Originally Posted by Ponderosa8671
Hi Everyone. I'm new to BYC and I need some help with a project. I inherited the dog pen shown below from the previous property owner and I would like to turn it into a chicken coop. The pen is 16' square and is very well built. My plan is to fence in a 1/2 acre surrounding the pen for daily run area with lots of dirt for bathing and junipers to keep the hawks out. They would then be locked down at night in the pen/coop as coyotes are an issue. Basically, I want to build a structure within the pen that I could use as a coop without doing anything to the pen itself. We live in an arid high desert climate in southern Oregon and the box wire lower half will provide plenty of ventilation. I am going to have the floor poured with concrete, it is gravel now. I have good wood working skills and tools but am not a carpenter by any stretch. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
How many chickens do you plan to have?
Is it open under that roof? If so, maybe you could close off half of that area and that could be your coop. The chickens would just need a walkway to get up there. That would leave all the area within the pen for a run, and sometimes you will have to leave them in there.
I don't think you need to put concrete in the pen. The chickens would prefer the dirt and nature does a better job of cleaning. You just need to secure around the pen so animals can't dig under.
You said you will let the chickens free range in a 1/2-acre area that will be fenced. I would just suggest having chickens that can fly a little to get up into the trees and away from predators. If you just want chickens for eggs, I would suggest a variety of brown leghorn. The hens will lay 5 to 6 eggs a week average in a year and their color helps them hide from predators.
The dual-purpose breeds (for eggs and meat) have larger bodies and have less flight ability. I think they would not be able to get up six feet high, maybe less.
That is beautiful country up where you live. I understand there are also some wolves in Southern Oregon now, and don't you have bobcats in that area? You have every possible predator in your area. Hopefully you can train your dogs to not chase the chickens, and then they can help keep away predators.
My father is thinking about moving to your area.