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Temporary Grow-Out Pen...run floor?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So my husband and I are almost done building a grow-out pen/coop for our chicks.  It will be for outside, so that our current hens can see the new ones behind hardware cloth, and get used to them. It's basically a mini-coop/run.  Now that we have it outside on the ground, I think I may have made an error, or not thought everything through.

 

I decided to make the floor of the run hardware cloth, because this won't be a permanent structure. So instead of laying an apron around the perimeter of the coop/run to keep animals from digging under, I just put the hardware cloth under. But now that it's out there, I'm thinking it wasn't the best idea.  I know they're going to want to dig. I was planning on putting a big layer of dirt, shavings, straw, leaves, something on the floor so they aren't always walking directly on the hardware cloth. 

 

Is this a bad idea? How else could I predator proof to keep animals from digging under? Will having a deep layer of stuff there enough?  It's 1/4" hardware cloth. One solid sheet running the length of it...

Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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post #2 of 5

They'll be fine on the wire on ground. Can still peck at grass, weeds, seeds and bugs. If it's large enough so they don't kill the grass is will grow up through. I use an apron on the grow out pen. It's semi portable. Can move it along far enough for fresh forage. I use 2x4 14 gauge welded wire. The fencing comes in 4 ft so cut in half to have 2 ft apron lengths I tuck under the run wall. The apron lays flat, grass starts to grow through it by the time I move the pen again.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #3 of 5
Think this fits here: Ten 9 day old chicks in box 23in tall, 21 in wide and 31in long (not quite 6 sq ft.) They're actually using a roost I put in there. Equals more square footage? One question. Will have to have them in the house another 3-4 weeks since southern WV weather has been totally weird. Question: Add a box for more room to run back and forth? Make the thing longer?
Second "topic" in this is "Going to join the big girls" 5 hens 1 rooster. Coop is 8x8. Chicken door lets into fenced in chicken yard BUT hens have to come through that and chicken door to get to nesting boxes. Bottom line question: With 10 chicks (or fewer if some are roosters) what is minimal floor/roosting space I should allow the getting bigger chicks while everyone is getting to look at each other for some period of time? I want them to have enough room but ..
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Egghead_Jr View Post
 

They'll be fine on the wire on ground. Can still peck at grass, weeds, seeds and bugs. If it's large enough so they don't kill the grass is will grow up through. I use an apron on the grow out pen. It's semi portable. Can move it along far enough for fresh forage. I use 2x4 14 gauge welded wire. The fencing comes in 4 ft so cut in half to have 2 ft apron lengths I tuck under the run wall. The apron lays flat, grass starts to grow through it by the time I move the pen again.

Thanks, good to know. I feel a bit better now. 

Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by silkwormlady View Post

Think this fits here: Ten 9 day old chicks in box 23in tall, 21 in wide and 31in long (not quite 6 sq ft.) They're actually using a roost I put in there. Equals more square footage? One question. Will have to have them in the house another 3-4 weeks since southern WV weather has been totally weird. Question: Add a box for more room to run back and forth? Make the thing longer?
Second "topic" in this is "Going to join the big girls" 5 hens 1 rooster. Coop is 8x8. Chicken door lets into fenced in chicken yard BUT hens have to come through that and chicken door to get to nesting boxes. Bottom line question: With 10 chicks (or fewer if some are roosters) what is minimal floor/roosting space I should allow the getting bigger chicks while everyone is getting to look at each other for some period of time? I want them to have enough room but ..

You may want to post this out in the main forum, instead of in my thread. It will get more replies that way!

Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
Reply
Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
Reply
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