New to being a chicken mom and worried about predators here in the desert, we decided to fortify our steel gazebo and create the "Chicken Palace" for our 4 Columbian Wyandotte girls. The grillwork will keep out the coyotes and stray dogs, if any manage to jump our fence, but the concern was feral and domestic cats. The gazebo/palace is covered in chicken wire and hardware cloth where needed. The structure sets on cement bricks, so digging isn't a concern. I attached a "sally port" to the main entry to the gazebo to prevent our 2 little terrier mixes from having chicken lunches. They really really want to get to them.
The "palace" has electricity and I have a heat lamp set up for them until they feather out more and the nighttime temps are higher. We are still working on some future things such as a roosting "tree" and of course some nest boxes later on. The coop is small, but should be okay for the 4 of them when they decide to go into it. Right now they sleep under the coop in the enclosed space with pine bedding and the heat lamp.
Thanks for looking.
Nancy in AZ
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