1st brooder built (Almost)

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

  1. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I finally broke down and decided that a 100 gallon tote was not sufficient for my girls. Over all construction only took around 1.5 hours. Minimal tools, and only 60$. I still have some pieces left to do, but all in all, was cheap and very easy way to get the chickens into something a little more comfortable.

    Over all construction was 1 4X8 sheet of plywood. Cut it down to a 4X6. Added a small platform of 2X4 to raise it off the ground. I then framed in using 1x4 and stapled chicken wire into the inside of the frame job (think of the 1x4 as the bread and the chicken wire as the meat).

    I have a makeshift door and heat lamp situation for now, but Soon as I get another day off I will make a real door. The girls love it. They love to fly around and they love to roost on the make shift toy I made for them

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    When I make my real coop and run, It will be outside. Right now, the ground is all *red dirt*. Is that fine for the chickens, or should I plant grass? Any input is welcomed!
     
  2. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    Looks great!
    My ladies love grass. It's the 1st thing they go for in the morning to eat and it helps cool them in the summer time too.
     
  3. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so I better get tilling. I just want to make sure everything's done correct the first time.

    The coop will be a 4x8 outhouse design (slant roof). Will that be enough room for 10 hens?

    The run will be a 16x 16 area and they will be allowed to free range during the day . I'll have a full sized door going into run equipped with two locks and then a removable door on coop for easy cleaning (also two locks). I can take pictures of area tomorrow when it is light out
     
  4. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't really comment on how much space you'll need, there are lots of variables.. I.e how many and what size hen boxes you plan to use, the size of your birds, ect. I know there are posts on BYC regarding "stardards" but we made our coop larger than the recommendations, plus they have their own yard and reserve yard. In the winter and spring I let them into my backyard and the blueberries because they've eaten all their grass. But that's just me. Some ppl are OK with theirs just being in a sandy run too. I think it depends on what you have available or how much you're willing to put into it.
    For me, I've spoiled my ladies and now they guilt me into letting them into my portion of the backyard. lol Their grass will grow back in the summer and I'll get my backyard back then.
     
  5. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    Plus, they're keeping the loquats picked up :)
     
  6. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it will be extremely well ventilated. I have read that sand is perfect for keeping smell down, and some say a mixture of sand and a type of gravel.

    I am currently reading up on deep litter as well. I just need to figure out what's the best option soon
     
  7. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    Sand is great for us, we live in FL, so it's pretty much our only choice for their coop. We've tried putting pine shavings in the here but was pointless as they just kicked it out anyway and hunted for bugs living in it and their poo. *gross* So we ended up leaving the ground natural and we sprinkle lime over the poo under the roost every other day and shovel it out. They hang out in their run, the garden (before and after harvest), and the meat bird side of the coop when we aren't raising meat or babies.
    You're going to really enjoy watching their antics :)
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Nice brooder!!

    What is your climate?
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    4x8 is tight for 10 birds.
    Sand with PDZ can work well for odor control in the coop, especially on roost/poop boards, but in the run it can be a disastrous and huge mess to rectify.

    2 great articles on Space and Ventilation linked in my signature, might give you some ideas.
     
  9. pauleberly

    pauleberly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2016
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    Thanks for the articles. I will have to read them when I get down mowing. Anyways, I am in east Tennessee. Here soon it will be a nonstop 75 degrees or more at all times.

    This will be the entire run area. It is a 16x16 area. All the outside 4x4 will be covered in chicken wire, so ventilation should not be a problem. I have already moved out all the wood and bricks and just waiting a final decision on what type of ground they should have.
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    This is will I will place my entry door, right between the brick wall and the 4x4 post. I will make it swing in, and I will anchor two locks from the door to the brick wall. As you can see, its mostly a red dirt type soil.
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    Here is a close up of the dirt. I have removed all rocks and other foreign objects from this area.
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    So basically the area is 2/5 grass, 3/5s that red dirt. I can till it and plant grass, or even do half and half. I am just looking for the best options. What is the less maintenance? I am open to all ideas. Thanks!
     
  10. chant

    chant Out Of The Brooder

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    Something else to think about is predators digging under the coop and taking out your flock - somethings eat what they kill but others will just leave the carnage for you to clean up.
    We had a fox come into our yard when the ladies were out in the morning and just take 1 with it. We have a friend that had the latter happen to them... twice. And, I have another friend who I had given a few of my Asiatic hens to and 2 of them were killed by opossums that had climbed up, over and across her chain linked fence (I had no idea they could climb that high!) Deep footers or even a concrete slab that you can hose off or something like that.
    Everyone around here pretty much just uses the ground we have and some will bring in more sand or dirt as needed.

    Side note: The ladies love to take dirt baths and you could build them a box in the corner just for that purpose or get the largest kitty littler box you can find and put sand/dirt/diatomaceous earth/lump charcoal ashes (helps with lice or mites) in it for them - I just mention it since your still in the planning stages and it would go on the ground. [​IMG]
     

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