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Completely new to chickens and trying to plan a coop/run area

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AConk81, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. AConk81

    AConk81 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012
    Hi everyone!

    We've been thinking about getting some chickens for a while now and have recently decided that this is something that we really want to do. I'm trying to plan a coop and run area for them for our backyard. We have a good place for it, in an area that is well shaded by some trees so that there is some relief from the heat during our humid NC summers. I'd like to keep the costs done and am wondering how I can build this to be safe for them and good sized while not spending a fortune.

    We're looking at between 4-5 chickens. Three regular sized and then either one or two bantams. I'd like them to have a secure hutch with roost and nest box for night time and then a daytime run that is preferably NOT covered, as we'd like to be able to go in there with them and we're not too crazy about the idea of a massive covered pen.

    One thing I've been thinking of getting is http://www.tractorsupply.com/ware-m...ty-chick-n-hutch-2-4-chicken-capacity-2100173 for the hutch area, and buying a nest box to go in there. They'd be in there at night to keep them safe and then having a 10x10 fenced in area for them to run around in during the day. I was also thinking about maybe getting the run that goes with that hutch.. http://www.tractorsupply.com/ware-manufacturing-heavy-duty-chick-n-rabbit-pen-2009050 as part of their nighttime enclosure so they have more space, (I hate the idea of animals being cooped up in small areas) and then have that put inside of the 10x10 enclosure.

    My concern with the 10x10 pen is that if I go with the hardware mesh that is really expensive and looks like it will cost about $200 to surround the pen at 6 feet tall. If I go with chicken wire that will be only about $47 and I have read on some other sites that chicken wire is suitable if it will just be a daytime enclosure. I've never seen any kinds of predators in our area and the yard is completely fenced in, but I've also never had chickens before to entice them.

    Any advice you can give me or any ideas on a way to give them a large enough area to roam and that we can stand in? My husband is also concerned with how it will look in the yard and doesn't want it to be an eyesore or to bother our neighbors.

  2. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Songster

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    That is a nice hutch, but it might be a bit small for 3 - 5 chickens, even with the attached enclosure. As for the daytime run, it depends upon predators. If you have hawks, I would highly recommend a covered run. If you don't have many daytime predators, I would think chicken wire should suffice. Our coops in which the birds are locked at night are constructed with hardware cloth. Our daytime run is constructed of chicken wire and, likewise, covered with chicken wire. It is trimmed out nicely and has a door which we can easily gain access to the chickens for cleaning, watering, and feeding. -vegetation such as trailing, flowering vines on the run and flower beds surrounding the run make it aesthetically pleasing, allowing it to blend into the rest of the yard/landscaping. I agree that it is preferable to keep the coop/run area nice and appealing without it being a nuissance to the neighbors (especially if they are close in a suburban setting). I love the following: http://img4.southernliving.com/i/20...ickens-in-chicken-coop-exterior-x.jpg?500:500
    Coops and runs can be integrated wonderfully without detracting from the lawn (and they don't have to be this fancy to do so).
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. AConk81

    AConk81 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012
    That's a good idea with surrounding it with vegetation, that will help make it part of the backyard and not something that just sticks out. They are suburban neighbors that are somewhat close, but luckily only on one side as the other two corners have wooden privacy fencing, so they won't see into the yard anyway. I've been thinking about covering the top, even though we originally did not want to, but I would feel better knowing that if there are hawks over head they can't get to the chickens.
  4. Jakoda

    Jakoda Songster

    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    My coop/run is a coverted part of my shed.

    Yeah, I spent WAY to much (the shed was already here), but honestly if I had to do it again, I would go with a prebuilt shed, (you can find them relatively cheap and small via the net/lowes/HD) My yard is also completely fenced, however, I am snake paranoid so I did use the hardware mesh (another big expense).

    My suggestion, look at small already built sheds, I have found the prebuilt chicken coops like the ones you posted, are way to small and really not very sturdy. If you are going to use chicken wire, I would make sure your roof is wired as well, and you lock your chickens in at night. (Mine are IN at nite)

    You don't have to make the sides 6 ft tall, but I would suggest the height you go with, is relatively comfortable for YOU to get in there and clean & such. Mine don't free range, I have to many hawks, and other critters even tho my yard is fenced I can't watch them 24/7

    Good luck with your venture:) I would also check out the COOPS section here, lots of good ideas:)

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