Animal welfare and miscellaneous enclosure design topics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Lumenos, May 13, 2010.

  1. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Although many of these posters are well-intentioned, I feel they're kinda clutter'n up me thread. So I made this thread for some of these off-topic discussions that got started in there.

    Quote:I can tell you two good reasons...

    1) Decent animal husbandry
    2) MY time, MY money, and MY $2.00 chicken

    If I'm not going to give my animals the 100% care/housing that they need then I'm not worthy to have any. IMHO

    WOW......I couldn't of said it any better.

    This is getting into the nebulous realm of generalizing. I'll see if I can't steer this back into something concrete.

    Chook-A-Holic certainly must have the experience and compassion to build enclosures the way they ought to be built. I have a question. I thought that the main advantage of a hoop coop was its portability. The expense of 1/2" hardware cloth might be justifiable for the front area there, but for the back area, if you are just gonna put a tarp over it most of the time, why not go with plywood and conventional roof? It seems that would cost less (at least in the long-run) and it would be at least as safe. I recognize my lack of experience in these areas, thus I will reserve judgment unless we establish some consensus among the experts.
     
  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The experts have long since departed. You are on your own !
     
  3. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    There are so many great "tractor" or day coop designs out there why reinvent the wheel when its already be invented take the designs that are there use the materials you have and build one as simple as that. I have built a pen/coop and we used chicken wire at the beginning I will never use that stuff for a chicken pen again to flimsy I now use Wired fence much safer and I feel better knowing that my chickens are safe as for flying my stand girl can only get inches off the ground and can not jump or fly that high so I do not see how your landing door thing would work for chickens that can't fly that high. I think Pat had some great points and I always use the Kiss method (keep it simple silly) don't over think things it helps with life.
     
  4. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Quote:Oh, I guess that happened when you left? [​IMG]
     
  5. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Quote:I'm not going to use any climb-prevention barrier, in my first coop. I've looked at many tractor designs. I thought something where the coop and the run were detachable and separately movable, would give the birds more space and access to forage crops such as Japanese millet. This may be necessary for muscovies, as they may fight if too confined.

    My materials include a ping-pong table, but I decided to remove the particleboard and use corrugated steel for the roof, so I will be using the ping-pong table as a lightweight metal frame, with a wood frame in some places, sheet metal, and 1/4" x 1/4" hardware cloth for one side.

    One of my other experimental ideas was a Soldier grub bin under poultry coop. This received more favorable feedback and I found a design that would allow me to add grub harvesting apparatus at a later time, without really requiring any more effort/expense than building the coop.

    I'm not sure how necessary it will be to have two layers of wire under the coup, instead of just one. If predators get under there they will probably scare the b'jesus out of the chickens, and I will probably have to buy like 20 feet anyway, so now I am thinking I will put the coop on a second piece of wire, if it is heavy enough that a predator (raccoon) would not be able to lift it. But I haven't really decided on this point.

    I'll design the run later.
     
  6. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    have a permanent coop/pen and then just let them free range during the day, there are worries of over head predators and maybe some foxes. but if you had a sturdy permanent coop/run for them at night then during the day a simple move able tractor or just allowing them to free range would be great ideas. they have some that you can make that are like half tents that you can put back wheels on and just move around you have nest boxes and a perch inside and can move it each day to new grass there is a door that allows for watering and feeding and you can make it using pvc pipes and wire and make it as large as you need just remember the bigger they are the more they will weigh.
     
  7. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Quote:I don't know of any foxes around here. Some dogs get out and could get back there and kill all the birds. A coyote has gotten on a neighbor's wall and come in. I hear owls during the day. It might be hawks that I am seeing circling around. There is a big gray cat that likes to hunt among the natural plants ("weeds") in the backyard. If I get muscovies, I would be raising them for meat and so they would often be ducklings with their mother.

    I'm afraid chickens will eat the vegetable garden and they may cherry pick the forage crops, so they don't grow to maturity. I'd like to get muscovies if they are not too stinky and the filth flies can be controlled. From what I have read, a family of free range muscovies would definitely devour the vegetable garden in my small yard.

    With the forage crop idea, I'd like to use a forage crop that can reproduce itself. I grow four plots around the coop. I move the run over the first plot, after they eat most of it, I move the run to the next plot. Then I move the coop to the next location and do it again. The forage crop that was recommended to me was Japanese millet for its quick reproduction time. They may eat it too fast so I would have to leave the run somewhere that will be without vegetation.

    Quote:My current plan for the coop has an area of 7'6" x 4'4" x 2'7" high. It will be full of roosts but the floor will be 1/2" hardware cloth. I hope that would be enough space for a muscovy hen and ducklings from one pair of breeders, to be at night.

    I've got to do a lot before worrying how to build the run. For now they have an outdoor pen that is basically welded wire covered with a tarp and held to the ground with some bars. I bring them in the house at night and will soon move them to a temporary coop in the garage.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Grifton NC
    MiniBeesKnees wrote:
    ALL of that aside...I always wonder why anyone is willing to invest two weeks worth of work, and a thousand dollars into materials to protect a two dollar chicken.

    I have a coop in my back yard that is at least 85 years old.
    It's protected THOUSANDS of "$2 chickens" over the years, and is still in good shape.
    The one I just built is all pressure treated materials, and it should last even longer than the original (which is still in use)​
     
  9. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Quote:I don't know of any foxes around here. Some dogs get out and could get back there and kill all the birds. A coyote has gotten on a neighbor's wall and come in. I hear owls during the day. It might be hawks that I am seeing circling around. There is a big gray cat that likes to hunt among the natural plants ("weeds") in the backyard. If I get muscovies, I would be raising them for meat and so they would often be ducklings with their mother.

    I'm afraid chickens will eat the vegetable garden and they may cherry pick the forage crops, so they don't grow to maturity. I'd like to get muscovies if they are not too stinky and the filth flies can be controlled. From what I have read, a family of free range muscovies would definitely devour the vegetable garden in my small yard.

    With the forage crop idea, I'd like to use a forage crop that can reproduce itself. I grow four plots around the coop. I move the run over the first plot, after they eat most of it, I move the run to the next plot. Then I move the coop to the next location and do it again. The forage crop that was recommended to me was Japanese millet for its quick reproduction time. They may eat it too fast so I would have to leave the run somewhere that will be without vegetation.

    Quote:My current plan for the coop has an area of 7'6" x 4'4" x 2'7" high. It will be full of roosts but the floor will be 1/2" hardware cloth. I hope that would be enough space for a muscovy hen and ducklings from one pair of breeders, to be at night.

    I've got to do a lot before worrying how to build the run. For now they have an outdoor pen that is basically welded wire covered with a tarp and held to the ground with some bars. I bring them in the house at night and will soon move them to a temporary coop in the garage.

    I put a fence around my raised garden to keep the chickens out, I live in town so I have stray dogs and Ferrel cats running around hawks and owls but have not had problems with these as my girls are full grown I have one inside/outside cat that keeps the Ferrel cats away and my dogs that I trust with the chickens go out and watch over the chickens and nothing has hurt them yet. I lock them in a secure run/coop at night since we do have opossum and raccoons here in the city also. I think that most free ranged birds that see or hear a predator if they have bushes or trees will hide I also have had my babies out since they were 8 weeks old and they have done fine. I understand what you are trying to do with keeping your ducks and chickens safe but I think from what I hear the ducks you are talking about are pretty big and can protect them selves very well the ones with babies might need to be kept in a simple tractor till the babies are older. I am just saying that maybe you are making this more complicated then it needs to be. and maybe a simpler solution would work just as well. people have been free ranging chickens and ducks for years and have more then likely learned a lot and I think that ones that have been doing for years know what they are doing and using their techniques would be the safest and easiest route to go. I am sure everyone knows that at some point we all might lose some of our animals to predators it is the way things are but trying to make a coop with a jump/landing pad I just do not think will work I have had a rat that could jump 6 feet in the air if she thought there was food available also raccoons are very smart and love to figure out problems and a fox has no problems jumping up into a area that is big enough for a chicken or duck to get into. I think just going with a simple half tube (its what I call them) tractor will give you the space and move ability that you are looking for with out all the other work.
     
  10. Lumenos

    Lumenos Out Of The Brooder

    93
    1
    31
    May 17, 2009
    San Gabriel Valley
    Quote:I have a coop in my back yard that is at least 85 years old.
    It's protected THOUSANDS of "$2 chickens" over the years, and is still in good shape.
    The one I just built is all pressure treated materials, and it should last even longer than the original (which is still in use)

    I'd like to see those.
     

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