Chicken Coop out of a Swing Set! Answers to Questions About My Chickens

I’m often asked various questions about my chickens so I thought I’d write a post answering all of the questions I usually get in hopes that it will prove helpful.  
Where did you get your chickens?

I ordered my chickens from I chose my breeds based on heat tolerance, reliable egg laying, and the color of their eggs. The website allows you to narrow your search based on pretty much anything you like. The chickens were shipped to me the day they hatched in a lined box with air holes and a heating pad. We picked them up from the post office the very next day and brought them home. 
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
Where did you keep them when they were chicks? 
They lived inside until they were fully feathered out, in a storage bin with litter material in the bottom and a heating lamp up on top.
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
What color are your chicken’s eggs? 
Pictured are the colors of eggs I get from my hens. Egg color is dependent on species and individual birds. A little further in this post I will tell you the breeds and what color of egg each one lays.
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
How Many Eggs Do You Get Each Week?
Some of our chickens started laying at 4 months and they were all laying by 6 months (If I remember correctly) and we usually get 6 eggs every day, every now and then just five. Usually, the only time egg production is low is when the weather has been particularly miserable, which I can sympathize with. But most days, my refrigerator looks about like this. This is what happens when you get 3 1/2 dozen eggs per week. It’s a great problem to have and allows me to share eggs with neighbors. Note: I don’t wash my eggs until right before using them, if they are dirty. This helps them to stay fresh longer.
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
 What Types Of Chickens Do You Have? 
I have six chickens.
Their names are: Granny, Glammy, Red, Boss, Zeb, and Fluffy Bottoms.
The types of chickens I have are:
  • 1 Rhode Island Red (Red) – light brown eggs
  • 1 Barred Plymouth Rock (Zeb) – light brown eggs
  • 1 Australorp (Boss) – light brown eggs
  • 2 Easter Egger (Glammy and Granny) – One lays green eggs and the other blue
  • 1 Golden Buff (Fluffy Bottoms) – dark brown eggs
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
What do they eat?
I feed my chickens pellet feed with a calcium supplement mixed in as well as a mix of dried corn, oats, nuts, and other seeds as scatter on the ground each day. All of my commercial feed is purchased from Tractor Supply and I usually buy 400-500 pounds of feed at a time so I only go two or three times a year at most. Pictured is 350 pounds. I shoot for more but if it’s been a long day I stop once I get tired of picking up 50 pound sacks. I would estimate they go through about $15 of feed a month. Most folks sell some eggs to cover the feed but that would require me leaving the house more than I already have to, so I just give eggs away to neighbors. I enjoy that more, anyway.
Every morning my chickens get a bowl of hot oatmeal and on pretty days I walk around the yard and fill up a basket with clover, grass, etc as a treat. They also love apples and kitchen scraps. As one friend put it when I first got chickens, “They are pretty much goats with beaks.”
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
What Type Of Enclosure Do You Have? 
For their pen, we closed in the kid’s old swingset and made it into a large chicken coop.
And by “We” I mean my father in law and husband. But I’m sure they couldn’t have done it without my emotional support. 🙂
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
Nesting Boxes and Roosting Area
Two Lowe’s buckets are bolted down to the top of the slide area as nesting boxes and beneath what used to be the slide area we have an enclosed roosting space, with a wall in front of it to further block out the elements. The center of this wall is removable so that I can get in there and clean out the nesting area from time to time. The coop is enclosed on one end (sides and top) so only part of it is subject to rain, snow, and the like. However, in winter I enclose all sides with construction grade plastic (as pictured above) to block cold winter drafts, leaving only the end with the door as the area where fresh air can pass through.
Answers to all of the questions I've been asked about raising chickens.
Are Chickens A Lot Of Trouble? 
Chickens are, by far, the easiest critter I’ve ever had. I give them fresh water, food, and scatter daily and check their eggs. From time to time I rake out all of the straw or pine needles and replace it with fresh. I do this every couple of months but even then it just makes me feel better and is not necessarily needed. (I use pine needles during warmer months because they are in abundance where I live). Other than gathering the eggs and bringing them treats, that is about it!
That covers most of the questions I can think of but if you have others feel free to leave them in the comments. I’m glad to help if I can!


  1. Can’t wait for your book. I already have a list of folks who want it as a gift!
    Hope to see you Easter Sunday!❤️

  2. The hens will have a ball with mice. They will catch them then play keep away. Miss my pet hens and the fresh eggs. Now living in retirement village but keep living the good life by reading all the blogs and inspirational messages.

  3. 03.10.2016 Thanks for the chicken’s update! It was way-cool! This might sound stupid but I’m a city-girl, how do you clean the eggs before use? Do you have to wipe them off with diluted bleach or just soap and water? J.

    1. Eggs will keep longer if they are not washed before being stored. However, I always wash my girls’ eggs to be sure no poo is going in my fridge. If they appear clean, I just rinse them with tap water, dry and store. If they are dirty, I wash them with a bit of soap. I read that in a tip from a producer of chicken feed and I have had no problem with any kind of bacteria.
      It also helps if you keep their nesting box clean and collect the eggs as soon as they are laid, if possible.

  4. I don’t have any chickens but i love reading your post.I was raised on a farm and i wish i could go back but i have a stubborn husband,keep the post coming because i love reading them and your kind heart.

  5. Beautiful! My mom has chickens and they are the sweetest little ladies with their creeeeaky smokers’ voices. Brrrrr, brrrrrr, brrrrr. I love going over to her house and having one hop right up onto my lap. Yours are simply gorgeous, and you are obviously doing a wonderful job for them to be so content and healthy. Loved reading about them! This will be an excellent guide for anyone thinking about going for it with backyard chickens.

  6. Enjoyed reading about the “girls” chickens, I too have about 8 hens, and 12 more chicks on the way next week. My hens are all pets and could not think of eating them when they get old.
    They are less trouble than any dog or cat. Someone asked about critters in the pen, that is what they make shot guns for… They will find a way in no matter how well the pen is made.

    1. I’m thinking about getting bantams next but can’t decide. I have a neat chicken tractor that they could call home which is empty now. Re: the shot gun, you’re my kinda gal! I have to be a little more discreet right now so I stick with the pellet rifle.

      1. Is there a particular reason you are thinking about the bantams?
        The only reason I’m asking is because that seems to be the most prevalent chicken in our area (southern Ohio).
        I don’t have chickens, but have been thinking about it for several years. Since we live in the country, my main hesitation has been because of the amount of critters!
        Even though we have about 12 acres, we don’t have any livestock and we regularly have possoms, coons, fox, snakes and hawks!
        Our coop wouldn’t be that close to the house, so it would be hard to keep an eye on.
        Soooo, that is my hesitation.
        Well, that and the fact my husband says “no way”! He just never seems to realize I always get my way! Shhhhh! Lol

      2. I don’t know how one or two might be with the other chickens if you raise them from chicks with your grown hens. But, my parents already had 100 “new crop” chicks (1/2 Rhode Island Reds and 1/2 Plymouth Rocks) and got 25 bantam chicks. They would not come into the pen with the others at night. They went to the large oak tree beside the house. When they reached laying age, they would not follow the example of the remaining other chickens, they would lay their eggs out on the farm and sit on them. They multiplied like rabbits. The crowing and cackling began 4:00 A.M. Daddy needed more sleep than that, so he added more and more to the freezer until there were none left. Until he died when anyone said they were thinking about getting some bantams he would just smile at them and amble away as if he had not heard their comment.

  7. Great informative post! Loved reading it!!

    I have a question. How noisy and smelly are the chickens. My neighbors might be unhappy if either is an issue.


    1. No smell at all that I’ve observed. The are always turning over the dirt scratching anyway. Noise is another issue. I never knew hens could be so loud but when they lay an egg they want to make sure everyone in the world knows it! You may be able to find a breed that is quieter though. I keep meaning to research that but haven’t yet. I don’t have a rooster and used to think that they were the only noise makers but I was very very wrong 😉 However, their noises aren’t anything as loud as a barking dog.

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