Dog kennel w/ run as coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lpfdco237, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. lpfdco237

    lpfdco237 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2015
    Hi all,

    I'm looking at this as a coop and run for 6 hens. Overall, it would be 8x12 with the coop portion being 8x4 and the run 8x8. I believe both are more then enough for the size of my flock.

    My question is concerning the floor of the run. It would come with a hard floor whether that turns out to be wood or trex or something else. I can put dirt, grass clippings, etc in the run area - would that be ok?

    Thanks for the input. Appreciate any and all help.
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  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like it has good potential and with some modifications, would work pretty well.

    It will need to be opened up some to add ventilation, and depending on how you orient it on your site, maybe more light from opening windows? You want the coop part to have lots of natural light and ventilation.

    The hard floor in the run would be OK, since it appears to be covered by a roof, so a layer of deep litter will work to snag the droppings with less risk of them turning into runny mush and accumulating under the floors, which over time could get rank. Large cracks between the floor boards might also allow in some types of vermin, which tend to lurk beneath these houses and runs if they can, so if there is an option, narrow cracks or none at all. Treated lumber or Trex would be OK with me if it was mine.

    Also, while the chain link fence is pretty secure, it would be better if it went all the way to the top. Not to keep birds in but to keep climbers like raccoons and such out. If you have weasels, they will go through that fence like it isn't even there, so some might consider swapping the chain link fence for 1/2" hardware cloth, if that is a problem in your area. I use 1/2" x 1" - 14 gauge welded wire, which is made of heavier stuff than 1/2" hardware cloth. Chicken wire by itself only keeps the birds in. It most likely will not keep a determined predator out. Neighbors have something similar and have put chicken wire over the chain link to keep wild birds out, but have had numerous instances where the chicken wire was ripped off by some type of varmint, but suffered no losses as the chain link behind it held fast.

    But again, that thing has good potential. A lot of folks keep birds in far less.
     
  3. lpfdco237

    lpfdco237 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2015
    Thanks so much for your reply.

    I would absolutely add some windows for light and a fan for ventilation. I'd also be putting a heater in there for the colder winter days we have in the Northeast.

    The rank mess falling through the boards is a good point. I could probably figure out some way to seal those cracks so nothing gets through. It would probably make cleaning it out easier too.

    I'd be installing the fence portion myself so I could make sure the gaps are closed as much as possible. We have raccoons and fox, but I'm pretty sure weasels aren't an issue. A combination of chainlink and chicken wire would give the birds the most protection possible.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. merrymutts

    merrymutts Out Of The Brooder

    you could also expand pen using chain link fence panels...the ones used to build a freestanding dog run .I have these and they are great. We have just added netting on top because some of our birds can fly and would try their best to escape...even from 6' high panels.
     
  5. lpfdco237

    lpfdco237 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2015
    Unfortunately I'm limited by town ordinance to the size of my coop/run. I'm allowed up to 8 hens in a coop/run up to 100 square feet.

    So no expanding for me.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your concerns about insulation and heat are common mistakes. Neither are needed. Your birds will need no more insulation or heat than the wild birds living on the other side of the fence do provided you give them a chance to make it on their own.

    The deal with ventilation is to allow moisture to escape. Moisture is the big culprit of cold. Trapped moisture is what makes the interior of a coop damp and cold and will lead to frostbite on the combs and waddles. Lots of ventilation to let moisture vent to the outside is what is needed. Imagine a small, closed up bathroom and you take a long hot shower. You step out of the shower and the mirror is fogged up and everything is damp or soaked. Moisture is visible everywhere. But open the bathroom door and within a few minutes, it all goes away. You want your coop open like that from the start.

    For birds like these, dry is warm and well ventilated is dry. No insulation or heat needed........even in some pretty extreme cold climates.

    Second part needed is an abundance of natural light. A coop without light, in addition to being damp, is dark. Birds can't see well if at all in the dark, so a dark coop cuts down on the amount of time they are active and that includes feeding. In the winter, they need all the light they can get and it helps if the window openings are to the south (facing winter sun) to let it in. Not only does the sunshine make it bright and cheery, so the birds are active, but the sun shining in offers some radiant heat to warm things up and dry things out inside your coop. That is one source of heat you want to take advantage of. It is both beneficial and free!
     
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  7. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    It is roomy enough for six birds (according to 'The Formula') you should have at least 24 Ft2 in the coop and 60 in the run. The run is close to that and the coop way over so it should work out OK. I would get some 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth as recommended and securely tie it to at least the lower couple of feet of the run though.
     
  8. lpfdco237

    lpfdco237 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2015
    Is it better to have the run bigger than the coop? Or vice versa? I can change the size of the coop area and enlarge the run portion if necessary.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    The 'formula' is a 'rule of thumb', often cited here on BYC, of 4 sqft per bird in the coop and 10sqft per bird in the run.
    It's good place to start but, IMO, a minimum...more space is always better.
    So, yes, the run should be larger than the coop, but the size of the coop is ultimately what dictates the number of birds in your flock,
    especially in frigid climates where they might not come outside for days at a time due to harsh weather conditions.
    But there are many variables and opinions.

    2 great articles linked in my signature on Space and Ventilation.

    You could make the coop the size of the roof....and add a whole new larger run.
    Looks like a nice place to start with a half dozen chickens.

    Howard made some very important points as usual, great skills in situation analysis and solution suggestions.
     
  10. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

     

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