Coop & Run Plans - tips, advice?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JennysHens, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. JennysHens

    JennysHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey all! Got my coop built and placed, getting ready to set up the run and was looking to see what y'all think, if there are any tips or safety/security things I"m missing. The coop is one I got from the feed store, in a kit, because for the price it was easier to use a kit than build my own (I'm slowly acquiring power tools, but I just don't have enough to get into a big wood working project yet!) and I'll be reinforcing the bottom with some steel hardware cloth. This is the coop style we got. The coop itself has a floor raised about 2" off the ground, so I'll be stapling the cloth directly to the bottom (of JUST the coop, not the open area) and putting a 1' skirt of cloth around the open area. I'll also be getting extra clasps to reinforce both the nest box door and the cleaning access door. (forgive the stock photo, I don't have a good one of mine in the yard). I also have some silicon caulking I'm going to use on the exterior of the coop to close up any gaps and seams, one or two spots are leaking and we get some high winds in the winter, I want to make sure it's not drafty
    [​IMG]The run is going to attach off the front of the coop and will be 8' x 4' with cedar fencing that's about 3.5' high so I can get in without a gate. I'm getting netting to cover the top to keep the chickens in and hawks/eagles out and put a 1' skirt of hardware cloth around the entire outside. I'm going to get a few window box style planters to place along the outside of the fence to plant herbs/flowers for myself to use and for the gals to nibble too. I'm thinking bee balm, catnip, lavender, mint, etc. Anything else you guys could recommend for keeping them safe from predator break ins? Other than birds of prey, the biggest predators we have here locally are feral cats and racoons. I'm not as worried about the cats - they pretty much stay out of my yard because I turn the dog loose on them anytime I see them (she plays with my indoor cats so as soon as she sees a cat is CHASE AND PLAY!) or use a sonic repellent on them. They've tried to use my bird feeders as a buffet and I'm having none of that! I feel pretty confident about it but don't want to risk any misses with my gals! Another question would be substrate for the run. For now, it's going to be grass until the gals demolish it. After that, any tips on what would be best? We live in western WA, so lots of rain is a concern. The soil out here is mostly clay and when it gets rainy, my yard stays fairly soggy so I'm concerned about wood chips getting moldy and gross. Thanks so much in advance!
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
  2. Alabama Jack

    Alabama Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe use corrugated plastic roofing over your run, to keep direct rain out? For the run, sand is cheap and will drain.
     
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  3. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 in a roof. Mud will quickly become a problem. You'll at least want a hardware cloth roof on the run. All the cloth in the sides will be a waste since a raccoon or cat could easily tear into bird netting.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Alabama Jack

    Alabama Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you build a large walk-in secure run, you could put the coop inside and not worry about predator proofing the coop.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. JennysHens

    JennysHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone. I'll have to rethink and rebudget this out. Back to the drawing board!
     
  6. JennysHens

    JennysHens Out Of The Brooder

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    So I scrapped my initial building plan ideas and found someone who builds chicken tractors here locally! I priced out everything I needed to make a hoop style coop/run (abouts $200) and this was up for $250 so I just grabbed it! The one I have already built I'll try to sell cheap or will keep as a spare, in case someone gets sick or needs separated... or in case I stumble on some silkie bantams that will fit better in there [​IMG] I wanted a tractor from the get-go but just don't have the tools and skills, so this works out perfectly! I'll tweak it a bit to reinforce, I still have about 20' of hardware cloth I can use to staple around it and make a skirt. This will give the girls lots o space!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll probably surprise yourself how much skill and talents you have[​IMG]. I have not build a thing in my life until I took home some baby chicks last year on an impulse, and wife said "what will you do with them"? Scared that she will ask me to get rid of them, I didn't sleep for a week doing research to house and take care of them. Now she is a fan even asked me to add 6 more this year which I gladly complied. I'd been wanting to have chicken since I was 5.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Alabama Jack

    Alabama Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can't see the full design, but an external nest box might give you some extra coop space. And don't forget about chicken math. We were planning on four back in September, and now have 12. Agree with Spartan, you'll surprise yourself with what you are capable of. Chickens don't notice if your corners are square or not.
     

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