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Dog Kennel Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by joshram, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. joshram

    joshram Out Of The Brooder

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    I just got a new coop and also got a 10x10 dog kennel so I've been putting it together and I need ideas for a roof for the kennel and also any ideas for the coop would be great. I also need to know if I should put the roosts inside the coop in front of the nesting boxes or in the lower part in the open. Thanks.
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  2. just13nat

    just13nat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    How many chickens are you going to have? Those pre-built coops are teeny-tiny and the number of chickens the manufacturers say they can hold is usually not accurate. If possible, I'd try to make the entire structure into a coop, and to answer your question, roosts should probably go on opposite side from nesting boxes. And make sure the roost is higher than the nesting boxes or you'll end up with chickens sleeping in the nesting spot.

    As far as roofing for kennel, we covered the top with wire and used PVC pipe and a 10x20 tarp to provide some cover for the winter. I'd definitely do roof with a pitch vs. flat though depending on your area and rain/snowfall. If you type 'dog kennel roof' in search box at the top, you'll see all kinds of posts with ideas though!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have four units. Three in fixed positions in barn and another moved about like a chicken tractor in field. I usually have between 8 and 12 birds in each. Indoor pens I place 5' foot dowels in corners for roosting. Out door unit has a single 2 x 4 supported on one end by a sawhorse. Roost are kept far from door but at least 2 feet from wall so predator not tempted to reach through and grab a bird.

    Cover is in the form of deer netting. I also have hotwire to keep predators from trying to scale sides.
     
  4. joshram

    joshram Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2015
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    I was thinking about 5 hens. And how could I make the whole kennel into a coop?
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would treat the kennel as a run, and cover it. Your other wooden components will then serve as roost and nest sites or even as the coop within the run.
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me, I'd remove the floor of the coop and also the wall with the pop door on it. Then I'd enclose the whole structure with plywood making it into a coop large enough for your 5 birds. Then I'd sink some 4x4 posts around the kennel to support a real roof.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I would keep the interior coop intact as it is currently the best raccoon deterrent he has. The wooden floor will allow collection and removal of roughly half the feces produced. Problem will be two gates.
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few observations about this whole setup, for the OP and others.

    First about the coop. Would be curious to know who made it. There are probably 10 or more outfits in MO making these things, and being sold via websites and on Craigslist. Looks like it was built pretty well, with decent materials, so we will assume they meant well and leave it at that.

    This coop was intended to be a stand alone deal, and probably was rated for 5 or 6 birds. That rating probably comes from the "cage free" standard of something like 1.5 sf per bird. To get to that population level, you have to include the wire enclosed run as part of the area. In central MO, we just went through a spell of cold weather where we were at 0F to -10F for two consecutive nights. Under such conditions, whatever birds were put into that thing would have huddled inside the enclosed part. Any water or feed would have had to have either been inside, or outside on the plywood shelf that is the run. You would need a way to keep the water from freezing. A person might have been able to get by if you put up clear plastic surrounding the run to block the wind, but unless you did that, I'd expect real problems for any birds confined to that space. The enclosed area itself has very little, if any, ventilation. So 5 birds huddled in there for a few days on end are going to be wet with humidity, so that coop would become frostbite city. There is a pullout droppings board under the coop, so not much is expected in the way of floor litter. A maintenance and care issue.

    So what we are saying is this coop, while perhaps being rated for 5 or 6 birds, realistically might hold only 2 or 3. To expand it to accommodate 5 or 6 birds, a person could cut and fit plywood for at least 3 of the 4 exposed sides, include ventilation and south facing windows for light, and fit a roost bar inside the enclosed run area for them to roost on. Essentially, double or triple the enclosed space available to them. After you do that, they would probably benefit from the run.

    So on to the dog run. They make these several different ways. This one has curved corner panels. No matter how you slice it and dice it, with curved corners you always end up with 8 holes in the corners. 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. Each of these holes have to be enclosed and sealed up or else a raccoon and a whole pack of lessor varmints won't even be slowed down by it. If hawks and other birds of prey are an issue, then some type of cover would need to be fitted. Deer netting will work for hawks and such, but not for raccoons. A related second issue is that as is, there are a whole bunch of predators that can simply dig under it. so some type of base will be needed (blocks or railroad ties) or else an apron fitted around the entire perimeter.

    So if you were to ask me what to do about this, I'd suggest this:

    Cut and fit 3/8" or 1/2" plywood permanently on the back and two sides. For now, leave the front or high side open, and face it south. In really cold winter, plan to fit clear plastic over at least parts of this remaining open side to block winter winds, yet still allow some ventilation. Do not be shocked if they roost in the run year round.

    If you stick with this run, and you intend to leave it in one place (not a bad idea), put down a dig proof base of some type for it to sit on, seal up the corners, then decide if you need to cover the run. Covered run or not, putting up a single hot wire around the top perimeter, using a Fi-Shock or some such electric fencer, will keep climbing predators out. This is critical if you don't intend to go out each and every night to close them up into the coop. If you leave the coop door open at night, unless you can make the run predator proof as well, you can assume your birds are already dead. Raccoons are that good.

    Also assume the run area will turn into a mud run in no time flat, so putting in a set of perimeter kick boards (pressure treated 2x6 or larger) to contain a deep litter of old hay, leaves, etc, would be a good idea. Make sure the spot where you put this is well drained, so water runs away from it not towards it.

    In summary, all is not lost, but for this setup to work as you hoped, it will need some minor tweaks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Deer netting for top to exclude raptors and hotwire around base to exclude ground will be nearly invisible to human observer. Visibility in suburb may be important to OP.
     
  10. joshram

    joshram Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 6, 2015
    Missouri
    I am definitely going to add the plywood to the sides. But does anyone have any ideas for a roof? Something that would also keep out raccoons and opossum.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017

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