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converting dog pen to chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by harveyhorses, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2010
    Well, I am getting 4 chickens of unknown size breed and possibly sex. Tomorrow. I am TOLD they are all hens.
    Anyway I have a 12 x 20 x 6 tall dog pen which I plan on having the coop inside of. I ahve a lot of preditors, hawks, owls, racoons, foxes, pretty sure coyotes. The pen is buried 1 ft, I want to put a solid roof over part of it and a screen of some type over the rest. One end has a huge magnolia tree, which does provide shade in summer, but if I were a varmint, looks a lot like a ladder.
    Am I being paranoid? And has anyone used chicken wire as a top?
    What can I use as a temporary coop? I have an outdoor table I can figure something out.
    I want my chickies to love their new home.
     
  2. Fanny

    Fanny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2009
    Manitoba, Canada
    Good luck!

    I used an dog crate and a tarp as a temporary coop when my birds came before the building was done. Someone around you likely has one you could borrow.
     
  3. kota1369

    kota1369 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    Take a look at this, it may give you some ideas. http://www.buildchickencoops.com/treescoop.htm
    You
    could put a large igloo dog house or an isulated dog house as thier coop. I would bolt it to the outdoor table I think.
    Hot wire the run if you can. I know Tractor Supply and places like that will have it. It is chainlink so you should be able to
    get by fairly cheaply I would think. If you have weasels you will need to remember they can get into small cracks and holes.
    I highly recommend inclosing the top also. You will need to protect them from above.
    Good luck to you on your new venture.

    The lady with 4 dogs and 4 city chickens
     
  4. biggin

    biggin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2009
    Georgia
    Standard chicken wire works pretty good. The only draw backs to it is that it doesn't have much structural support and it can be hard to work with if you don't have any help. The only time I have had a problem is when a large limb falls on it, it will stretch and tear. Hope this helps.
     
  5. RM44

    RM44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    We use a chain link dog pen as our run too. My husband built a lift off "top" for it by framing out in 2x4s and stapling chicken wire to the frame. He built some little corner pieces to hold it in place at the corners so it doesn't slide off. We lift it up and sit it on top of the dog run. Works great, although I sort of wish it was angled b/c in the fall leaves get caught on the top and are hard to clean off.
     
  6. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3472326#p3472326

    Try
    this link and see if theres anything here you can use....Im trying to put up links for others....I have a few like this:
    [​IMG]
    BEFORE

    [​IMG]
    AFTER, I FOUND THEM A FREE PLAYHOUSE THAT I PAINTED

    [​IMG]
    THESE HAVE A PLASTIC DOG HOUSE IN THERE, ALSO HAVE A COVERED TIN OVER THAT

    [​IMG]
    MY FIRST AND MAIN COOP, LEFT OVER PRIVACY FENCE FROM HURRICANE IKE
     
  7. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    I don't advise covering the top with a tarp. First, it holds water when it rains unless you have some sort of pole to keep the center higher. Second, if you get a lot of rain, the sun can't reach the ground and the inside either stays wet or develops mold.

    Just my two cents.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
    www.ChickenTrackin.com
     
  8. featherbaby

    featherbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL 32210
    Most people put hardware cloth 1/2 x 1/2" all around the bottom perimeter, 2 feet high. Also they block off the gaps between all the corners and at the door (the previous picture shows they did that). Reason? In my area raccoons rule. They work together in packs. While some of them scare the chickens against the opposite wall, their buddies reach through that wall and rip off anything they can reach. It's not a pretty sight. You might be surprised to know their little paws can reach almost 12 " inside the wire if they can find an opening. I agree that the top has to be reinforced with a wood frame. I have had raccoons get on my roof from nearby trees, so I know they'd love to patrol the top of a coop with dainty little morsels running around inside. I'm so glad you're thinking about safety BEFORE you have to clean up a grisly murder scene.
     
  9. Shadowhills Farm

    Shadowhills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2009
    Crystal River, Fl
    Our run/coop is pretty much just the dog run, too. We put it under a pole barn that we built, and put wire 1 ft under, topped it with dirt, and we have chicken wire over the chain link fencing part. We also have a tarp on top of the run to protect it a little bit extra.
     
  10. Missouri Maiden

    Missouri Maiden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Southwest Missouri
    My run is a dog pen too but I put a shade cloth over mine it makes the temp. drop about 15 degrees, and it lets rain seep through so it doesn't droop. The only problem is you have to take it off everytime it snows.
     

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