A few questions about my coop/design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jwright, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. jwright

    jwright In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2013
    Hello all, I am new to chickens and recently we bought six Barred Rock chicks from a local feed store. My five year old daughter loves them. My questions are about the coop are the floor and the hinges for the laying box door, and access door above it. I used two layers of chicken wire for the floor, and was wondering if this will work? My wife was raised on a chicken farm and this was her idea for the waste to just go through the bottom. Also, I am trying to find some sort of support hinge/brace that will hold the doors open. Also, I have not built a door to close for the the hen box, is this necessary, I live in central Florida so cold weather should not be much of an issue, and will be inside of four foot chain link fenced yard with two Beagles, so predators should not be an issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. OCpeep

    OCpeep Chirping

    Jan 8, 2012
    Orange County, CA
    Hi and [​IMG]! I hope you are enjoying your chicks! They are so fun and grow so fast. They'll be laying eggs before you know it.

    As long as you have a secure run that the coop is in, you probably don't need a pop door that closes. I have a door on my pop door, but I never close it. I'm in So. Cal, and the lowest temps we have are in the 30s that doesn't happen too often. My run is completely enclosed with galvanized corrugated roof, hardware cloth on all sides, and hardware cloth "skirt" that runs 2 feet all the way around the run. The coop is in this enclosed run. We have coyotes, raccoon, rats, and hawks that would all love to get their paws on my chickens. I'm probably missed some other predators (I can't think right now). We also have a dog (german shep/lab mix) that will not harm the chickens, but we did pick up a stray retriever that hung out in our backyard for awhile that would have loved to "play" with the chickens.

    For the egg collection door, can you attach wire/string with a hook on the end to the wall above the door? The hook would hook onto the handle on the door to hold it open while you collect the eggs.

    As for the coop floor, I don't have an answer for that one. Sorry.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!
  3. jwright

    jwright In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2013
    Thanks for the info, I plan to use chicken wire for the walls of the run, and add a two foot section of hardware cloth around the bottom of it nailed from the outside of the 2x4 studs for a little more protection. Should I clip their wings to keep them from going over my four foot fence. We plan to let them out in the yard when we are home, but neighbors have cats that would probably try to get them if they were out of the fence. As far as predators go, I have only ever had one possum come inside of my yard and "Buddy" my male Beagle let me know about it..lol.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I don't know if I can answer all your questions, but here is some hopefully helpful information:

    Chicken wire on the floor will still trap some poo bits, and you will want to periodically hose it down. This will create mud puddles of poo under the coop, and the birds will drink from this. I have done that before with slotted flooring and didn't like the puddles.

    One thing to consider is that even with your dog patrol, rats and weasels can enter through chicken wire (they kill chickens). You may or may not be concerned about that, as you stated. Raccoons can too, but as you said you have your dogs so hopefully that won't be a concern (I don't know if coons would dare enter with dogs around). A door is good for keeping out wind/cold but you live in FL so may not be a concern.

  5. missnu01

    missnu01 Songster

    Nov 16, 2012
    Put a latch behind the door, so when you open it you can latch it to stay open. Some people have used counter weights. I like going in the coop to get my eggs, So all I need is a door and some windows.

    As for the cats they are no issue for a full grown chicken unless they were a super small bantam breed of some sort maybe...but chickens usually make such a show that cats don't really go after them...now chicks are in danger to cats...but once they are of a good size, cats are no worry. Chickens in my experience also don't wander too far as long as they are getting everything they need at home.
  6. sierraoscar

    sierraoscar In the Brooder

    To follow on from OCpeep: I live in the inner city of a capital city and predators will come from everywhere (foxes, native animals, some domestic animals etc) - they seem to find a way. Digging down where the boundaries are for your coop with wire (whilst not your question) will stop predators digging down and into the house.

    The thing I would check is the chicken floor you have double wired (and I thought about this too for mine), is that their feet don't get caught in it - I chose single wire in the end (albeit a different wire) to give them less chance of pinching their toes.

    I really like the look of your coop, nice colours and great roof.
  7. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Songster

    May 17, 2012
    Moscow, TN
    Chicken wire will rust and go away in a very short time, its not made like it used to be.. Instead of clipping wings i would look at putting some deer netting over the top to keep them from flying out. This way they can escape if they need too when free ranging.

  8. jteam

    jteam In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    Don't expect the wire bottom to last too long and you may be surprised how little the poo falls through once they are full size. they tend to go quite a bit when roosting/sleeping and it will clog the wire and pile up pretty quickly. I used a solid bottom with wheat straw and clean it out several times a year.
  9. jwright

    jwright In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2013
    Thanks all for the info I took it into consideration and will be changing the floor design to a solid sheet of laminate. Also got it moved into the backyard, what job, and added electric to it for a heat lamp for cold (few and far between in FL) but just in case.

  10. jwright

    jwright In the Brooder

    Feb 14, 2013
    Also dug a trench around the chain link and poured concrete down about six inches.

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