West Tennessee here-just North of Memphis. New to BYC & a newbie to chickens too. So far, have some buff orpingtons, Australorps, & a few unknown bantams (couldn't resist:)
Have a pretty empty 100×100 horse barn & arena. I plan to convert one of the smaller/ end stalls (12x15') into a coop. Then install an auto door to the stall/coop's outer wall(which has a 15' area width between the barns outer wall & a fence). I plannef to line the wood fence with chicken wire and run it the length of the barn (or maybe go only 1/2 the length of the barn) providing them a potential 50' (or 100') x15' run. Im worried about hawks (& possums, raccoons, & coyotes, etc.) all which we have a big abundance of (especially hawks which are constantly killing the wild birds) around here. I've read that you should use metal mesh hardware cloth to keep out preditors but that stuff is so darned more expensive...anyone have an alternative suggestion or know where I can buy it thats more affordable than TS, Lowes, or Amazon (which the cheapest avg abt. $2+/perft.)? Also, the barn is a hard packed dirt floor...wondering should I put down flooring or is pine shavings over sand/dirt good enough? Any other suggestions for converting/creating the coop/run would be greatly welcomed & appreciated. Thanks.