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  1. CBinSantaCruz

    CBinSantaCruz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Santa Cruz, Ca.
    I built my coop over the last few weekends. (I waited until I finished to ask for advice. That's just how I am.) Anyone have any suggestions? My biggest concern is I'm not sure it is strong enough to hold a nursery of racoons. How many racoons are there in a group? The roof will hold a few hundred pounds easy but if I have 8 coons crawling on the roof at 25lbs each????




    Here is how I built it.

    Pressure treated 4x4 posts with 2x4 frame. Size is 16' x 32'. I used chain link fence for the bottom sides and poultry wire for the roof and top sides. I am out of money but over the next few months I will buy sheets of plywood and cover the chain link fence all the way around. The chain link is buried two feet deep to keep dogs from digging under. The ply wood will keep everything else out and protect against the wind.


    [​IMG]


    Here is my nesting box. It is about belly button height off the ground and has a wire bottom. The back has doors so you can get the eggs without having to enter the coop. I have a roosting box at the same height on the opposite end of the coop. The roosting box has no bottom but is other wise identical.
    Do you think it needs to be more storm proof? Maybe a little more cover on the front?

    [​IMG]

    Here is my son and daughter. They are standing around watching me work.



    [​IMG]

    Another concern I have is the joint where the poultry nets connects in the above picture. On the roof there you can see where I tied the netting together every 3 inches or so with wire. If something gets on the roof and has a head smaller than an inch or two it could, maybe, get in. I'm not to concerned. Should I be?


    Thanks everyone!

    CB
     
  2. LeJeune1

    LeJeune1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Allen Parish, LA
    I think your coop is an aviary! Lots of room to be chickens. True that if you have 8 coons jump on the roof they could get in, but you have made an effort to protect the flock. you could use live traps with caned catfood to trap the coons if you can't do wire for the top. Good Luck!
     
  3. ErinEliz

    ErinEliz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Wow, this looks amazing! I think you have thought about every preditor and ways to prevent them getting in. Amazing work! How many chickens are you getting? what kind(s)? (just curious)
     
  4. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2011
    Unless you have trees overhanging the roof, I don't think you will have a problem with coons on it. unless you have weasels my only concern is coon fingers. I don't know why (curiosity maybe?), but chickens will allow a coon to reach in and tear them apart. That is why most people use small mesh for the first couple of feet in a run. You could also run an electric wire along the perimeter to keep coons away, or it may not be a problem. How storm proof it need to be depends on your weather. Half of my run is covered to give my birds a dry place and to keep the run from getting so muddy when it rains., but I live in Michigan and we also get a lot of snow. As long as the largest holes are the chain links, I think you are safe against everything but weasels, snakes, and coon fingers. I am assuming that you don't get snow. The chicken wire may hold enough snow to collapse your roof, it did mine the first year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  5. CBinSantaCruz

    CBinSantaCruz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Santa Cruz, Ca.
    Hi Erin,

    I ordered 25 unsexed day old chicks from eFowl. They should be here Thursday or Friday. I ordered 5 Plymouth, 5 Leghorn, 5 Easter eggs, 5 Welsummers and 5 Polish. That should be a good mix of egg colors and sizes. I imagine about half will be rooster soup before July. I will pick up more birds as the roosters get eaten so that by late summer I plan to have 20 or so hens. I might get a couple ducks as well..

    Early in the fall I plan on getting some quail. Not sure how I will integrate them with the hens yet. I might build a separate container for them. I have heard different stories about quail and hens getting along so not sure If I will let them run in the same yard and separate them at night or if I will let them fend for themselves. My plan now is to build another nesting box for the quail with a hole just big enough for them to get in but not the hens. That will give them a place to run to if the hens get mean and an easy place for me to gather the eggs.

    Thanks for your comments!

    CB
     
  6. CBinSantaCruz

    CBinSantaCruz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Santa Cruz, Ca.
    Thanks Trefoil,

    Coons are certainly a problem here in northern California. Coons, dogs and bobcats are my main concerns in that order. And to a lesser extent rats.
    There is a tree you can't see in the picture and I'm sure they will find a way up there onto the roof. My coop last year was not covered. I had a box they would get locked into at night and in the day they ran around a uncovered pen. I lost them one by one over a three month period all during the day. I never saw it, but I saw fur. So I assume it was bobcat getting them.
    To keep the coons from reaching in I'll nail plywood around the bottom. I think I will buy the cheap stuff in 4x8 sheets and rip it length wise so that the first 2 feet of the coop is completely sealed. That will keep them from reaching in. Do you think two feet off the ground is enough? Maybe I should go four feet up? Thanks for your comment.

    CB
     
  7. Mikedero

    Mikedero Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2012
    Watertown CT
    Just a FYI Coons can and do get over 40-50 pounds each I had one at almost 60 pounds

    ( trapped and dispatched 22 over the last year)
     
  8. CBinSantaCruz

    CBinSantaCruz Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Santa Cruz, Ca.
    Thanks Mike,

    Yeah I'm concerned about that. I've seem some monsters around here. I was hoping they were mostly fur. lol. I might have to double the roof trusses. I think the fact that I'm concerned is reason enough to buy a few more 2x4s and just do it. So that's settled. I am reinforcing the roof.

    Cheers,
    CB
     
  9. Mikedero

    Mikedero Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2012
    Watertown CT

    They are allot of fur but built like tanks if they look big then they are big. I was shocked to see how heavy they where
     
  10. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2011
    I think up 2 foot should be enough. I have a lot of coons where I am, but as long as my pens are coon proof don't have any problems with them I think the coons are why I don't see mice or rats around. Its so much easier to make your pens coons proof than to try waging war against them.
     

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