An idea for a secure coop....is it overkill? Thoughts on design?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by StarSpun, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. StarSpun

    StarSpun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Salutations:)

    So I am picking up my three baby chicks on Monday (I am in Florida). A Buff Orpington, a Black Australorp and an Easter Egger:) Super excited and have everything lined up for the brooder! Now I am diving deep into coop plans!

    Maybe I am a bit paranoid about predators, but, I came up with an idea. We just purchased a property that already has a large open wire coop. The wire is not dug into the ground (which I may have to do, or at least set it on top of the ground and surround by plants, etc. Where all the edges meet at the wood frame, I am going to 'pretty up' by painting and adding exterior borders.

    Here are some photos of the existing coop. It has a wooden deck floor. I guess that would also aid in keeping predators out? I am thinking of putting another one piece base on top of it, and having the edges go a bit higher around the perimeter so that floor material doesn't escape. Thinking about a sand base in at least part of it. And of course will add some kind of roof....

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    Now for my idea. I am thinking about getting this, painting it to my desired colours, and assembling it INSIDE the original coop

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    I'll have to do it in a way which looks right of course. We'll see if I have to make any modifications, but, I think it will be ok:) I may also have to add more ventilation options for the Florida summers....perhaps cut a part out of the side of it and add the wire, and then keep the cut out to use as a door to close over during colder nights....


    Not only may this work out as double protection against predators, but it would also allow me to not worry about leaving the coop door open at night or have me waking up too early every morning (I can be a night owl and am not so good in the mornings, ha ha!) as they can just walk out on their own into the mini run until I get up and let them into the main part. Yes I am that paranoid of predators! LOL!

    So I kinda have to play around with the idea....not sure about how the wood part of the coop will look within the main wire area. I'm sure I'll figure it out when the time comes. If anyone has seen any photos of something similar or if you have any suggestions, let me know!

    Also, for days when I am out in the yard (a lot of the time!) I am probably going to get something like this on wheels so that I can move it around:)

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    Anyhoo, will update as things progress. Photos to come up in the next couple of weeks:)
    Cheers!
     
  2. mdepriest

    mdepriest New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2014
    I have nearly the same thoughts but am in the opposite position. We've built our smaller coop and run first. I guess it depends on what predators are in your neighborhood. In my area--in the high mountains of Colorado, that would be adequate.
     
  3. StarSpun

    StarSpun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ahhh....hmmm....I am thinking this will be ok then. I've seen the odd cat....and something is living under one of the sheds in the back. Something that likes to dig little holes in our yard. That would probably be my main concern. And of course racoons. My husband is laughing at me because I am so paranoid! He says once the existing one is fixed up, there is no way anything is getting in at night! He is also hysterical over the fact that I am buying a night vision baby monitor so I can see what's happening at night. LOL!

    Also, has anyone had any experience with these?
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E51X8Q8/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A12RAZN87P9115
    NEAT!
     
  4. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I florida I would NOT buy such an enclosed coop.

    I would just put a nice deep roof on the wire coop that you have so that they have shade and protection from the rain.

    You could put up those thin bamboo mat/fence panels on some of the walls to help block wind and rain a bit more.


    To make it totally predator proof:

    Get some wire and put the wire in an apron all around the outside of the pen.

    You might want to check all of the joins and seems on the wire that is already there, and make sure that it is still secure, and needs no reenforcing.

    Then...the odd unknown critter that makes holes..... is there any chance that he might make long holes that would pop up into the middle of your pen? If so, then maybe you need to put down a solid floor of your choosing. Maybe pull up that wood, then put down wire, a wood border to hold in bedding and put in bedding. Either all sand, or half sand and half deep litter.



    To increase your coop space I would think vertical. Put in Poop trays, be creative.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  5. StarSpun

    StarSpun Chillin' With My Peeps




    Thanks so much for the input. I was reading how the coop from Amazon could be bad in Florida heat. Do you think it would be ok if I were to open it up? As in cut large areas from it and put wire instead, and then keep the extra panels for doors during the odd cold spell in the winter?

    I will be covering all the joints and such with nice painted wood panels, to make it more secure (and to look nicer ha ha!). That's a great idea about the wire along the floor. When I get back to the house on Monday, I am going to check and see the condition of the wood floor. If it's bad, then I will for sure put wire at the bottom and cover it with another flooring to keep the sand in....if it's good then I may just secure some wire on the top of it, and then cover with another type of flooring to help everything stay in:)


    I figure it's best to work with a prebuilt one since I am taking this on myself while the hubby is busy with house renos. I thought that cutting out more ventilation in the enclosed coop would be easier for me, especially since it already has the perches and nest box built in:-D
     
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    See, that is why I was thinking you should just skip the coop.

    What you have already IS the perfect coop for Florida. You can toss a tarp on the top for now, and later you could put on a cute roof.

    I have almost negative building skills, and I was able to build my own poop shelves and perches.

    Look through this thread and see some of the coop ideas.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/163417/please-show-me-your-hot-weather-coops
     
  7. StarSpun

    StarSpun Chillin' With My Peeps


    Ahhh that was the exact thread that got me thinking this coop on Amazon would be too hot. I think I really like the whole safety idea, by having the 'double coop'. I am guessing you think it is a bit overkill? I'm so paranoid because they are much more out in the open....I guess I have to realize they are birds and probably like this! I'll do a bit more research I think, but I guess I still could always open this up a ways if I really give into the idea....

    The wire around it is the 1/2 inch strong hardware cloth. Have you ever heard of anything ripping this open before?
     
  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I don't think anything would get through it.


    Push against it, if there is any give, maybe just add another support or two. ( think a heavy dog jumping up on the wire).

    I can't think of anything else that would get past that.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    I'm with Alaskan. Your aviary set up is perfect for your area. Heat is going to be much more of an issue that cold or wind. I'd roof it so it stays dry, put up some roosts and a nest box and call it good.

    That little coop is probably a joke. It's too enclosed for you, and probably too small for your flock. Plus, cleaning one of those little things has got to be a major pain.

    If you really, really want a double fence, simply wire your existing structure again. Looks like the current wire it attached to the outside of the frame, you could put a second layer of wire on the inside.

    Chickens only need a "coop" to protect them from the elements. Your structure will do that nicely for your area with a roof. Take Alaskan's advice on the flooring and you should be good to go.
     
  10. StarSpun

    StarSpun Chillin' With My Peeps


    Ok good to know! Thanks so much:)
     

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