chicken run/coop advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LoveMySiouxsie87, May 10, 2009.

  1. LoveMySiouxsie87

    LoveMySiouxsie87 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2009
    I'm looking to make some improvements in my chicken facilities.
    The pictures are pretty crappy but what I have right now is a coop that's door opens to what I call the "chicken run". It's about a 10x40 strip of land that's wooden fence on one side and a no-climb wire fence on the other. The bottom of the wire fence isn't secured to the ground in any way, and on the wooden fence side there is definitely room for something like a cat to sneak under.

    [​IMG]

    inside the chicken run:
    [​IMG]

    outside the run:
    [​IMG]

    Right now the hens sleep in the coop at night and during the day they wander around my yard and my neighbors' yards. My neighbors on both sides love them so there aren't any problems there right now BUT I live right next to a University so people move in and out every year or so and I know I won't be able to count on having such cool neighbors forever (and rightfully so, as the hens are pretty destructive).

    I want the chickens to have as much roaming room as possible, I want the chicken run to actually contain them (they can and do easily fly over the fence if I try to keep them in the run), and I want to do it all as cheaply as possible (I'm a poor college student, but I set aside some cash for improvements). Predators include raccoons, stray cats, and the possibility of neighborhood dogs.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice anyone has. I'm really not very handy and I'm fairly new to chickens and their needs, so...yeah. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  2. IDIOT HUSBAND

    IDIOT HUSBAND Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2009
    Burgin, KY
    You have a lot of options to stop the digging predators. You can by bags of concrete at your local hard ware store( @$3.50) dig out the bottom of your fenc and pour it in attatching the fence to it, electric fence will stop them or just dig your fence down and bury it. To keep them from flying out put a top on it or clip the wings(don't know much about this process but I would look into it if I were you)[​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I wouldn't suggest pouring concrete at the bottom of the fence, you would need a WHOPPING lot of concrete to really keep out dogs (which can easily dig down 12-18" plus) and even aside from the work and expense you would then end up with a lotta concrete to be dug up and removed if ever you decided to change the run, get rid of chickens, or sell the house.

    A horizontal apron of 2x4 welded wire, 2-4' wide, pinned down well to the ground or buried just under the turf, and wired securely to the bottom of the run fence, will do just as well. You may be able to get some secondhand fencing to use for this purpose.

    As for a top to the run, where do you live? If snow load is not an issue, you could use some cheap trellis netting or deer netting supported by 2x4s or pvc to make a top for the run. If you get snow, you could still at least do this for the nonsnowy months, might have to remove the netting in winter before snow removes (and destroys) it for you.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. LoveMySiouxsie87

    LoveMySiouxsie87 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2009
    I'm in Texas so snow shouldn't be a problem. Also I shouldve mentioned I'm renting my house. I'm renting it from my dad and I've been here over 3 yrs so I can get away with some stuff but I doubt he'd be ok with pouring concrete.
    Also I thought about finding some kind of fence to go over the top but I do want to be able to walk under it so it's gotta be taller.
    I've thought about clipping their wings but it makes me really nervous because escaping by flying up into a tree is really their only defense mechanism.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Some people here have done nice things with pvc installed hoop-style to give headroom under trellis netting. And yes, if you're renting a wire apron is undoubtedly your best bet. Even 18" of chickenwire on teh ground (secured to your run fence bottom) would be better than nothing.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     

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