I have been reading a lot of posts on this site after I got the OK to raise our own chickens. There is an amazing amount of information here, it is just great.
So now that I will be starting my first coop and run, I would love some advise. I have an area of 16' x 21' to work with. I am only planning on 3-5 chicks at first. I already have the brooder done (thanks to work for the wonderful wood crate/box). I now need to work on the coop and run. I would like to use pallet wood for siding. I likely will purchase new 2x4's and 2x6's for the frame and then fill in with the pallet wood for a rustic look. I live in inland southern California, so winters are mild, but the summers are hot. I will have windows on all sides of the coop for light and ventilation. I plan to have the nesting boxes inside the coop, but with a door/flap to the outside to check for eggs.
My main question has to do with hardware wire. I have seen some comments that the 2" x 4" spacing on the heavier duty wire is too large. I need to use something for the run, but not sure what to use. I would like to keep the cost down to a minimum, but want my babies to be safe. I would also like it to be tall enough to walk under without stooping and my husband is 6'1", so would like it to be about 7' (I have seen some wire at the hardware store that is 7'). Any suggestions as to wire for the run? Also, is it just as good to lay extra wire out to the sides of the run and put some dirt over it, or is it better to dig down and bury the wire straight down? Then there is the problem with over the run. I will have to put something on top of the run to keep cats (and whatever else might be around) out.
I will have to cover the windows also. Is the smaller 1/2" hardware cloth heavy duty enough for the windows?
I will be trying the deep litter method for both the run and coop. It seems that making the coop floor be the ground would make this work best, but what about security? Is it better to have a solid floor and just put the deep litter on top of that, or a dirt/ground floor?
Any and all suggestions would be great.
Thank you all,
Edited by Kim4810 - 3/17/16 at 9:24am