Hi there everyone. New to BYC and loving all the great information, comments, knowledge, etc. We had a small flock of chickens about 4-5 years ago but lost them to predators. We have now moved onto a new property and are looking to start over and learn from past mistakes. In the back corner of the lot is an old shed/barn, roughly 12x16 or so. The back half of this structure is attached to a 4' woven wire fenced-in area that was previously used for a couple of goats. We would like to use half of the shed for a coop (the other half for storage) and build a run (roughly 8x10) attached to the back half. Essentially this will be a run within a fenced-in area so hopefully very secure. The run is an extra attempt at security.
The pics below show the front and back of the shed. The run would be under the the right half of the roofed-in area. I'm thinking of building a 2x4 frame that would essentially go up to the overhang, using mostly hardware cloth. I'd go down at least 12" into the ground with the hardware cloth. I'd include a full size screen door for easy entry for us. The interior pics show studs that could (easily) be walled in to separate the two halves of the space. I would add some gable vents at the top end of each side to improve ventilation.
Most of my initial questions are about the run, and building/carpentry-related.
1. Can I lay the bottom plate 2x4 right on the ground if I use PT? Or is it better to lay it on a bed of sand/brick (I wouldn't cover the whole area this way, just the spot directly under the 2x4s) to prolong the life of the wood?
2. My longest "wall" would be 10.5 feet - I assume I'd want to split this distance with one vertical "stud" in the middle so that the hardware cloth would span 5.25 feet at the most - reasonable?
3. Not sure how to get my vertical 2x4 flush against the side of the shed given the wood siding. My only idea at present is to attach some interior studs and cut out just enough of the siding so that I can attach the exterior 2x4 directly to the interior one.
In terms of the interior, you can see that there are some 'boxes' that may well have been nesting boxes at some point in the past (the house was built in 1922 - not sure bout the outbuildings). I may re-use these but they're a bit higher than I'd like - I'm planning to use dowels higher up but low enough to keep out the draft from the gable vents... also planning to try a poop tray with sweet PDZ and sand based on all the great stuff I've read so far.
Anyway, that's enough for now. Thanks to anyone who has read this far! Look forward to learning from y'all and sharing my experiences as well.