Could this - Would this work? Open front coop/run combo

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MuckyPuppy, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Peeps,

    Instead of a regular chicken coop I have an idea that I was wondering if it would work for my chickens. We currently live in the south west/center of England. At the side of our house we have a patio area that we don't use and it is shaped like a V with a flat bottom of aprox 6' wide, a flat side (side of the house) of aprox 19' long and the top of the V is aprox 11' wide. It is surrounded on all side except for the top side of the V. The flat part of the V is the side wall of the house and the bottom & angled side is an aprox 6' tall brick wall. The top of the wall is mostly one brick thick (there are parts two bricks thick for support) and the entire bottom of the wall is two bricks thick. All the wind usually comes from bottom side of the V or the angled side (tunneled up our main road).

    I want to put a roof over the entire area and have several different levels for the chickens to roost on. The roof will be angled for water drainage sloping from the house down to the angled side (near the top of the wall). This will leave a triangle shaped gap at the bottom of the V between the roof and wall. I plan on covering this gap with a wind break fabric (please note that on the other side of the bottom of the V, in the front yard, is a very thorny, very tall shrub) to help prevent the wind from rushing in but promote air flow. Since the house blocks some of the sunlight all year long at some point during the day (depending on the time of year and location of the sun), I am planning on using clear Twin or Triple Wall Polycarbonate Sheets for the roof for light and insulation. I also plan on leaving the front side of the V only enclosed with wire. Would this work as a combo run/chicken house for my bantams. Keeping in mind that when we are outside the chickens will be allowed to forage over the main part of the garden. Sometime I think it is a fantastic idea while at others I worry that the bantams will not be able to keep warm on the main roosts located at the bottom/back of the V.

    Also, What should I put in as bedding? I had planned on using deep litter with wood chips/shaving as the bedding but then thought about sand but think that it might be too cold for winter. I think leaves are a great idea but we don't own woods (just a couple of trees) and it wouldn't be practical.

    The weather in our area is usually mild. We have had a few really cold winters (with actual snow) but winter is most of the time just really wet and chilly. The summers are usually mild also. This year we had a "heatwave" in April but we missed it because we were in the States visiting my side of the family and there were the aprox two pretty hot days in June. We are still waiting for our bbq summer. From what I've read from some of you, most of the States in the US have had hotter average temps this summer than we have had here (including some parts of Alaska [​IMG] ).

    Thank you for your comments. [​IMG]

    Edited to add: I have been planning on removing the patio slabs for better drainage but with the area roofed should I still do it?

    Edited again: All of our chickens are Bantams - currently only 8 but might get up to 15 eventually
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  2. mysweetgypsy

    mysweetgypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post pics of the area? I'm an Architecture student and I think the idea sounds interesting, but it's tough to picture from the description [​IMG]
     
  3. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sure, I'll try and get one up later today. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  4. Gmsg01

    Gmsg01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you go with sand, perhaps you want to leave the Patio blocks. It seems like 3-4 inches of sand (maybe even less) would provide plenty of drainage, and the blocks will prevent the sand from mixing with the dirt, especially in the wet weather.
     
  5. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is the area of our yard next to our house that we want to use for the chickens. It doesn't look very big in the photo but the small far wall is somewhere around 5' 8" from the side of the house to the corner (the sticks at the side are some small pines and other trees that died from last winter and we piled up to maybe use as roosts or as logs for an outdoor firepit). The kids played with all of our tape measures and misplaced them. So in order to guestimate the length of the back wall I went out tonight and "measured" it using my height as a guide. I'm 5'5 and it was about 3" longer than me (bugs and leaves in my hair [​IMG] ). As you can tell the area is shaded at this time of the day which is why we were thinking of a clear roof. It is the open side into the rest of the garden that we would like have closed off with wire (the area from the corner of the house to the brick garden wall).

    [​IMG]

    Edited to note: Each of the full patio blocks are 2' x 2'. I measured those before the kids misplaced the measuring tapes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  6. mysweetgypsy

    mysweetgypsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's on the other (right) side of the fence? You may need a gutter. I bet it would work nicely, but you should always have a portion that can be totally enclosed. One, for storage of chicken stuff, they have a lot of stuff! And though I believe you said you don't have predators, every dog for miles will smell/hear them and come for a snack. As for footing a good layer of sand in the run would be fine, and in the sleeping area you could add bedding over the sand if you wanted. I know we've used WoodyPet, hay, shavings, etc. Post pics when you get going [​IMG]
     
  7. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:On the other side of the fence is plants and hedges that we thought that the council owned but they insist that the strip of land is ours (I personally don't think they want to be responsible for keeping the hedge trimmed). We said well then we will erect a fence and they said we could do what we want as it belongs to us.

    Thank you for reminding me about the guttering. I was thinking of leaving a small gap between the roof and the wall that will be filled by guttering and drain into a waterbutt for watering the chickens and the garden. I have other ideas twirling around in my brain for the guttering if that doesn't work out.

    I've been mulling over the idea of storage and was thinking of keeping the chick stuff either in the garage or the laundry room.

    Lately for winter I've thought of maybe making a removeable wooden panel that would cover a 1/3 of the front wire to protect more from the winter weather and any unusual winds.

    Thank you for your help. [​IMG]
     
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it would work very well. As long as the rain can't get in, if you place some cozy little nest boxes in there, the hens will keep warm inside the boxes on the few days that are cold.

    If you get some sort of freak freeze, you can always add a heat lamp for a couple of nights. I don't think you will get much weather that is too cold for chickens.

    Also, if there is a strong storm blowing right into the entrance, you can always close that off with a tarp temporarily.
     
  9. MuckyPuppy

    MuckyPuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ya know, I forgot about tarps. [​IMG] Now that would be much easier on hubby than trying to get him to build removeable panels. Great idea! Thanks for that. [​IMG]
     

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