Can I build a "cheap" but predator proof handicap suite???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by savingpurple, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    I am beginning to think my injured hen will not get better, but she is good. She eats, drinks, chirps, is a good egg layer, and begs to be part of the flock again. BUT, she knows she isn't, they just beat her up. When I tried today, she just stood behind me as if I was her protector, and I was. LOL

    Now I have 2 choices.....the first one I just don't want to do. The second is, how can I build a "cheap" low level, to the ground level, mini coop to sit near the other one, and her to have a small seperated section of the outdoor run to herself, but up against the other hens, so she can talk chicken gossip, but not be beat up. ???

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I have limited but some access to pallets. I bought a premade nest box for her, but all she did was kick allthe shavings out of it, and then trip on it, so I removed it.

    Winter is fast approaching, and she is in need of a place to spend her time keeping warm,and NOT being attacked. Sorry, winter is fast approaching because I am running out of $$ and time.

    Thought about getting one more hen to be her buddy? But where?
  2. BrownSheep

    BrownSheep Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2011
    A small dog house would work for a coop.
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I personaly can't see going to all that trouble, JMO
  4. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    For a companion, I would choose a very gentle breed or bantam breed, since she is injured. You can look here on the auction site, look for members in your area (state), look in the paper or on craig's list (just remember to quarantine).
    As for a coop, the dog house is a great suggestion and for the run, there is no short cut for a strong fence to keep predators out.
  5. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    You could get her a silkie friend! Silkies don't fly anyway so would not mind a low coop with no roosts/ramps. They just huddle in a pile on the floor so if you got one they would probably just snuggle with your hen which would help with warmth in the winter, especially in a doghouse type set up. They are also very docile. I would post on here that you are looking for a companion hen, if you were closer I would offer one of my silkie hens.

    As for the coop I agree a doghouse style with a secure run would be best. You can also try doing a search for a broody house type set-up. They are usually all one level. GOOD LUCK!
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree about the doghouse. I'm using one as a "growing out" coop right now, will keep my 5 little ones in it as long as they'll fit before putting them in the big coop. I just hinged a piece of plywood for the door and put a latch on it. You'd have to cut out a clean-out door and hinge that too, but that's pretty cheap. I got my doghouse on CL for $50, but I've seen them for free or cheaper even.
    As long as you latch her in every night, she should be fairly predator proofed.
    Is your current run predator proofed?? If so, then a cheap route would be to either put the doghouse inside (if it's a large run), or put front of the dog house right up against the run, cut an opening just large enough for the door, and secure the wire to the doghouse itself (if your run is not large). Then you can just pound in a few of those metal fence posts and string a chicken wire fenceline within the run so she has her own area.
    I also agree that a silkie might be a good companion, for the very reasons rilly mentioned.
  7. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
  8. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    totally agree with the others- I was going to suggest a Silkie before I read that everyone else had too! She needs a companion and a silkie won't hurt her. I would keep an eye out on craigslist for the dog house- easy peasy, no work or building! Also- a rabbit hutch might be good in her situation, you might see one on craigslist, too. Or even make a 'wanted' listing for a wood dog house or rabbit hutch.
  9. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    So many good suggestions....A silkie...??? She was out of water when I came home, along with her egg outside the crate, how?? Have no clue??

    I tried to reach in to get her waterer, and she pushed her way out.....I thought okay..just getting water for her. maybe 2-3 minutes.....they noticed her, but not attacking her.

    She has a serious limp still, and will start a meds schedule on my vacation. She walks fine, and the others seemed "just okay" with her, but growing on her. A few pecks, but not attacks...

    Maybe I need to adjust my original coop to her? Hind site is wonderful, and feel I built the roost too high to begin with, so may take that out, and lower it, and on the other side of the coop? What will that do to the flock....send them into a frenzy...heck my 6 months of a chciken owner has not been smooth. [​IMG]

    Honestly, IF, we redo it, and she is lower to the ground, with the others, can the others adjust? Or am I just adding to my issues???

    So many questions, so many issues......can I call all of you for answers [​IMG] much...really...

    I personaly can't see going to all that trouble, JMO

    Because she eats well, drinks like a chicken, lays good eggs, has survived my finger up her vent, tolerated aspirin, in foods, been nice while I kept her in seclusion, has tolerated being out there with the others being reintroduced to them, and hides whenit is neccesary?? I can't kill unles it is needed...that is who I am ....I know 'it's just a chicken" but IF she hangs on, then I need to, as an onwer.....hang on too !! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  10. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds like you LOVE your chicken. Get a little dog house, or get a few 2x4, and 2- 4x8 panels and built a nice little box for her and a few silkie friends.. Faverolles are very sweet also. Get chicks, a few weeks old, and they won't pick on her, and will be just happy with her if she stay a bit handicap. But I agree if, she's still laying, and healthy even if she's a bit limpy, then yeah, making her life happy is the right thing. I believe you have a responsibility to care for your pet/flock/livestock and sometimes, that includes making adjustments for them. AND, that little side coop probably will come in handy to have in following years. I have a secondary coop also, I do not use it, but I have it incase I ever need to house chickens seperate. It even has its own little run underneath. Good for 3-4 chickens... I love my chickens, and would build an addition if I needed to.

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