Combined Dog Kennel and Chicken Coop

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

  1. WKUDocD

    WKUDocD New Egg

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    Sep 1, 2014
    Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
    Hello All,

    I've got an idea and want to bounce it off you to see what you think. I live on 6 wooded acres beside a lake in southern Kentucky, USA. We have raccoons, o'possums, minks, weasels, foxes, wildcats, and several other predators I haven't thought of. I'm and avid outdoorsman.

    Last year I built a large 8'X12' above ground beagle kennel. It is on a pretty good slope. There is a space beneath this kennel that I think would be an excellent chicken run. The kennel sets 20" above the ground at the shortest and 48" above ground at the highest. I'm thinking I could really build a nice chicken run and coop in the area of the dogs. I could see a couple of benefits of doing this. First, the list of predators above. In close proximity to the beagles, the predators may not approach the kennel/coop area. While typing this I had to go see what the barking was all about (momma whitetail and her triplets were passing through). The dogs don't bark unless something strange is in the community. Second benefit of the kennel/coop plan, is that the underneath of the kennel could get cleaned up some. The dogs stand on boards with 1 inch spacing to act as slats. Their poop and pee fall through to the ground below. I throw a little agricultural lime on this space occasionally to control smell. Never has been too bad though. There poop dries before it ever falls so the area really isn't a mess.

    Question: I've got a crazy uncle who seems to know every strange thing there is to know. He isn't too sure of my plan. He says that their may be a disease or poisonous situation for my hens if they were to scratch around for bugs in the dog poo. First, I don't want to kill my hens, and second I don't want to kill my family (not that I believe the second part). And I guess the other part is I don't want to spend the effort building a coop run under the kennel only to find out later it was a poor idea from the beginning.

    I'm looking for thoughts here. I'd like to keep the coop as secure as possible (beagles would assist with that). Anyone know why I shouldn't build the kennel/coop?

    Thanks,
    WKUDocD
     
  2. jmysgrl08

    jmysgrl08 Out Of The Brooder

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    Doesn't sound like a great plan. The chickens won't appreciate being poo'd on. Also they like sunshine and being able to dust themselves, this plan doesn't lend itself to either. Check posts regarding secure coops for ideas on keeping your chickens safe and then build near the beagles.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickens going through feces of herbivores OK, but carnivores the advantages will be limited. Beagles will have a hard time running off what they can not get to. A few years back my brother had problems with foxes that took birds even amoung tied off dogs. The only refuge birds had was in doghouses (beagles mostly). To resolve he had to sacrifice one dog with respect to quality hunting and let it run free to go after fox where ever it went.
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Macon,GA
    I know you hope someone will advise this is a great idea, but I don't for a number of reasons: Hope this post doesn't upset you, if you want only positive comments, then stop reading here.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    *I would not want my chickens scratching or foraging in dog poo or urine.

    *I would not want eggs contaminated with dog poo/piss carried into nests on their feet.

    *All urine is ammonia and high ammonia is hazardous to chickens.

    *I think the chickens would be stressed being below or real close to the dogs. And stressed chickens are not happy Hens. Chickens are "slightly" when scared - they run, flap, fly into everything, and can really get hurt or mortally injured if frightened. Dogs are a chicken predator. People who post good relationships with dogs train them to reduce that risk.

    *Many report dogs help keep predators away, but I had 2 large dogs in a shelter + run in the past. Although they barked at raccoons, the raccoons would even go into the dogs area and the proof was dead raccoons to dispose of.

    * Beagles bark!! If yours don't they they are not like others. My neighbor has a raised kennel with beagles and they don't bark all the time, but when they do it is quite disturbing to hear from a ways off.
     
  5. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Maryland
    My Coop
    BAD. IDEA.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri


    Long-term the dogs as a stressor likely to be minimal.

    Ammonia will not concentrate with good ventilation likely to be realized.

    The noise is part of keeping some dogs and is already known to OP.

    Contamination of eggs I do not like.
     
  7. WKUDocD

    WKUDocD New Egg

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    Sep 1, 2014
    Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
    OK. First, I'm not offended. I need others thoughts so I don't build it and then think "well that was stupid."

    I've lived on a farm all my life (until I moved to present location). This is not my first time having chickens. Previously, had chickens in open range scenario with hogs and cattle. Hogs are not such a good idea, they'll run chickens down and eat them. Cattle, no such problem. But you can bet every hen was scratching around in the cow poop to get at the bugs/worms that were living in/under the poo.

    The stress part I can understand. However, regardless, the chicken coop will be built in somewhat close proximity to the kennel. I have 6 acres, but I want the coop near the house (for security, convenience, and many other reasons). The kennel is in close proximity to the house, err go, they will be in close proximity to one another.

    I haven't built anything yet. I haven't picked up the chickens yet. Still trying to plan this out. Keep the comments coming. You can't hurt my feelings. I may disagree, but I'm a big boy...

    Thanks all
    Doc
     
  8. LIChickens

    LIChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting idea.

    How about a dog run that completely surrounds a chicken coop/run and is separated by it by chain link/hardware cloth that the dogs can not chew through? Any chicken predator would have to run through a gauntlet of beagles.

    While I have seen bugs in herbivore poop, I do not recall seeing too many bugs in dog poop. So I do not know if chickens will bother with it too much.

    The main purpose of chickens scratching in herbivore poop is so that chicken debug and spread and distribute the fertilizer so it is not in concentrated piles. I do not know how it would apply to dog poop that is not being used as fertilizer.
     
  9. WKUDocD

    WKUDocD New Egg

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    Sep 1, 2014
    Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
    OK. Going to share some info I found as a result of some comments already made here.

    After reading some comments, I wandered, can dog poo be composted for use in garden. This would be another natural use of the bi-product and might help me determine whether it is safe for chickens can be allowed to scratch around in the stuff.

    Turns out, NO, dog compost should not be composted and then used in vegetable garden. There are several reasons for this, too many for me to repost here, but basically it is a bad idea to use composted dog poo in the garden. They also recommend not allowing children to walk in areas where composted dog poo has been used.

    Those 2 warnings are enough for me to scrap the kennel/coop combo idea.

    Thanks for your ideas and help, without your comments I would not have expanded my search.

    Thanks,
    Doc
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am all about dogs and chickens and may come from a very similar background. Also a doc.

    Consider a perimeter of hot-wire around pen if dogs not given total access to it. Properly placed can keep predators from defeating your kennel panels and corners. I also employ electrified poultry netting at times to protect free-range birds. Your dogs will still have the alarm function. I have also used baby monitors and toyed with webcams more than once to check on what is going on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

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