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

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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. I love fresh chicken eggs. I sometimes buy them from a couple who sell them in my town. We had chickens when I was young and the flavor of those eggs is so much richer than the storebought. My cousins who were “city boys” wouldn’t eat our fresh eggs when they came down to visit. They were missing out! I’m curious Christy, do the eggs taste different from the different breeds? Are they gentle or do they try to peck you when you gather the eggs?

    1. Hey Jayson! Mine have never tried to peck me but I’ve raised them since they were a day old and they know they don’t have anything to fear from me. I do think they taste different but only in that they taste so much better. Store bought eggs taste a bit bland to me whereas fresh eggs just have a richer flavor (like you said). Everyone I know who has tried them has sworn by how good they are and my brother in law is looking into getting chickens because he likes the eggs I send him so much! 🙂 Other than color, I can’t tell a difference in the eggs as far as taste goes from one breed to the other.

  2. I loved your story. Would like to have chickens but our town will not allow it. Question about eggs. What are the dark spots in the whites and on the yolk of the egg? My daughter brought some fresh eggs that a friend gave her for me to make an Angel Food cake and 6 out of 13 eggs had those dark spots in the eggs. I did’t use them but wondered what they were. Thanks.

      1. No “blood or meat” spots as they’re called have nothing to do with being fertlized. They’re just a spot of blood that attaches as the eggs are developing in the hen. Perfectly safe to eat.

        1. This happens sometimes when the hens are older layers. It’s nothing to worry about, and can be picked out if you find it undesirable and so desire. Once the egg is cooked you won’t see it, especially if mixing in a cake.

  3. Christy
    I love reading about your girls. I used to have a bunch ( over two dozen) at one time and really enjoyed watching them grow and develop in to their own individual personalities within the flock. I had an Americana named Silver that laid beautiful turquoises eggs. I also has some Barred Rocks, Comets, Buffs and Turkens. I miss them still even though they have been gone for two or three years. I hope you will write more about your girls and update us along as to their progress. I love reading your post, no matter the topic. You have a great gift with being able to be so positive and that can be so uplifting when I am having a rough day. Keep up the great work.

  4. this was interesting and informative. Thanks for the information and good luck towards building your dream place.

  5. I also love chickens. For one, they take me back to spending time at my grandmother and granddaddy’s house (which was a lot because we had a path from our back door to theirs). They raised chickens….for their eggs, and to eat. And sometimes my grandmother would let me have a real egg to put in my mud pies
    But chickens are especially dear to me because God used a baby chick that had been rejected by its mother to stir my heart to ask my grandmother questions about going to heaven and how to get there. And as we doctored that baby chick and saw it suffer and die my questions led me to accepting Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. My grandmother, and granddaddy, have gone on to be with the Lord, but one of their sons still lives in that house, with the utility room that we cared for that baby chick in. I can take you to the very spot at her kitchen counter where I asked Jesus to come into my heart. My, my such sweet memories!

  6. I love our chickens, and my favorite part of choring is picking up our eggs each night! 🙂 Thank you, Christy, it was fun to see how you do it! I would love to have a chicken that lays the green or blue eggs. Years ago in our first flock we had an Easter layer, but now we have just browns and a couple whites.

    Love reading your posts! <3

  7. Loved reading your post, Christy! Brought back memories from when my girls were young. Each year they visited their Granny & Paw-Paw (who had chickens) for the summer in Louisiana. One summer, one of the biddies broke her leg so their Paw-Paw splinted it with popsicle sticks cut to size and medical tape. They would take her in and out of the coop each day and make sure she got water and food. She became so tame that she would sit in their laps on the back porch while they read or perched on the arm of the daybed while they napped. They nicknamed her Crip and she recovered completely. We’re Houston suburbanites, but this gave them the opportunity to experience country living and an appreciation for animals and farm life. They helped in the garden and picked grapes, blueberries and strawberries to their hearts content and we all enjoyed the jars of jelly, jam and veggies from helping Granny on canning days. They are grown women and their grandparents are with the Lord, but these memories are precious to them and to us. Your family is making fond memories that will be precious to all of you as well and how wonderful that you have this blog that serves as a journal in many ways to preserve them as well. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

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