crazy coop and run...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by firetrie, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. firetrie

    firetrie In the Brooder

    May 7, 2007
    Niles, MI
    Ok so I am new to this. my chickens outgrew my brooding coop.... And like so many other ppl I know I'm broke. So I turned my sheep shed (I don't have sheep was here when I bought the place) into a coop. it 20' x 30' and I fenced off a 20' x 12' square in one corner (for my garden tools and the chicken food/straw storage) so they have an L shape area.(I'll try to get some pics up) I cut a hole in the side of the shed 20"x 16" about 16" off the ground and ran a plank inside and outside so they can get through. Then I used the only fencing I had on hand (electric) to make a field for them, about an acre big. I read somewhere that you can use electric fence to keep them in if you set up the wires right. I have six wires, hot 7" high, hot 14" high, grounded 20" high, hot 28" high, grounded 36" high, and hot at 42" high.

    However, the chickens seem to ignore it and pass through it when ever they please, even when the ground is wet. I know its working ok cause I accidently touched it and boy did that suck... so how can the chickens just walk right thru it?

    Second problem... They don't leave the coop until 5 or 6 pm. then when it gets dark they don't go back in and will roost in the small trees and in the tall grass. How do I fix this problem. I don't want them to get eaten by the raccoons or the foxes.

  2. TreyClark281

    TreyClark281 Songster

    Apr 9, 2007
    around Katy, Tx
    make the bottom wires hot lol idk...
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Lock them in their house for a week. This way they will learn that the shed is home. You may have to go out at night and put them on the roosts. They will learn. The old saying 'chickens come home to roost' is spot on.
  4. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    Yes, when we moved our 8 week old chicks from the brood to the "big coop" with the big chickens they kept wanting to return to their old brood house. After about 4-5 days they finally settled into the new coop. Now they are the only ones that use the very top roost!! [​IMG]

    We always lock our chickens in at night due to the raccoons around here. They have hit us twice in the last couple years and we have lost a total of 7 and 3 chickens on each hit.

    If your chickens continue to roost in the grass and trees the raccoons and foxes will get them eventually. It is only a matter of time. I would get them locked up at night.
  5. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    In my experience electric wire, even hot, doesn't work. My yard is surrounded by 5 strand electric and the chickens would also go through, even with a charger meant to stop a horse... for some reason electricity has no effect on chickens. I've seen them sitting on the wire and I know it was hot, because I regretfully checked...ouch!!

    My solution is I took deer netting and ran it all along the fence, it doesn't effect the charge since it's plastic and the chickens can't get through. Because they can see through it they won't fly over it. They still try to sneak under it, but it's held down with ground stakes. I just lazily hooked it to the insulators and it's stayed up so far, even through winter. Deer netting is relatively cheap. I think maybe $15 for 7'x100' and I cut it in half, which is a long and tedious job, but saves money in the long run. I got it at Lowes or Home Depot. It's black and not even noticeable unless you are standing right up next to it.

    Anyway, you could do that and lock them in for a week and they should stay around a heck of a lot better and begin to roost in their house.

    Here's what it looks like, I know I paid half that price for it, but I can't find it on either of Lowes' or Home Depot's sites. Deer Netting

    Hope this helps... [​IMG]

    Oh wait I found it at Lowes... Deer Netting only $12!! Cut it in half and you now have 200'x3.5' so for a square acre,if you cut it in half you'd need 4 rolls, $48, good deal IMO.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2007
  6. firetrie

    firetrie In the Brooder

    May 7, 2007
    Niles, MI
    I love it! I will try it this week and will post my results... I'll even snap a few pics just for fun. [​IMG] Thanks for the suggestion about the deer netting... I even slapped my forehead when I read your post. Duh. why didn't I think of that...

    Kudos to you Angie n Maine!

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