Chicken pen layout...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 1indian, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. 1indian

    1indian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2014
    I have a very simple chicken pen at the moment - 2 connected 10x10 dog pens. It has a roof and floor of field panels wired to the pens because we have tons of raccoons and hawks. I got my chicks in April as tiny babies and the hutch I got when I bought them was plenty big enough. They aren't tiny any more! They need a coop.

    Right now, the only thing they have for shelter is a tarp over 1/2 the original pen, the hutch and the trough (on it's side) that I kept them in as chicks. They were so cute as babies. If they got scared, they ran for the trough. :) They roost on either on an exposed 2x2 (under the tarp) that goes length wise across one pen or on some limbs that I have in the corner of the first pen.

    All of their "coverage" is in the original pen. That's where they sleep and lay. They caught me off guard when they started laying at four months! I didn't have anything ready. They use the hutch as their laying box.

    They need a coop for winter. The easiest thing for their coop would be to put it in the second pen - what I consider their run. How easy is it to teach chickens to roost somewhere else? I don't know if I could convince them to roost inside in the second pen. If not that, I could rearrange the first pen and put the coop under the 2x2 that most of them roost on and move the hutch to the other side of that pen. How well do chickens deal with change???

    Opinions???
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    The first questions to ask of you is: what breed chickens and how many???

    Without pictures of your current setup it is extremely difficult to help you in re-designing your coop/run. Please post pics.

    As for using a 2 x 2 for their roosting bar, please change that out as soon as possible to a 2 x 4 laying flat.

    I've subscribed to your thread and hopefully you will post some pics and give us answers to the first 2 questions...talk soon! [​IMG]
     
  3. 1indian

    1indian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2014
    Ten white rocks. They don't seem to mind the 2x2s but I'm good with changing that. Some of them prefer the limbs I've put diagonally in the corners. I'll try to take some pics tomorrow. :)
     
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, please take pics so we can better help you!! [​IMG]
     
  5. 1indian

    1indian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2014
    Sorry for the delay but here are the pics I took Sunday.

    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c180/1Indian/pen1_zps90d83ccd.jpg

    From left to right across the back of the pen you can see the trough, the hutch and hard to see is a small table to protect their feed from the weather. The tarp is over that half of the pen

    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c180/1Indian/chickenpen_zps27dd81f6.jpg

    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c180/1Indian/pen3_zps73dea34d.jpg

    The pen within the second pen in this the broody breaker - which worked by Mon. night, btw. I won't have time to remove it until Sat. but the chickens don't seem to mind sitting on it.

    So, that's my simple pen. How do chickens do with change? If I move things around are they going to be freaked out?
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    I think they would be more curious than freaked out. Mine always have to inspect any changes to the environment and discuss whether the changes were done properly or not. Inspectors [​IMG]

    Now what freaks mine out is a hawk hanging out on top of the run. Hawk on Sunday and only 4 eggs since. 20 hens and only 4 eggs in 2 days when the norm is around 14.

    You may need to put them in the new coop every night until they learn that is where you want them to sleep. It may take a week or 2 with the odd hen still having to be put up at night.
     
  7. 1indian

    1indian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2014
    I can see why a hawk would unsettle them! We have tons of them around here, too, not to mention a boat load of raccoons. That' why I have a field panel roof and floor and every gap that a coon could possibly get through is blocked with heavy gauge wire. Years ago, a friend had coons climb down a tree that was in her chicken pen and slaughter her chickens. It's made me paranoid.

    Thanks for the advice! Glad to know that chickens are more interested in than freaked out by change.
     
  8. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]
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    Well, from what I can see your have a cyclone fenced pen that is divided basically in two. You have a small little coop on the left next to that water trough that is laying on it's side. Then on the far right I think those are nesting boxes??????

    If it were me (by the way I don't know what part of the country you live in as to climate)...I would turn the left half of your setup into a coop, and the right side into their run area. You could take plywood and attach it to the three sides of the left side and install a metal roof on the top. In there you would have 2-3 nesting boxes (that's really all you need) and their roost bar, a 2 x 4 laying flat...allow at least 1' per bird. Along with feeder and waterer. This would be a VERY basic coop setup taking into consideration what you have to work with.

    By getting rid of all that "stuff" you have in there now (that tiny coop on the left, those nesting boxes on the right, and that trough) your girls will have more room to maneuver around. Just thinking...and I wish you all the very best.
     
  9. 1indian

    1indian Out Of The Brooder

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    The pen is chain link. What you are calling the little coop is what I've been referring to as the hutch which is what they have been using to lay in. There are no nesting boxes currently. Maybe you are seeing the table??? Its hard to get good pics through the chain link and it's too close quarters to take them from inside.

    Thanks for the ideas. Really gives me stuff to think about. Oh, and I'm in central Alabama, btw. We usually have fairly mild winters, though they have forecasted a more wet/icy winter this year. Boo!
     

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