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Chickens In A Concrete Jungle

By EggieRowe, Aug 6, 2012 | Updated: Sep 7, 2012 | | |
  1. EggieRowe
    Raising a 'backyard' flock in an industrial setting.

    Some people joke about living at work, but for us its a reality! We have very little green area on the property, but we wanted to see how self-sufficient we could become with such limited space. In addition to the chickens, we will be putting in about a dozen fruit trees and some raised garden beds this fall. We are also trying to use as much reclaimed material as possible. This is a trial phase as we look for some land to start a small hobby farm and build a new home.

    The Brooder
    A Rubbermaid mower shed saved from the curb. It served as a chicken coop for 6 hens last year until a raccoon wiped them out. I (poorly) copied PrairiePearls' wonderful coop transformation. If you want to see one done right, check out this link ---> https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/prairiepearlss-chicken-coop. Mine looks like some cartoonish nightmare version - I'll post pics after I'm done brooding the chicks. Makes a FANTASTIC brooder! Currently in our downstairs area that is currently 'un-conditioned' and unused.
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    The Chicks
    Day 1
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    Week 2
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    Week 4
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    The Coop
    August 5th
    Six 9 ft. concrete planters recycled from a parking garage we renovated last year. Had to resort to using the crane after the bobcat got stuck a few times. Couldn't use it to grade the area so the planters aren't exactly level.
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    August 12
    Framed the coop structure with lumber reclaimed from our mold shop. The studs are actually 2x3's, which our shop rips down from 2x6's. I originally designed the structure connecting the studs the 'flat' way instead of the normal way, but we had 3" screws so we turned 90 degrees to use what we had on hand. I'm hoping this doesn't come back to haunt me in the future. And yes, the front & back panels are upside down. I had planned on a level foundation, but that didn't work out last week. I have the CAD drawings I did for this saved, but we're pretty much winging it from here on out. It will be interesting to see how it turns out vs. how I thought it would turn out. I'll post the renderings when its done.
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    August 14
    Roof, I hope.

    August 25
    So after much delay we got back to work on the coop. We installed two sheets of 1/2" plywood for the floor and some of the hardware cloth. Realized I forgot to put the sand under the coop portion after the first two whole sheets, so going to try to do that this week before finishing the entire floor. Very dumb on my part. I have plenty of clearance under there to clean it out with a rake, but getting sand under it once the floor is sealed up would probably be really hard. So far we've spent about $300 in plywood, metal roof, and hardware cloth. When we finish it and I move most of this to a coop page, I'll have a more accurate total.

    August 30
    Realized I had enough clearance to put the sand in from the run side of the coop, so went ahead and started finishing the walls & floor. Seriously considering leaving the South wall (opposite block wall) open and covering it with 1/2" hardware cloth. It's actually facing a hill, so it wouldn't get full sun or too much wind.
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    September 2
    The coop is 95% done! I painted the inside with some white high gloss paint and put down the vinyl flooring. Stapled 1/2" hardware cloth to the south wall and then screwed 1x4 furring strips over the edges to secure it. We're going to install a sliding door person sized door and a pop door as soon as the rain lets up. I am glad it rained because it confirmed the roof was water tight and the overhang was enough to keep moderate blowing rain out of the coop. When we got a break, I went ahead and moved the chicks in because they had really outgrown the brooder. We meant to have this coop done a couple weeks ago. Hoping to get the run built this week so the chicks can have their first real, dirt-between-the-toes, outdoor experience!
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    South Wall
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    Dogs investigating their new 'big screen TV'
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    The chickens have the best view on the property!
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    Haven't decided if I'm going to cover this wall - roosts will eventually be along it.
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    Future person door, but right now being closed up w/a scrap sheet of plywood.
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    Future pop door wall - as soon as I get a run built.

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  1. Whittni
    Good Luck! (August 2012)

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