Coop or tarp on dog run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kreg, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. kreg

    kreg New Egg

    Mar 18, 2016
    I am turning this 30'x15' dog run into a chicken coop/run. I am covering the chain link in hardware cloth and burying it 12" deep. The top will be covered as well. When I was at the feed store looking at coops to put inside it a customer was telling me that they are a waste of money and can't hold as many full grown chickens as they say. She has been raising chickens, ducks, and guineas for years and suggested covering the far end in tarp. Meaning the back end, both sides about 6", and the roof. (The sheltered end would be 15'x6' and 6' tall with one 15' side open.) And then putting some roosting bars, nesting boxes and feed and water in the sheltered end. Would this be enough protection from the elements for them? Or should I get some sort of coop in there too? Also how many hens would y'all suggest in this set up?[​IMG]
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    The flimsy, undersized pre-fab coops aren't worth the money, but a well constructed coop that keeps out predators and protects from the elements is worth it's weight in gold.
  3. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Might as well build your own basic coop, but you can certainly easily use the existing run walls as coop walls by just attaching some plywood to the posts. Then you just have to sink some additional posts for one or two walls.

    Basic rule of thumb for backyard birds is 4 sqft of floorspace per bird in the coop and 10sqft in the run.
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio

    Ditto that!

    Don't waste your money on one of those prefab coops. Been there, done that.

    Where are you located? A lot depends on your weather as to how much wind/rain/snow/sun protection is needed.
  5. Tiana Rose

    Tiana Rose Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2016
    Spokane, WA
    Careful about burying the hardware cloth a foot deep. If you are going straight down you may loosen the post and thus weaken the fence. I have read on here that burying at an angle works better and you do not need to bury so deep. If you bury it at an angle then anything trying to dig under will hit the hardware cloth and be deterred if it is out from the fence. Good luck.
  6. kreg

    kreg New Egg

    Mar 18, 2016
    I think I'm going to do what @Jensownzoo suggested and build a coop in the corner with plywood.

    @ChickenMammX4 I live in central Oklahoma so we get a mixture. Very high winds, some rain, little snow, some ice.

    @Tiana Rose The ground was very solid so I ended up only burying about 6-8 inches and it did slope out instead of going straight down.

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