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Geoff40s Member Page

By geoff40, Jan 11, 2012 | |
  1. geoff40
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    I've noticed an awful lot of really nice, pretty coops on this site. Thats all fine, but at the end of the day they are still chickens, who don't care a bit about the way the coop looks. I know some people sort of have to keep things nice and neat, not an eyesore. Chickens require work, money, and your time, and functionality of your coop will forever trump what it looks like. If you're new to this hobby you should be far more concerned about keeping predators out before you turn your attention to the way your coop looks.
    This one is inside an old garden area, with still solid fence around it. The fence is buried several inches. Then working inward, 1 inch chicken wire, 3 feet high, buried about a foot deep, anchored by old 1X6 pressure treated in 12 foot lengths. I got it free from a man who replaced his decking with the newer plastic stuff, he was delighted to get rid of the old PT wood. Anyway the 3rd layer is 2 inch wire, anchored to the ground by 12 foot lengths of the PT wood. I built a canopy and covered it with wire too.
    This coop, now at the end of its 2nd year, cost me about $400 to build, including the 12X12 run which I can stand up in. Watch craigslist for free/cheap used materials. 2/3rds of this coop and run frame is salvaged lumber, the floor, 2 walls also salvage. Look for people getting renovation work done, often times the builder doing the work will give you some decent used materials that have been demo'd out of the project. 2X4 timbers, plywood, and more. I bought about $70 worth of rough sawn barn boards, the hardware (hinges, nails, screws, etc.) are what cost the most per unit installed. Even the roof, I got it at Home Depot, off the stack of damaged shingle bundles which they sell for half price. The windows were free, Craigslist again. It is a 4X8 coop, 4 1/2 feet high on the back, 5 1/2 feet high on the front. It looks a little different now, as there are nesting boxes off the left end, and the pop door is a different thing now.
    My birds are happy, they cause most of their own daily stress just being chickens. Predators come around almost every night, but they can't get in (knock on wood, in 30 years keeping chickens on and off, I've yet to have a predator get inside any coop I built) Keep the coop up off the ground. Besides thwarting a critter that otherwise might chew through your floor, keeping your coop up off the ground promotes a dry coop, which means the floor won't rot out. I paint my floor with 3-4 coats of Rustoleum, because it dries so much harder than routine wood paint does. It is about the most durable paint you can get now here in the USA. Lastly, a dry coop also is a healthier coop. Moisture promotes a lot of diseases.
    It doesn't have to be too high, the floor of this one is 18" off the ground.
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    Poultry nipples. This is the correct term, even though "chicken nipples" is funnier. Anyway, about the best prices on them these days, at least on the web, is eBay. Take just 5-10 minutes there and you will find them for $1 or less each, including free shipping. They are far superior to using waterers, which quickly get fouled (or is it fowled?) up by your birds. 3 of the nipples on the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket is perfect. Use a bucket with a lid, if the lid has an O-ring around the top seal either remove the O-ring or punch a nail hole through the lid, 1 hole is enough. You will need an 11/32nds drill bit, which you should be able to find at any lumber store or hardware store. Drill bits vary in quality a lot. You could spend $12-15 on one bit, if it is super-hardened carbon steel; but you are only drilling plastic and you don't need but a cheap, $4-5 bit. I don't see them cheaper than that. Drill slow, you want to cut the plastic and not melt your way through. Making a 5 gallon bucket waterer is really easy!!! Use the threaded nipples. There are poultry nipples that are not threaded, which have a rubber seal you anchor them with. But your birds are strong enough to loosen the seal, with a good hard peck, and then the water will drip leak out of the bucket. You will eliminate this problem by buying/using the threaded type of nipple, After you drill the hole (slowly and carefully) you simply wrap the threads on the nipple with 1 layer of tephlon tape, then screw the nipple in to the hole. Hand tightening will probably seal it off, but it dosn't hurt to hand tighten as much as you can then put another quarter or half turn on the nipple with a small wrench. Just don't damage the bucket by overtightening. Really, it is very easy, and your chicken water will stay for your birds.
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    The photos below will sort of tell you a little about me. Enjoy!

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    My daugher visiting Charlie and Sam, a pair a of Shire draft horses.
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    This is my other daughter with some Halloween friends.
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    My pal Arthur, with Thor.

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    Little Red Riding Hood brushing and getting Molly ready for a little fun.

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    My girls checking out the view from the top of Mt. Kearsarge, Warner, New Hampshire.

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