excellent, IMHO, as it is more "realistic" and less hobbyist.

Over a website or blog, you might find a hard copy more convenient, as you can put post-its in it, take it to the store more easily, bring it out into the yard while working on the coop, etc.

u/backitupplayitslow · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

They’re nesting mats from Amazon. So easy! Once a month we pick them up and shake them off and we’re clean again

u/Th3PrOph3t · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

Here is another that I like to make
Gaufres (French Waffles)

I use a recipe from a baking text book that is a bit different. Here!

Each waffle has about 1-2 eggs in it. Heavy on cream and milk. These things are good enough to eat plain or just use them to make a bacon sandwich. Personally I don't eat them with syrup.

u/weatherjack_ · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

FYI. We bought one of these for a cat (dog) house set up for the outside cats. We used a heating mat inside. Although not solar but you get the idea. Just some ideas to help.

u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/BackYardChickens

It is the time of year where molting starts to happen, which might account for the weird feathers and bald spots. If you are worried it might be mites get some diatomaceous earth (D.E.) because that stuff works miracles. I bought a big bag for my girls coops and spread it around out there every once in a while (it will get rid of all mites). I also sprinkle a little in their food. Then I started using it on my cats because of fleas and some skin irritation caused by fleas and they love it... I think it feels really nice on their skin. Basically what i'm saying is wether it's mites or not, having a big bag of D.E. around is always helpful.


u/Jwast · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I think the max bird capacity they advertise is for bantams. I've seen some of those pre-fab coops that say in fine print that the maximum capacity is for bantams and then how many regular sized chickens it will fit.

The same coop on Amazon says it houses 4. So I'd guess 6 bantams 4 full size?

u/luckycatZ · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

This book is what I asked for my birthday. Or a chicken shaped thing that can be hung on the coop itself and or a gift card to where they get feed and such.

u/HierEncore · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

You already have a vertically-sliding door, so you're halfway there. All you would need to do is buy the motor-kit. I've installed one a while ago, very easy to DIY with instructions. Some of them require a power outlet, some of them use solar, but almost all of them will let you power them off a 12V battery


u/Mycd · 4 pointsr/BackYardChickens

For a passive (less effective, but more healthy) product, pick up some diatomaceous earth, spread around wherever your hen takes dust baths, nestbox, in their food, everywhere.
DE is a powdery gritty natural product made from fossilized microscopic plankton(diatoms), that helps kill and prevent lice/mites/etc

u/dan1101 · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I took a birdbath heater and put it under their metal water dispenser in the coop. On the cord that feeds it I put a thermostat-controlled plug that only gives the heater power below 40 degrees or so. That should keep the coop a little warmer and keeps the water from freezing.

Birdbath heater:

Thermostat plug:

u/lostinwashington · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

I bought some vertically mounted nipples on Amazon and made a waterer for inside the coop out of a 5 gallon bucket (

I like the use of nipples inside the coop because it keeps them from getting their water continuously dirty. And using a 5 gallon bucket saves me the work of the extra complexity of running water through the wall and into the coop.

u/wintercast · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I have not had to do it yet, but I am planning on fashioning a side mount nipple waterer with heater.

the parts:

with your own bucket and side nipples

or buy a bucket with the side nipples.

my current bucket is bottom nipples but I understand those freeze even with a heater since the water runs down and freezes.

u/bluesimplicity · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

The "bible" for raising chickens is Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow. I bet you could get a copy from the public library.

u/Washcloth_Smuggler · 3 pointsr/BackYardChickens

Mmm, poopcakes...

I bought nesting box pads off Amazon, made out of straw material. There were 10 in the pack, and 13"x13". You can cut them down to size. I think it was $20ish, with prime shipping.


u/TheTim · 2 pointsr/BackYardChickens

This was at the Costco in Everett, WA on March 19, 2016. I can't find it listed on the Costco website at this time. Looks like a different model than Costco has sold in the past.

This coop is listed at $400 on Amazon (but is "temporarily out of stock"). The description there says that it is "roomy enough to comfortably sleep up to 9 chickens." That seems like too many chickens for this size coop to me, but I don't actually have chickens yet, so maybe I'm overestimating how much size they need?

There are no reviews on Amazon, but a smaller model from the same company has six reviews, four stars. The two three-star reviews both just complain about that one being too small.

u/wewewawa · -1 pointsr/BackYardChickens

I have had about two dozen chickens in the past 8 years.

Many have had illnesses that I have resolved, both thru my own research and experimentation, and also by taking them to a vet.

Its really odd that a sub like this, no one has cared or bothered to go to a vet, to at least learn something that will educate you for future flocks, if you indeed intend to be a long term backyard master.

I currently have a 7 year hen who is blind, and also suffers from 'water belly' and we take her to a vet about every 5 weeks.

I guess it helps when you have a vet who is willing to help you with poultry animals, as most in urban locations will not, or has no clue.

Have you at least tried VetRx? That is one of my key go to treatments, whenever I have a bird that is having problems.

Should be required for every hatchery pickup. Many times it has done what antibiotics have not done for resolving illness. Wouldn't testify if I didn't believe the results every time I apply it.

Good luck.

u/Ajs1004 · 1 pointr/BackYardChickens

Mine started doing this about a month ago. Drove me crazy because the eggs kept getting knocked out. So I bought these and I haven't had any issues since!