Coop questions...maybe a lot :)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by menkot, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. menkot

    menkot Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    We are building (almost done) our chicken yard and coop. It is 16X16 all together. My coop is 8X8. It is completely caged in with 1 inch chicken wire from the ground up. We have a galvanized roof and we are planning on using tin for the sides of the coop later when we need it for the weather. Right now I think they would rather have the cross breeze. I bought 6 foot 1 inch tomato stakes to make the roosts out of. I ma planning on making 12X12 nests with a slanted roof to keep them from nesting on top of them.

    We have everything but the roof attached (will take about ten minutes since it is framed out and ready.

    1st question... we are planning on using quickrete and digging a shallow trench around the perimeter. We will fill it in about 12 inches from the bottom of the board and wire. Will this be sufficient to keep out critters? I really do not want to go out and see dead chickens everywhere. Right now, much to their displeasure, we are putting them back in their brooder (two month old chickies) at night in the pen. I am hoping that keeps anything from getting them if it digs under during the night. It has 1/4"-1/2" (not sure) wire and top and bottom. It also has rebar as the frame. The wire is VERY stiff. Would have to be super strong to get that puppy apart.

    2nd question.. Have we forgotten anything? I have a 30lb feeder to hang from the roof in the coop. I bought a 3 gallon waterer on ebay that hopefully will be here by the end of the week. Right now I am filling the quart jar waterer (total pain in the butt) and feeding them in one of the trough feeders. I am only giving them chick starter and they get bugs out of the yard.

    Any other advice? As you can tell I am new and nervous and maybe should not have read the predator board. [​IMG] I want Fort Knox. I was going to use a solar electric fence until I priced them [​IMG].
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  2. missusduray

    missusduray Songster

    May 20, 2007
    Northern Minnesota
    Sounds like you have everything. Hope that it all goes as planned. [​IMG]
  3. mamading

    mamading Songster

    Jun 2, 2007
    Rhinelander, WI
    Where are you located? If the weather by you tends to be hot at times during the summer I'm concerned about the metal roof and walls. I would think it would essentially be like an oven in the hot sun. Even with open windows the roof and walls would radiate heat inside and out. I've also read on other posts about young chickens getting pretty freaked out during rain storms because of the sound. While rain on a tin roof may seem quite soothing to some humans I'm pretty sure it would freak the chickens out big time.
    How many chickens are you planning to put into the 8 x 8 coop? I've read at some websites the suggested area needs to be at least 2 square feet per chicken in the coop and at least 4 square feet in the yard/run.
    As for the perimeter of the yard/run you should bury the fencing 8-12 inches into the ground and "toe" it out, so that if any critter starts to dig on the outside they'll dig right into fencing.
    Oh yeah, and for the coop you'll want windows and/or vents at the top portion near the ceiling to let out hot, humid, stale air.
    Good idea about slanting the top of the nest boxes. You're right, they will want to park their feathery butts on top if it's flat and before you know it you'd have tons of caked on chicken poo there.
  4. menkot

    menkot Songster

    Jun 1, 2007
    I am in LA so it does get pretty hot. We are not putting the tin for sides up until fall. The galvanized metal roof is about 8 feet tall so I am thinking it should not heat up too bad??? They are going to have to get used to the noise of rain on it but I think they are already. We butted the coop up against a metal storage building with a metal roof.

    I can't bury the wire [​IMG]. We finished wiring already and do not have enough left to do that. [​IMG] I was hoping the quickrete would work in deterring anything. We also have two pretty good sized dogs that sleep under the storage building most of the time. So far they are not interested in the chickens at all and they have been out with them for a few weeks. One was sorta interested and still will watch with his ears up if we are out there. I just tell him no and he goes on. The other one (who loves to hunt critters) really could not care less. I am hoping they will be another deterrent.

    It is strange but so far every coop I have seen around here uses tin or something similar for the roof.

    I have 5 chickens right now but will have 12 Tuesday. I think that puts me well under the limits. I think I am planning on staying with 12. I am staying out of the only feed store in the area that carries chicks lol.

    Came back to add that think your idea of a coop and ours differs a little lol. Right now it is an 8 foot tall roof. No sides other than wire and the framing posts and rafter like things. In other words they get covered shade. It is open on three sides except for wire. They will never be shut in it. Even in winter it will be open on one side. We have pretty mild winters and will hang some thick felt down part of the way to make a wind break when it gets cold.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  5. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    I'm no expert, but don't see why concrete in lieu of buried wire wouldn't be sufficient. A 12 in. underground barrier of any kind is still a barrier. Also, what better barrier than concrete?!? LOL. If you have dogs that stay out there, that's definitely a deterrent. Very few animals come in the fenced in area of my yard, even when the pups are inside. Their urine deters. Male urine also does the same!

    Although the sound of rain may spook them at first, they'll get used to it. My chicks are brooding in the garage and after just 3 or so days, the garage door opening stopped phasing them. Hell, the saw doesn't even bother them any longer.
  6. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    12 inches of concrete should keep almost anything out. For LA the open side coop will work well. I lived there for a few years and had chickens. For REALLY hot days you may want to add a mister to the top of the roof to keep it cooler, or hose it down periodically. You will never get cold enough to worry about having to add heat unlike up here in canada.

    Your side wire sounds plenty strong and small enough to keep critters out.

    Dogs will tend to keep most everything else away.

    Being typical chickens they will have the ground in your run bare pretty quick. But beyond that it sounds like you have it well in hand.

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