Best way to make a small coop work in a small yard....Newbie HELP!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by akanalynnn, May 1, 2008.

  1. akanalynnn

    akanalynnn In the Brooder

    So I'm needing to make a run for the 3 chickens I'm going to get... It's this weekend's project... I just don't really know how to do it... They hubby is not THE most crafty type, but he'll be there to help.

    Here's what I'm thinking. Also, it's important that the run look clean-cut and decent, as otherwise the homeowner (my FIL) will throw a fit.

    I was going to use 4x4 treated wood to make a border for the run, and fill it partially with sand. Then the frame and whatnot will sit inside the "sandbox". I figure this will help secure the bottom from predators too (not that we have any downtown)

    My question is, How do i built the sort of "frame" which the chickenwire will be attached to? What sort of wood?
    How much should we buy to build a 3x8 run (these are bantam's we're talkin')?
    Do you just sort of build the frame and then staple the chickenwire/hardware cloth to it? How do I make it easily cleanable? How often will the sandbox need to be cleaned?

    How much vertical height is needed?

    What is the best way to adapt a doghouse or other simple box type structure to be easily cleaned? I like the idea of some kind of tray....? or hinged roof?

    Sorry for all the questions, just tryin' to do it right![​IMG]

    Any other ideas welcome. I want this to be as little of an eyesore as possible.
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  2. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Have you taken a look through the coop pictures here on line to get you ideas? There is a whole section here. See if that helps first. Make sure the coop itself is off the ground. You will also need it to be 3 sq. ft. inside for bantams hens, and I think double that for the outside run.

    If I were you, go price things. Get a definate plan started. I'm sure you will change things as you go. But it should't be difficult. Do you have friends in the construction business. They may have scraps for you if you tell them what you are building or can help you with the amount of wood you need.

    Your best bet is to have a design and go from there. You only need one nesting box, enough square footage for winter time since they may stay in depeding on where you are and an area to keep food and water. Also make it easy to clean.

    Good luck
  3. akanalynnn

    akanalynnn In the Brooder

    riiight. The question is HOW do I make it easy to clean? I'm wondering if anyone has plans? I'm just not good at visualizign this kind of thing.

    I have looked at MANY pictures, however, a picture and an actual plan, are different.

    Ugh. Frustrated.
  4. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    Quote:Neighborhood dogs took out my chicken in 3 minutes flat. You still need to predator proof, or you will be [​IMG]
  5. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    You have the coop already and just need to figure out what to do about the run, right?

    Sorry, got a sinus infection going on and can't wrap my head around anything right now...[​IMG]

  6. akanalynnn

    akanalynnn In the Brooder

    The whole sha-bang will be enclosed in an 8ft privacy fence.
    But it will be generally secure, anyway.

    No coop's not ready, but I'm more worried about the run... It's harder for me to visualize.
  7. [​IMG]

    This is my coop.
  8. PAChickenChick

    PAChickenChick Songster

    May 4, 2008
    When I saw your coop I had to do a double take. This is almost exactly how I have envisioned mine!!!! I've been taking notes here and am pretty sure that I'm going to be confident in my coop. Seeing yours only makes me even more sure [​IMG]

    Let me ask you one thing that I want to also have.....I'd like to be able to move mine every now and then so the ground doesn't get too barren. If I make the attached run with PVC tube instead of possible would it be to move your set up? (putting some sort of wheel set up on ofcourse)

    I'm hoping that the chickens aren't able to peck holes into the PVC.
  9. akanalynnn

    akanalynnn In the Brooder

    no chicken would be able to peck thru PVC... I'm pretty dang sure...
  10. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    Isn't that run design susceptible to digging predators like dogs? My flock got taken out by a couple of strays &/or untagged dogs a little while ago so I am more paranoid. I have an eglu that has a "skirt" (a hardcloth/chicken wire type that's attached to the frame) running along the ground on the outside perimeter of the run to deter such things from happening - might wanna give that a try....
    (the dogs literally ripped the front panel off the eglu so the skirt was not the problem..)

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