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Coop + Run design

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

 

My chicks are three weeks old and I need to start to think about an outdoor coop for them. They were newly-hatched wild chicks that I rescued from a grate, so I was not planning on having chickens. This is a pic of my very small yard. It is not fenced in and most of the neighborhood dogs are allowed to roam free and frequently kill the wild chickens, so I can't free range them. The kayak and the roof rack both belong to my landlords and can be moved (at least I think. They've said before they would move it, yet there it still sits!). The lawn chairs (lovely) and tiles were both there when I moved in and could possibly be incorporated into the design (I heard chicks love lawn chairs and tile is good for mud, although these tiles are pretty slick). 

 

I live in Hawaii so cold weather and hawks, raccoons, etc. are not an issue. It's mostly just the dogs. I was thinking that even just a run with a simple nesting box inside might be ok? 

 

The thing that worries me the most is the slope of the yard. What would be the best way to deal with that? And the mud. I am only renting this house, so I can't make any permanent changes to it. Ideally, I would like something that could be moved/taken apart because I don't plan on living here forever. Lastly, I don't have a lot of money to spend on this since the chicks were an unexpected surprise and I didn't budget for a $1000 coop. 

post #2 of 6

I think your idea of a run with a bit of roofing over the roost to keep them dry in a rainstorm will work. That won't be expensive.

 

Click on the small and medium coop pictures for tons of ideas.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 6
http://thecitychicken.com/tractors.html

Or could you put hogwire fence around the whole yard, on metal or bamboo posts? Then you just need some sort of perch that is sheltered for them to roost at night.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input! What do you think if I were to enclose an area at the back of the carport (where the couch is) with hog wire? It has a roof and two walls. I would need to put a coop/nesting box/roost in there, and a door. I think I could do it with minimal impact to the carport. The back wall doesn't quite reach the ground so I was thinking I could leave that open and make an angled run for them to get outside. Would that work? What should I do about footing?

 

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfro View Post
 

 

 

I would suggest that you fence off the area next to the above cinder block wall, instead of fencing off an area next to the car port next to the sofa. Chickens can be very dusty, you don't want all the poop/feather/dander/bedding dust in your living area.

 

The open coop/run idea will work fine in your area. Roof off at least a part of the enclosed area, have the next box accessible from outside the fenced area. The roof should be below the window height so to avoid dust into the window. Make the fenced-in area as high as possible for human access, install a gate so you can walk in to the run to clean.

 

Working on a slope has its challenges, depending on how handy you are and what material you have on hand. The good part is that you won't have a water ponding issue. To do it cheaply, I would suggest using a couple 6' or 8' long galvanized fence post, set them about 4' to 6' apart, drive them into the ground to create a 4' to 6' high enclosed area. Then use galvanized steel welded wires to create you enclosure. You can also build an area with 3 wooded sides as their coop to mount the roosting bar and install a nest box that can be accessible from outside.

 

For bedding, try deep litter method on dirt, top with yard waste such as leaves, grass, wood shaving as the bedding, as long as there is no chemical. Also create an 4" lip on the bottom along the ground level to hold back the bedding so it won't get washed down the slope. With the warm and wet climate of Hawaii, sand would smell to high heaven, unless you enjoy daily scooping of poop to keep it clean, then it might be ok.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowchicks View Post
 

I would suggest that you fence off the area next to the above cinder block wall, instead of fencing off an area next to the car port next to the sofa. Chickens can be very dusty, you don't want all the poop/feather/dander/bedding dust in your living area.

 

The open coop/run idea will work fine in your area. Roof off at least a part of the enclosed area, have the next box accessible from outside the fenced area. The roof should be below the window height so to avoid dust into the window. Make the fenced-in area as high as possible for human access, install a gate so you can walk in to the run to clean.

 

Working on a slope has its challenges, depending on how handy you are and what material you have on hand. The good part is that you won't have a water ponding issue. To do it cheaply, I would suggest using a couple 6' or 8' long galvanized fence post, set them about 4' to 6' apart, drive them into the ground to create a 4' to 6' high enclosed area. Then use galvanized steel welded wires to create you enclosure. You can also build an area with 3 wooded sides as their coop to mount the roosting bar and install a nest box that can be accessible from outside.

 

For bedding, try deep litter method on dirt, top with yard waste such as leaves, grass, wood shaving as the bedding, as long as there is no chemical. Also create an 4" lip on the bottom along the ground level to hold back the bedding so it won't get washed down the slope. With the warm and wet climate of Hawaii, sand would smell to high heaven, unless you enjoy daily scooping of poop to keep it clean, then it might be ok.

 

Thank you, that is excellent advice! 

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