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I have been involved with chickens on and off for... awhile. Had to take a break while husband spent some time with the Army, but I jumped right back into it as soon as he was out! We started with this in 2010.

Pretty basic, right? The sliding doors on the front got annoying, so we swapped them out for wooden barn style doors. Ricca, our female German Shepherd at the time, kept jumping at the chickens for fun from outside the run, even though she knew it was wrong. She looked for reasons to be near the coop just so she could! So we built a fence around the coop. Then we got the ducks, and needed to add an additional run, and we split the building in half to give each their own side. So, it has grown into this...


The chickens have a covered run filled with sand for easy care, the ducks have 2 tons of gravel in the bottom of their run, for water control from the pool, and easy clean up with a hose. Each group gets 130 +/- sq ft of indoor/outdoor space, and free range time when I'm out there. We lost 1 duck to a hawk this year, no more!
All windows in the coop are covered in hardware cloth. The runs are also covered in hardware cloth, with 2x4 welded wire fence for the roof. Netting is used over that to prevent free loading wildlife from having access to the feed. Latches with carabiners, heavy duty staples and U nails, and the hardware cloth and wire roof prevent coon and hawk access.

The Saxony ducks scoping out a Swedish hen we took in...


Ducks are REALLY MESSY! They throw water everywhere. As a solution, I built an indoor water station, that has really done wonders to keep the coop clean and dry. It is a wooden frame built around a plastic tote, with hardware cloth over the top to support the waterer. When they splash in it, the water falls through the wire into the tote, keeping everything around it dry. There is a handle on the side of the frame, to make it easy to lift to retrieve the tote for dumping.

We've since moved farther out from town, switched from ducks to Turkeys and expanded on the birds. Our "new" coop is a little bit bigger.


We also have a smaller coop closer to the house for food eggs and favorite birds.

About author
My poultry hobby has turned into Arcadian Orchard, after leaving the city to live a more rural life. We've ventured further into gardening and growing food, since my husband's thumb is more green while mine is decidedly feathery.


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