Building a Grow Out Pen/Adaptable Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by quickchicken, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. quickchicken

    quickchicken Just Hatched

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    Jan 17, 2017
    Central Ohio
    currently we have 12 chicks. i am certain a few will be roosters...another problem for another day. i am going to create an adaptable grow out pen that later can be used outside as a run. budget is an issue as is hauling materials. i have no access rt now to collecting free supplies or utilizing already existing materials. i do not have any save for one 7ft t post.
    my idea is to use pvc pipe for a frame.
    1. is this ok to plan to use? if yes would the 2 inch or 4 inch be best?
    2. using the pvc would allow me to arrange it to fit in the garage and later reconfigure it for outside. 12 chicks, im thinking 8.5ftW x 14'L x 4'H that way later i can add pvc hoops to add the roof. will this work?
    3. i will need to be diligent on predator proofing as we have a myriad of wild critters. would it be best to just start with hardware cloth? or can i use the chicken wire and later re purpose for the underneath perimeter of coop and run?
    4. the chicks are currently approximately 2.5 weeks old. theyre beginning to look for escapes from the xl tote we have them in. i put screen windows over the tops. this will only get more intense so timing is an issue. about how many days do i have?

    5. the garage is attached in a brick home but not heated. i currently am running a 75 watt incandescanet during the day. a 125w red heat lamp all the time. and using an electric 1500 watt heater most of the day but not at night due to hazard. how can i keep them warm oonce theyre in the grow out pen? i plan to use the tote but turned on its side to keep some heat in. i use pine for bedding.

    thank you in advance for all of your help. this is a homeschool project for my 17 yr old, 4 yr old and i
     
  2. sebloc

    sebloc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2016
    Connecticut
    Hello!
    Not sure how to answer some of your questions, but I have one tip.
    Use hardware cloth! Definitely. Cover every opening and wall with it in the run, everywhere.

    About the pvc pipe, I've never seen that, so I wouldn't know.

    Thanks.
     
  3. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    OK, so you've got a couple things which are contradictory and a couple of things that I can't determine without more info.

    12 chickens is a pretty big investment. You'll need about 50 lbs of feed a month, at least. So there has got to be some budget here to work with or you've just got too many! (In SoCal that's about $40 in feed)

    I think you'll be far better off borrowing a friends pickup or minivan and going to Home Depot/Lowes/whatever and building this pen out of wood than you will trying to do it with PVC. Cost-wise, making the frame out of 2x4 (or even 2x3) is probably cheaper than PVC. The reality is you can't properly attach hardware clothe to PVC in a way that'll make this thing predator-proof.

    Where do you live? If it's a cold climate they are going to need somewhere to sleep that's enclosed. (a coop) 12 chickens are going to need no less than 24 square feet of coop, 36-48-60 would be better if you live in a cold climate and they are going to spend a ton of time in there when it's too cold to go out in the run.

    If it's a warm climate, you could build an enclosure without really needing a coop, something that's got what looks like a 3 walled coop would be fine.

    An 8 foot 2x4 at Home Depot is like $2.50.
    An 8 foot 4" PVC pipe is probably $6. Plus the fittings and all that. Crazy expensive and not nearly as sturdy as wood.

    I think your square footage is good. But I'd encourage you to go 6 or 8 foot high so you can get in there without having to crawl. :)

    Does that help at all? Sounds like you're on the right track with some of it!
     
  4. quickchicken

    quickchicken Just Hatched

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    Jan 17, 2017
    Central Ohio
    Thank you all for your advice! We were not meant to start with 12 chicks *eyeroll* but someone in our family couldn't resist the cute faces and 1.00 price tag at Rural King. We went with a pretty simple PVC run, it's 10X10X3 and was unbelievably easy to put together. Set it up on tarps in our garage so we can have a place for them as they outgrow their current habitat: a large kiddie pool with chicken wire on the sides. After talking to numerous friends that are chicken owners we invested in the chicken wire as the chickens will be cooped at night. We purchased a coop from local TSC for 200. It says it will hold 12 but we are not sure, so we are planning to purchase a handmade one off of Craigslist at some point. The chicks don't seem crowded at all, nor do they seem too cold in the garage. We have two infrared lamps on them and they don't huddle really except at night. They get along very well and are eating/drinking like little monsters! We have them on medicated chick food as that is what the supervisor at Rural King recommended they stay on because they do not vaccinate. Overall we are very excited! Next mission is picking up some chick grit for them so we can feed them some treats like boiled egg and maybe mealworms. Once again, thank you all so much for taking the time to help us out!
     
  5. quickchicken

    quickchicken Just Hatched

    24
    1
    19
    Jan 17, 2017
    Central Ohio
    [​IMG]
    here is a photo of the coop. Dimensions are 77" x 69" x 71". It is pretty good sized and we are thinking putting maybe 6-8 in there? Note: they will only be in there exclusively at NIGHT. during the day we plan to let them into the run and even do some free ranging. Definitely don't want crowded chickens!
     

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