Building our first coop and run, need insight

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mamakim159, May 19, 2017.

  1. Mamakim159

    Mamakim159 Just Hatched

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    Hello all!
    We just got 18 chicks last week (one passed away then I bought two more so now we have 19).
    Anyhoo, were building our own coop and run and are looking for some insight.
    The coop is going to be an 8X8 shed from Lowes on a concrete pad. We're going to add windows and ventilation. We live in Texas and it can get pretty toasty here. Any suggestions on ventilation? What should we use?
    The run will be approximately 12X20 (give or take) and 6 feet tall. Materials we're planning on using are 1/2 inch hardware cloth and wooden posts. The run is where we have the most questions:
    How far should we bury the hardware cloth to deter digging predators?
    How on earth do we have a predator proof door? (digging wise)
    Do we use hardware cloth as the top of the coop as well?
    Can snakes get through hardware cloth?
    Do we have enough room for all of our chickens? 9 are straight run Bantams, any roosters will unfortunately have to be rehomed.

    Thank yall in advance!
    Any other input would be greatly appreciated!!
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC and the poultry adventure!

    Ventilation will be key -- I would encourage you to devise a way to have a screen door inside the main coop door so that you can maintain security while allowing extra air flow on days it is needed. As you are planning windows I will say that I firmly believe you can't have too much light or too much ability to open things up and allow extra air flow as needed. Planning the location and orientation of the coop itself and then all the windows and doors should be done with the ability to make use of natural cross breezes, etc.

    How far should we bury the hardware cloth to deter digging predators? For anti-dig skirting you want to think out, not down -- generally speaking a skirt that extends 1-2 feet around the perimeter of the run is used. Predators that dig will not start digging until they encounter the barrier (side of the run in this case) that makes them have to seek another way in (under). They will dig right at that barrier, not back away a foot or more and then try to dig.

    How on earth do we have a predator proof door? (digging wise) the door to your run or your coop?
    Do we use hardware cloth as the top of the coop as well? the top of the coop or the top of the run? the coop will be topped by it's roof, but any gap (ie the eaves, etc) more than an inch should be covered with hardware cloth. Whether to top the run, and with what, is a matter of your own choice -- some coverage is helpful to prevent aerial predation/an "up and over" entrance by ground based predators that climb. What you are keeping out will dictate what you need to use to cover it - hardware cloth is the most secure option, to be sure, but if you are only preventing aerial predators lighter materiel can work just as well.

    Can snakes get through hardware cloth? Snakes large enough to be a threat to your flock cannot fit through 1/2 inch hardware cloth.

    Do we have enough room for all of our chickens? 9 are straight run Bantams, any roosters will unfortunately have to be rehomed.

    Do you plan to have your feed/water station inside the coop or out? Will you have poop boards under the roost to preserve the floor space beneath for use by the birds?

     
    penny1960 and Mamakim159 like this.
  3. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On our doors I just drove 4" inch wooden stakes in the ground 2 feet deep. And no a snake cannot get through hc.
     
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  4. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2017
    West Tennessee
    4" wide stakes. Sorry
     
    Mamakim159 likes this.
  5. Mamakim159

    Mamakim159 Just Hatched

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    May 7, 2017
    Thank you! I've attached a very rough sketch of what we're planning (totally not to scale, but I think yall will get the point.
    I'm confused about the skirt around the run. Do we bury any of it?
    The door would be to the run. Could we put concrete under the door?
    As far as the top of the run, we do have racoons, so I think we should go with the hardware cloth.
    And I'm planning on having feed and water stations in the shaded and non shaded sides of the run. And yes, we want to have poop planks under the roosting bars. 20170519_165849.jpg
     
  6. penny1960

    penny1960 la la land awaits Premium Member

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    I want to say Welcome to @mamatink159 :welcome
    looks like your getting pretty darn great advice good luck with your birds
     
    Mamakim159 likes this.
  7. Mamakim159

    Mamakim159 Just Hatched

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    Aww thank you!! :ya
    I'm so very thankful for everyone on this site!!
     

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