Bottomless Coop Details?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ryan112ryan, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. ryan112ryan

    ryan112ryan Out Of The Brooder

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    First off I live in Charlotte, NC, so pretty warm (winters sometimes get below 30, but not often).

    I want to build a movable coop for egg layers that has no bottom at all, it will just have nest boxes and roosts. For the few nights it does get cold I might design it so I could slide in a floor for just the night, but 99% of the time I want it bottomless. I know tractors often don't have bottoms, but most still have an inside part, with a floor.

    Is this okay? Anyone done this and have photos?
     
  2. the1honeycomb

    the1honeycomb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my first coop was bottomless, I was a new chicken owner. 3 of my hens were taken in the night, pulled under the wall one was still partly stuck, upper body missing. the murderer dug under the wall. good luck with it. I am in Winston Salem and now have a bottom, and wire on the inside so they can't chew through the wood. May be over kill but My girls are my pets and I was very upset that I let that happen to them
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's challenging to build a moveable pen that's secure from night predators and still light enough to move around easily. So I built a stout stationary coop for night time, plus tractors for daytime. Best of both worlds. My chickens very quickly learned the routine of moving from their nighttime quarters to their daytime digs.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    The trick will be predatorproofing it. BIG trick. Your best bet, if you really want to try this, is to have a WIDE (like 2' ish) wire apron all around the edges of the tractor, that you pin firmly down with tentpegs or heavy weights (cinderblocks, etc) and is affixed stoutly to the base of the tractor sides. This will not stop weasels or rats however, or some snakes. Also it will only work on FLAT ground (not lumpy bumpy or with dips) and will be quite a bugger to move (recommend making the apron sections hinged to flip up for moving... but even so, big pain in the butt to reset each time)

    And recognize you may lose chickens.

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any pictures but we built a hoophouse just as you describe with roosts and 8 nestboxes, 4 on each side of the door. They are built on the outside with a hinged door so you do not have to enter the coop to collect the eggs. The coop is built on PVC pipe so we can tow it with the 4 wheeler or jeep, or if we want to move it sideways, two of us can do it by hand, sliding one end a couple of feet at a time then switching ends, and repeating till it is where we want. It is about 14 ft. wide and 20 ft. long (we currently have 32 laying hens and about 40 youngsters all in this coop). We live in Oregon and it got pretty cold last winter and they did just fine. It did also flood for about a week and we put some pallets down to put their food and water on and so when they were off the roost they were not standing in water [​IMG]. We have chicken wire all around the sides and ends with a door in the front, and a standard heavy duty tarp over the top and all the way down the sides (we stretched it too tight and it wore and got some leaks so we had to replace it this fall. Last winter we left both ends open and just leaned a piece of plywood against the back end for some extra protection when it was really windy, but this winter we tarped the back end as we have some young ones segregated in the back and wanted them to stay warmer. We moved the coop about every two weeks last winter as we were not free ranging the flock, but this spring we started letting them out all daylight hours and have not moved the coop for 6 months or so. Hubby bought a pipe bending tool from e-bay to bend the pipe, it worked pretty sweet. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions, I could also get a pic. for you.
     
  6. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    Check out my personal page and my website for what I have for housing.
    I am not far from you, right here in upstate SC in Spartanburg county 15 miles from the NC line at the foot of the mountains.
    My stationary coops do not have anything but a dirt floor with shavings and I have 24 tractors with only grass (or in winter dried short grass) and dirt.
    You can see photos of mine in the snow and how I secure them for winter. The nest boxes are on the ground in wood crates and they have roosting boards.

    [​IMG]
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    Edited to add a few photos. My website has a lot more to see.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2010
  7. ryan112ryan

    ryan112ryan Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2009
    Quote:My current coop has the attached run with 3 inch buried fence, no issues yet, but I want to move to this design so I don't have to clean up crap. Could you put a single strand of electric wire around the base to do the same thing? Have a solar energizer on the tractor so no cables needed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  8. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

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    I have not ever had anything dig under mine. Of course, it helps to have a LGD but I just got one recently.
    For years I have had foxes, possums and raccoons come through here at night but I use 2x4's at the base of every tractor and some even have a fence as a skirt around the bottom but most don't. I have seen photos from others showing a huge hole dug under their pen or tractor so my first one looked like this so I could close them up at night........

    [​IMG]

    but nothing has ever tried to get to them in there. Though I did have a raccoon climb up the wall and into my coop through a small hole and kill some of mine. We caught the 'coon and sealed off the hole in the stationary barn coop.

    Predators can be difficult. I love my LGD. She chases off the hawks during the day and the other critters at night.
     

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