100% Urban Predator proof Chicken Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Daox13, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Richmond va
    My Coop
    I first want to state that I am not trying to disrespect life long chicken owners or anyone that has built there own coop and run and called it predator proof. So please don't take anything I say as an attack or as me trying to one up.

    I have started this thread now because I'm gearing up for a chicken coop and run build that will start this weekend. This will be the first full length thread build I have ever done and I ask that you be patient with me as it will most certainly take longer then expected and turn out different in the end then the original plan, because....... well.... that's how I build[​IMG]

    I am by no means an expert builder and my experience is all self taught so if you are looking for square and perfect then this won't be it.

    I started my research about 4 months ago. I was one of those people who has wanted chickens, got a mail ordered coop and run tractor and got chickens that were young, thought (there is no way in hell these guys will out grow this) then reality struck and realized if I was going to keep them I better think long term cause that was not it.

    I am very particular with certain things and protecting my girls is my number one goal in this build. Luckily we don't have to be concerned with bears here in the city so please keep in mind if you do, this wouldn't be built to withstand that kind of abuse. But this should keep out anything else smaller then that.

    This first post is the concept post, there will be no building pictures because... well I haven't started yet[​IMG]. However , I will post one or two pics of ideas as I am a visual person and prefer pics to display thought.

    Materials for run ( as this is the primary reason for this post):

    2"x2"x Whatever you wish
    2"x4"x whatever you wish
    4"x6"x whatever you wish
    1/2" hardwire mesh
    Thick patio tile
    Heaver duty hammer in staple/wire fasteners
    Corrugated roofing
    Nails, Screws, drill bits, etc.


    I have read through many areas about preventing digging underneath. At first I had planned to dig my entire run's ground down 2-3' and laying my underwire down there, but the thought of that exhausted me[​IMG]. I'd first either need a sprinkler and turn it on several times a day for multiple days to soften the ground (cause keep in mind I'm not on a farm and only have a shovel and no access for big equipment) or wait for a lucky weeks worth of rain. then I got to thinking... why?... why do I need to dig down that far? Why not just concrete the base and build up like a raised garden bed. That would prevent anything digging in from underneath. But then you will have a drainage issue, which we all know is never good with chickens[​IMG]. so I thought long and hard about this issue and stewed over it and came across a post of someone who was much smarter. They dug down about 6" and leveled the ground and then used patio tiles as the base and raised up the sides of the run with 4x4s to give it the raised bed look and gave enough space for sand or mulch or whatever your choice is. I thought that was genius so I have added to it, but of course tweaked it and I will dig 6" and level and then put about 2-3" of finely crushed gravel, level and then place my 1/2" hardware cloth wire over (why 1/2" hard ware wire on the bottom instead of chicken wire? because mice dig and will tunnel through and then you have a nice entrance for snakes seeking out mice), weed barrier and then place the patio tiles. This will ensure good drainage so that the wire does not rust out with a year or so and become useless and this will also be easier to level and pack for the tiles. I will lay the wire out about 1 1/2' out past the tile to still protect for predators trying to dig under only because I don't want my foundation to become unstable from rodent tunnels or even larger tunnels for past attempts. I will then lay my 4"x4" post around the border and rebar those into place. You now have a Fort Knox chicken run bottom.

    Reference pics below ( These are not my build but an example of what I am planning on doing)

    Dig 6" and fill 2-3" crushed rock

    [​IMG]


    Add 1/2" hard ware cloth wire then the tile ( not the same set up, different pic but you get the idea)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Then add your weed barrier ( to insure you don't get deep rooted plants growing up which will make your life a living hell after the build) and add your wood border to give you room to fill with run gravel/sand/mulch, and I also like to have a solid foundation since the run will be paneled.

    [​IMG]

    This will be the end of Part 1 of my build.

    When I start catching up to this step i'll have my own pics and i'll dive into the next steps.

    Thank you for taking the time to view my thread and if you have suggestions please add them below.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Longville, La
    No matter what you build or how you build it, there is going to be somebody that disagrees with it. You know your situation and your capabilities, so don't let them bother you. You've been on this site long enough and read enough of the posts to know the chicken "experts" don't even agree with each other all the time. What you have planned for the run is just as predator proof as anything else out there and I admire the time, expense, and effort you are about to put in.
    I've got my fingers crossed that "Coop on a Stick" is the ultimate goal!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2014
    Richmond va
    My Coop
    Thank You! I appreciate the positive reinforcement. [​IMG] and yes, the Coopsicle is the prize [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  4. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2016
    NW Arkansas
    My Coop
    It'll never work. You are wasting your time. :D I figured someone was going to say it so might as well get it out of the way.

    As a person often accused of overkill on everything I build, I say good do what you feel is the best and don't worry about the naysayers because you know, naysayers are going to say nay.

    Looking forward to more progress and pics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2014
    Richmond va
    My Coop
    [​IMG]

    I always over do... same reason you dress up, you can always dress down. I have already determined my biggest threat living in the city is rats... rats and mice dig, digging creates wonderful paths for snakes and then you got an issue.... so yes, I'm going to over kill the crap outs this... i mean, that's what predator proof is right? [​IMG]
     
  6. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Richmond va
    My Coop
    I have made my first change. I have ample amounts of cinder blocks and rebar, instead of using wood of a foundation border I an going to use the cinder blocks, mortar and rebar for my foundation. not that this is a big change but I thought I would keep the few updated.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2014
    Richmond va
    My Coop
    Update* and more so good advice... I have found .50" hardware cloth for $52 for a 36"x50' 19 gauge with free shipping on amazon. so far this is by far the best price as you get twice the amount for less money then a 25' roll at the local hardware store. I will be ordering the slightly more expensive coated wire to ensure long lasting. but just though I would throw it out there that this is the best reviewed and best priced stuff so as of now... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. mramericauna

    mramericauna Just Hatched

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Western Kentucky
    In the past I built a chicken tractor with a 16'x4' run all for 5 chickens. I had chicken wire sides and top and I even put chicken wire on the very bottom to keep anything from digging in. Over time the wire on the bottom rusted away and I had a heck of a mess on my hands. Your coop is not a mobile one so you can take these measures to make yours. One trick I learned on here a long time ago was if you paint your wire Matt black, you can't see it from a distance. So sitting in your kitchen looking at the coop it looks like your chickens are "free ranging". Either way I like your design and security of your coop plans
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2014
    Richmond va
    My Coop
    That is a very cool suggestion! I had always worried about that because I know with the smaller wire and having a front and back like that it creates this horrible illusion effect... [​IMG]

    Thank you so much for your suggestion! [​IMG]

    As far as the rusting, I can see how that would be an issue and I'm sure there is something I'm missing but I'm going try and prevent that with good drainage and I'm going to spend a little extra for the dipped wire on the bottom and I may even paint it to try and prevent it for as long as I can.
     
  10. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2014
    Richmond va
    My Coop
    Major change coming *** Sadly after experimenting with the idea of the Coopsicle I have decided it will just not be efficient enough for my purpose. I absolutely loved the idea but to accommodate the need for possible expansion in the future. I had originally decided I would just build a larger Coopsicle however that would required a larger center post and even then during a high wind storm ( Like the one we had last night for the fifth time this summer) I'm putting my girls as risk for my own visual satisfaction. I have deemed that to not be the point of this build. While visual is indeed important to me, protection for all elements and predators is as well and I'm just not willing to compromise one for the other.

    So here is a picture of the coop I'm planning on building. I will have a much larger run that will be measured as 20' long 10' width and 6' height. If I can find two cheap octagon windows I will use them on the sides and put a different form of ventilation on the top.

    I hope this does not disappoint anyone, I was ready for the challenge of building the Coopsicle however why challenge yourself on a build that doesn't hold up to all elements, because in the end the entire point of the build is protection. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016

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