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Advice on building my coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicken opey, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. chicken opey

    chicken opey Out Of The Brooder

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    I have decided against the pre-fab coop kits because I don't want to replace it every year and we have predators.

    What I have found is a plastic 8x10 shed for sale on craigslist that I was going to buy. I was going to fully enclose them meaning bottom also. If I bury the wire on bottom, do I just put dirt on top? Also, any ideas on how to attach to the plastic shed? bolts? I assume staples will back out or pull out easily.

    Thanks. I am glad I have weeks to do this!
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Weeks?? I get ready for a coop I usually build it in less than a couple hours---like the 5x10 I built---using pallets, but they are for usage not show. But they could be dressed up with a little more time.

    You said "enclosed them meaning bottom also" are you putting a floor in, confusing because you mentioned wire and if to bury it???

    With plastic you will probably have to pre-drill any holes and not over-tighten any bolts or screws. Probably have to reinforce any supports for roost and nesting boxes, etc. You will need to add ventilation, maybe a couple small windows or something.
     
  3. chicken opey

    chicken opey Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, my thoughts were a completely enclosed box, with just netting on the top and wire on sides and bottom. When you say floor, do you mean something other than dirt or rocks? I am new to this terminology and don't think of dirt or rocks being a floor. I guess they are? There is no floor in the plastic shed so I would either have to build a raised one out of lumber or just go with dirt or something else.

    Yeah, weeks to get mine ready would be accurate. I am not handy in that way. I have to allow time for me to do it with my job. Have never fenced in anything before. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  4. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I am trying to figure out what you are saying. You said a floor----I asked about the floor you mentioned because you mentioned burying wire. Now you kinda clarified that some by saying you would have to build a floor out of lumber.

    Now I am thinking you are talking about a "coop" to roost in at night and a fenced in run/yard for them to get outside the coop in the day---but I am guessing?

    I do not usually floor the coops---but I do have one that is floored and many more unfloored. I buy used 6ft high chainlink dog kennels off the for sale sites to use because they are very strong and only takes minutes to install for a big run/yard. Plus if I decided to sale at a later date I can get all my money back---if buying used. I do use netting across the top of them.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    A completely closed box for a coop will not work unless its vented---window, vents, something to allow some fresh air movement.
     
  6. chicken opey

    chicken opey Out Of The Brooder

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    I really like your fencing!
    I see my mistake. Sorry. Was calling ALL, including the run, the coop. Sorry about that.
    Do you worry about anything getting underneath the fencing?
    We have cats,feral cats, stray dogs, raccoons, etc.
     
  7. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Well I might have worried a little in the past but not now. My pens and coops are inside another 6ft high fenced in area---so if something gets past the first fence, then it is met with the second fence you see in the above picture, but when I got to several hundred chickens and all these chicken pens, etc. I put a Great Pyrenees inside the area. She keeps leaving me a body of a possum, coon or stray cat and a few snakes as evidence she is doing her job.

    Without her I would probably rent a trencher to cut a narrow ditch about 2ft deep(I do not have any rocks here) and put wire in it then my 6ft high fence on top of that. But NO I would not use wire on all the ground in the run.
     
  8. chicken opey

    chicken opey Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok. Thanks.
    I am looking at the kennels and getting ideas. I like just burying some wire in a trench instead of all the way across. I can dig that no problem. One day I hope to have whole are fenced in but for now, will have to work with what I have right now.
    I also like the idea of being able to sell the kennel if something were to happen.
     
  9. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I bought my first two 10x10x6ft kennels used in 1995. I payed $65 for one and $75 for the other----to prove a point I recently placed a add on craigslist for 2 10x10x6ft dog kennels for $100 each---keep in mind I been using them for over 20 years---I was swamped with replies wanting them----LOL. I can keep chickens in them for 20 years and make money----plus only takes minutes to put up and take down----That's some Good Fencing. Go buy a roll of wire and some post and spend days digging holes and putting up the fence---building a door, use it for 20 years and try to sell it---LOL, most of the time the wire you built it out of will not last 20 years. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The way I’d attach things to that plastic is to make a sandwich unless you can attach to the framing. Take two boards, maybe 1x3’s though you can use 2x4’s, and put them on each side of the plastic, then screw them together. You greatly stiffen the plastic and have a solid connection to attach things to. I’ve used this method on wire fences and metal buildings, I don’t use plastic, but the principle is the same. Drilling pilot holes can help a lot with screwing these together.

    Here is an example of how I made a pop door through a fence using sandwiches. Obviously I was not going for beauty with this and I had 2x4’s extra so that’s what I used, but it’s very functional.

    [​IMG]

    Terminology can be a problem because the terms can mean different things to different people. With some set-ups there isn’t much difference in coop and run, with many there is. It does lead to confusion.

    For what it is worth, the floor of my coop and run is dirt. I use wood shavings in the coop as a bedding material, but under that is just dirt.

    One fairly common way to stop critters from digging in is to use an apron. Basically you take a piece of mesh wire like hardware cloth or 2x4 welded wire fencing say 18” to 24” wide and lay that flat around your coop and run. Then attach it to the bottom of your coop and run so nothing can crawl in between. You don’t have to bury it, but probably need to weigh it down with something until the grass grows through to hold it down. I like to take up the turf and put that back on top. That keeps it out of the way of weed eaters and lawn mowers. The idea is that a digging critter goes up to the fence or wall and starts to dig. It hits the wire and does not know to back up. It’s extremely effective and especially if your soil is rocky, pretty easy to install.

    What kind of foundation are you setting that building on? You’ll need to anchor it down so wind doesn’t blow it away. If you use something like treated wood that gives you something solid to anchor that apron to.

    I don’t see where you are located so I don’t know your weather, but wherever you are ventilation is important. Heat kills a lot more chickens than cold. In hot weather you need enough ventilation to let heat escape, otherwise you could build an oven. In winter you need enough ventilation to let moisture out, even when it is well below freezing. The main danger in winter is not them freezing to death, it’s frostbite. If your coop is so tight the moisture from their breathing, poop, and maybe a heated waterer can’t escape but builds up, they are a lot more prone to frostbite than if they have good air exchange.

    I don’t know what they plastic shed looks like. You may have to cut holes in it for a window and ventilation. Putting those sandwiches around those holes so you can firmly attach something to it will be a bit of work. There will be a learning curve when you start to do that, especially if you are not really handy, but you can do it. Since the shed is plastic, I’d consider building self-supporting nests and roosts, not supporting them on the plastic. Or, depending on what the framing of that shed looks like, maybe attach them directly to the framing and not go the sandwich route for supporting them.

    That shed can probably make a really nice coop. The plastic may be a bit hard to work with, but a metal shed would run into many of the same issues as far as attaching things to it.

    Good luck!
     

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