Advice for sleeping in hodgepodge run/coop

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
Hey friends! I need a bit of advice! Let me start by saying…the chicken coop/run area I have is probably not typical but the best I can do. 😂 I would love some advice on how to make THIS work versus spending more $ on a different option. My husband would kill me lol! Anyway… I have a fully covered run with metal roofing to help with the weather we get here. We do get some snow (California) but it lasts a few days then gone. Temps can get into high teens but that’s rare. Last year I only had chicken wire covered my run and I shoveled snow and had mud pits for days so I finally put a strong metal roof over it. Now for the coop..or coops…before I knew better I bought a prefab coop… a neighbor as well gave me one and someone else gifted me a DIY coop.. so currently for 7 chickens I have 3 smaller coops. My two older girls sleep in one and the 20 week old pullets sleep ON top of the prefab coops in the very safe run! I haven’t minded this because they seem to enjoy it BUT the weather is getting colder…30’s at night this week (also rate this early) and I’m afraid that’s too cold for them? My run have 3 solid walls and one of the walls is chicken wire… so the back wall is solid wood with a few cut out windows… one wall is my house (connects) and the other wall is a fence… the only real opening is the front of run where wind could come in. There is proper ventilation above the entire run… ok.. my question… haha! Do you all think the girls would be OK to continue sleeping on top of prefab coops… should I force them inside those tiny coops at night or in with other girls, who they don’t like? I will eventually put plastic up over the chicken wire front wall but it seems so early in season for that! Any advice is appreciated! I’ll post some pics of my hodgepodge area! 😂🐔♥️
 

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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,682
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My Coop
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You need to install 1/2" hardware cloth over the chicken wire. Chicken wire is absolutely NOT predator proof.
If you did that, I would remove all the little coops (or just leave one) and install a few nest boxes (use the lumber from one of the coops to build them) and some roosts near the a solid wall. During winter, just cover some of the open wall with clear shower curtains to block the wind from hitting the roosted birds.
30’s at night this week (also rate this early) and I’m afraid that’s too cold for them?
That isn't cold to a chicken. As long as you block drafts on them and predator proof that run (I would install a predator apron too if you don't have one), they can use the whole thing as their living quarters and do very well.
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
2,595
4,273
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You need to install 1/2" hardware cloth over the chicken wire. Chicken wire is absolutely NOT predator proof.
If you did that, I would remove all the little coops (or just leave one) and install a few nest boxes (use the lumber from one of the coops to build them) and some roosts near the a solid wall. During winter, just cover some of the open wall with clear shower curtains to block the wind from hitting the roosted birds.

That isn't cold to a chicken. As long as you block drafts on them and predator proof that run (I would install a predator apron too if you don't have one), they can use the whole thing as their living quarters and do very well.
I missed that chicken wire was being used. Definitely not predator proof.
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
If they are safe from predators, there is probably little reason to make them go into the coops.
This doesn't look that hodge podge though. 🤣
Ha! It’s come a long way from blankets and tarps last year… but the three small coops is quite funny.. I’d love one nice big coop they all could sleep in but oh well… they are definitely safe from predators… it was just the cold I was worried about. ☺️ The idea of putting them in those tiny coops with no roosts didn’t seem appealing to me so happy to hear your advice! Thank you! ♥️
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
You need to install 1/2" hardware cloth over the chicken wire. Chicken wire is absolutely NOT predator proof.
If you did that, I would remove all the little coops (or just leave one) and install a few nest boxes (use the lumber from one of the coops to build them) and some roosts near the a solid wall. During winter, just cover some of the open wall with clear shower curtains to block the wind from hitting the roosted birds.

That isn't cold to a chicken. As long as you block drafts on them and predator proof that run (I would install a predator apron too if you don't have one), they can use the whole thing as their living quarters and do very well.
So helpful! I have a layer of the wire you speak of going around the bottom 3 feet of the
You need to install 1/2" hardware cloth over the chicken wire. Chicken wire is absolutely NOT predator proof.
If you did that, I would remove all the little coops (or just leave one) and install a few nest boxes (use the lumber from one of the coops to build them) and some roosts near the a solid wall. During winter, just cover some of the open wall with clear shower curtains to block the wind from hitting the roosted birds.

That isn't cold to a chicken. As long as you block drafts on them and predator proof that run (I would install a predator apron too if you don't have one), they can use the whole thing as their living quarters and do very well.
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
You need to install 1/2" hardware cloth over the chicken wire. Chicken wire is absolutely NOT predator proof.
If you did that, I would remove all the little coops (or just leave one) and install a few nest boxes (use the lumber from one of the coops to build them) and some roosts near the a solid wall. During winter, just cover some of the open wall with clear shower curtains to block the wind from hitting the roosted birds.

That isn't cold to a chicken. As long as you block drafts on them and predator proof that run (I would install a predator apron too if you don't have one), they can use the whole thing as their living quarters and do very well.
Sorry my last reply got cut off… I have 3 feet tall of the wire you speak on bottom of that front area but I will add more this weekend! Easy fix especially if they are sleeping outside of coops. I’ve never heard of predator apron but I’ll check it out! Thank you! Love the shower curtain idea as well! We did build the roosts on back wall but they don’t use them… yet! 😂🐔🙏🏻
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
You need to install 1/2" hardware cloth over the chicken wire. Chicken wire is absolutely NOT predator proof.
If you did that, I would remove all the little coops (or just leave one) and install a few nest boxes (use the lumber from one of the coops to build them) and some roosts near the a solid wall. During winter, just cover some of the open wall with clear shower curtains to block the wind from hitting the roosted birds.

That isn't cold to a chicken. As long as you block drafts on them and predator proof that run (I would install a predator apron too if you don't have one), they can use the whole thing as their living quarters and do very well.
I should mention they freerange a lot during day too!
 

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