Could really use some ideas for housing my flock

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Scatterknit, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Scatterknit

    Scatterknit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2013
    Georgia
    Hi everyone. I'm new to all this - thanks in advance for any ideas you can give me!

    I got chickens and a coop for Christmas (yay nice boyfriend!) and they are wonderful. I have 10 and really only need 5 but I'm attached to them and don't want to give them away (yes, pathetic.)

    My coop is for 5-6 chickens. It is located inside my fenced herb/flower garden. The enclosed space is a good size - about 40 ft by 40ft. The fence is about 4 feet tall and wood - 6 inch wide cedar boards that are placed vertically about 2 inches apart. I have raised beds inside the garden.

    My coop is sitting on one of the raised beds. It's really cute but I have constructed a very ugly run around the coop for the time being so they can go out during the day using a portable dog run and chicken wire. It is seriously ugly. I put them inside the coop at night but come summer, that coop is going to be sweltering and way too small for 10 chickens.

    When they're bigger I want to let them free range around the enclosed garden but am not sure what I should do with them at night. I am mainly worried about predators. I live in the country and we have them all. The way my flower/herb beds are constructed, predators can't dig under the fence but they could climb over it.

    I'd like to leave them out at night because it gets SO hot here in the summer (Georgia). Even if I only had 5 or 6 they'd bake at night. I have thought about putting an electric wire on the outside of the fence to zap anything trying to climb over it. I could run the wire around the top to discourage hawks from perching on it and shopping for dinner. Not sure how ugly that's going to be...

    I could construct a better looking run around the coop and just put them in the run at night but not sure I'm that handy, and boyfriend definitely isn't.

    Any thoughts? Thank you!!!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The easiest thing is to put up a shed with some windows you can open and put hardware cloth over the windows. Then you can use it for a shed later on if you change your mind about using it for chickens.

    I have a fan that I put up in the summer for my two shed coops. I have it on a timer so that the motor doesn't overheat (I run it for maybe a half-hour at a time, then off some, then on some, etc.).
     
  3. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 7, 2011
    The easiest type of run to construct is the moveable pen from this site:
    http://www.utm.edu/departments/cece/idea.php#fowlideas7

    A few modifications must be made to make it safe, including some type of top and fencing at least 2' out from the perimeter to stop tunneling/digging predators. Do you have shade in the area where you want to keep your chickens?
    There are a lot of variations on the hoop type of runs, and depending on what your coop looks like, you may be able to put legs under it and use it for shade,adding a run to it as well. If it doesn't get below freezing where you live, your options for housing are very wide, mostly what you need to worry about is keeping them safe from predators and heat. If you look through this section, there are many people that have posted very good details and pictures of the different types of coops as they build them. Good luck and enjoy.
     

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