BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance › Building an Aviary and Coop to keep Chickens, Bunnies and Finches in (off our house, so that nest box and bunnies are accesible through house windows)
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Building an Aviary and Coop to keep Chickens, Bunnies and Finches in (off our house, so that nest box and bunnies are accesible through house windows)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Greetings!

 

I live in the Greater Tampa Bay, FL area.  No problems with zoning or HOA where I live out in the country.

 

Plan is to start with 1 or 2 bunnies, 3 or 4 hens, and 6 or so finches.  Will do in stages, currently have 1 bunny that we rescued from a local shelter (3 year old 4lb mini-lop ear female fixed, very friendly.)  Almost done building a 2 level elevated bunny hutch that will sit right outside a window. 

 

Next step is to build a ~14'x18'x10' run/aviary that will enclose the bunny hutch and the future chicken coop and nesting boxes.  The land is flat, 2 sides of the aviary will be formed by our house, the other 2 sides and top will be framed in.  Not sure what type of hardware cloth or welded wire we will use for protection, looking into options.  There will also be screening to keep the finches in, the run will essentially be a large screened in area.  Shade cloth will be used on the top.  Still thinking on door options, may do an airlock style to make sure finches don't escape while we are entering leaving.  Or maybe beads hanging down over the doorway?

 

Once the above is done, we will build a Roosting area and Nesting boxes inside the Aviary.  Can the nesting area and roosting area be separate structures from each other?  Or do they need to be part of one structure?

 

Will post progress pictures and questions as I go :)

 

--Chris

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeWhoChickens View Post
 

Greetings!

 

I live in the Greater Tampa Bay, FL area.  No problems with zoning or HOA where I live out in the country.

 

Plan is to start with 1 or 2 bunnies, 3 or 4 hens, and 6 or so finches.  Will do in stages, currently have 1 bunny that we rescued from a local shelter (3 year old 4lb mini-lop ear female fixed, very friendly.)  Almost done building a 2 level elevated bunny hutch that will sit right outside a window. 

 

Next step is to build a ~14'x18'x10' run/aviary that will enclose the bunny hutch and the future chicken coop and nesting boxes.  The land is flat, 2 sides of the aviary will be formed by our house, the other 2 sides and top will be framed in.  Not sure what type of hardware cloth or welded wire we will use for protection, looking into options.  There will also be screening to keep the finches in, the run will essentially be a large screened in area.  Shade cloth will be used on the top.  Still thinking on door options, may do an airlock style to make sure finches don't escape while we are entering leaving.  Or maybe beads hanging down over the doorway?

 

Once the above is done, we will build a Roosting area and Nesting boxes inside the Aviary.  Can the nesting area and roosting area be separate structures from each other?  Or do they need to be part of one structure?

 

Will post progress pictures and questions as I go :)

 

--Chris

Sounds exciting!

Years ago we had a small aviary and had something like the 'air lock;  a small 'entryway' box in front of the door. You opened the outside door, closed it, then opened the door to the aviary.

 

Good question about the nesting/roosting boxes for the chickens being adjacent. I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Although I wonder if my chickens are happier laying their eggs in the coop where they also roost, because they regard it as a secure area?


Edited by lynnehd - 3/22/16 at 9:15pm
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnehd View Post
 

Sounds exciting!

Years ago we had a small aviary and had something like the 'air lock;  a small 'entryway' box in front of the door. You opened the outside door, closed it, then opened the door to the aviary.

 

Good question about the nesting/roosting boxes for the chickens being adjacent. I'm not sure, but I don't think so. Although I wonder if my chickens are happier laying their eggs in the coop where they also roost, because they regard it as a secure area?

 

Thanks!

 

I may ask the nest/coop question in a separate thread.

 

Finished the hutch!  My wife and I built it from scratch.  Much of it scrap wood from other projects.

 

 

 

Still need to level it properly and set the height and put in the bedding and "furniture" :D  Ran out of time.  Next step is to rototill the whole run area then build the Aviary/Run.

post #4 of 7

Hello I'm rebuilding my aviary and would like zebra or society finch in the future. What is the largest cheapest wire I can get? the .5" hardware cloth is just to expencive

A lot of Coturnix Quail, a few chickens, and a crazy german shepherd.
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A lot of Coturnix Quail, a few chickens, and a crazy german shepherd.
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by clawstar View Post
 

Hello I'm rebuilding my aviary and would like zebra or society finch in the future. What is the largest cheapest wire I can get? the .5" hardware cloth is just to expencive

With finches that size, you wouldn't want to go much larger, I would think.

 

Also, if you want to keep predators out,  you need to use something close to the 1/2 inch hardware mesh, it is tough to get around that. Possibly 1/2 inch by 1 inch welded wire?

post #6 of 7

would they break plastic netting? can I use larger wire with plastic netting? no snakes here, and plan on having about a foot of concrete/bricks then 2 feet of hardware cloth but I cannot spend $600 worth of wire...

A lot of Coturnix Quail, a few chickens, and a crazy german shepherd.
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A lot of Coturnix Quail, a few chickens, and a crazy german shepherd.
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post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by clawstar View Post
 

would they break plastic netting? can I use larger wire with plastic netting? no snakes here, and plan on having about a foot of concrete/bricks then 2 feet of hardware cloth but I cannot spend $600 worth of wire...

Many predators can easily chew through plastic netting or fencing, such as Raccoons, unfortunately.

 

I'm no expert in building aviaries, but I would imagine that you need to make an aviary predator safe just like a chicken coop.

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