Coop 95% Recycled Material

Looks very nice! I congratulate you on how nice it looks and having used pretty much all recycled materials, you saved money and didn't consume yet more "stuff." I see that you used pallets to fashion a fence, good thinking! I tried to make my coop out of as much material that I already had on hand as well. You can see it if you want by clicking on "My Coop" on the left under my name.

Do you worry / have risk associated with predators (dogs, racoons, coyotes, fox, possum, whatever is common in your neck of the woods). I think I saw chicken wire around some of the coop enclosure and was wondering if you worry that it won't be strong enough. Most predators can tear through it VERY easily. It's really only good for keeping chickens in but not even a challenge for anything trying to get a tasty chicken dinner. Those of us with predator risk use hardware cloth. The 1/2 inch square seems to be best as the openings are too small for most predators to even stick their hands through. Only really small predators (like small weasels) are reported to be able to get through it.

I'm in an area with a very high predator risk factor and I free range (no fence, no run, secure coop at night) so I'm really cautious about predator proofing my coop. I used 1/2 inch hardware cloth, lined the outside of my coop with cinder blocks, buried a row of cinder blocks under the walls I built, and having double locks on the hardware cloth doors with spring locks that even a raccoon with his dexterous hand-like paws can't master. If you're interested, check it out at the "my coop" link.

Looks terrific! You have much to be proud of!
Thank very much for the encouraging words. I am in a semi-preditary? area. We do have them, but they do not venture to close to the house at night. I have 2 Great Pyrennes that do a good job scaring things off. I mainly did that as a just in case. I know whatever makes it up there wont have a lot of time to get in. With that being said, I wanted to free range 100% but did not want to chase hidden egg nests. Right now the ladies can get out of the pallet fence if they like by flying over, but when they get chased they can fly right back in. It has worked so far. When I put it all together I was/am very new to the chicken thing and kind of winged it. LOL No pun intended
Thanks for the complement on our coop! It was fun to build.

Good for you having your 2 Great Pyrennes guard dogs and your level of predator-risk. This makes sense, then, with how you've set up your coop. I have 2 dogs (mutts) too that are a big help but they don't stay up at the coop all the time during the day. I worry/have the most risk in the early morning and late evening times, when the chickens are out. At night, I don't worry about them at all because I think the coop is pretty darn secure. Each evening, I try to get the chickens out of the woods at about 6 p.m., just so they're not so vulnerable. The dogs go up to the barn with me whenever I'm up there but that's not all the time. They help a lot though, just by their presence.

Your chickens look very happy in your beautiful, recycled coop! Congrats again!
Are your pups outside 24/7?
What is the main framework made out of?

Nice to build something without buying materials!
Pups are outside from 7:00am to 9:00pm. They come in for lunch when I get home, then go back out when I leave. I think them being outside most the day scares most predators off. The main framework is made from an old trampoline frame cut in half and laid on end, then connected with 2x4. Most Great Pyrennes are left ouside 24/7, and are actually raised with the livestock from birth, BUT I love my dogs like family members, so they come in at night.
We are using chicken wire. Hubby based the decision on co-workers who have had chickens for years with chicken wire. So I insisted on double wraping and in some places it's triple layered, overlapped. I'm not saying it was the best decision, I wanted hardware cloth. I'm planning on getting some little by little and replace chicken wire in sections when my paychecks pick up (school bus driver). On the plus side though, the only visible predators have been hawks. Theres been no raccoons living in the area (that we've seen). Only seen 3 snakes in the yard in 12 years. Biggest problem is the occasional dog owner who thinks there dog should run free because we live in the "country". I put a solar security light on the coop. Makes me feel better. My peeps seem safe but I will feel better when I start changing to hardware cloth
First, good job on the coop.
I am assuming you are not in a winter climate. With the openness of the coop.
Second, I was liking everything I saw and was hearing until I read the dogs come in at 9:00 pm. Most predator attacks occur in the wee hours of the morning.
I fear eventually a predator will get in and you will wake up to a dead or missing flock. The one poster is exactly right, chicken wire keeps chickens in and nothing out. It's hard to tell put it appears as there is nothing to prevent a predator from digging in as well.
Since you are a "new egg" I suggest you take trip over to the predator section and spend some time ready the horror stories.
I'm not trying to harsh just trying to prevent heartache. I've been hanging around on this forum for over 5 years and I've read the same stories, over and over and over again about predators taking out entire flocks.
I've read a lot of those posts. They are scary. One other good thing if you can call it good. I go out to to the coop at 4:15am. Soon as I'm dressed for work. I throw out some scratch check feed and water before I leave for work. I live right behind our city hall/Police department. There's activity at night. But I still need to do the hardware cloth upgrade.

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