Dog lot for coop/run questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jeffross1968, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I'm thinking of getting a 10x10x6 dog lot from Lowe's and turning into a pen for our growing chicken flock. I know there are some people here who have done the same, and I'm looking for a few replies from people who might be able to list things they learned in the process, things they wished they did better, differing designs using the lot. I think what I'd like to do is have most of the lot for a run, but build a enclosed coop with laying boxes either inside the lot, or outside the lot and maybe sticking partially through the chain link fencing. We currently have 7 birds, but would like to increase that to maybe 15 or so. They would only be in the coop/run during the night, early morning hours, or extended periods of time when we leave town, during which time they would be left in there while family or friends would come and take care of water, food, and egg collecting. The rest of the time they would be free ranging, so I'm not too worried about room. But I'd really like to see pictures of dog lots being used in different ways, and any stories you might have.

    My current coop/run is pretty small, and was nearly totally destroyed in a near tornado hit a couple days ago (see my thread HERE). While I've done some repairs, we've pretty much decided to go bigger and increase the flock.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  2. texasranchfilly

    texasranchfilly New Egg

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    I did the exact thing you r wanting to do with an OLD dog pen in not to good a shape...but it turned out really well and have been using it for 5 years now. Don't ask the neighbors what it is...they call it an eyesore, but my poultry love it.

    I took 5 20' pieces of 1/2" PVC pipe and bent them over to form an upsidedown U, attached to first side with large zip ties, tied a rope to the other ends and pulled down to other side and repeated the zip tie process, this process not necessary if you have friends or an extra set of hands...I did this by myself. Then took a pine tree I cut down, about 2" in diameter and 10'6" long, zip tied it to the top arch of the PVC to form a top ridge and to stabilize the PVC. Covered the top with a tarp that came down about 3' on the sides, used a roll of single strand wire and whipped it down thru the chainlink fencing along the edge... this prevented the tarp from taking flight and ending up in the pasture and secured the top from predators. Put a nesting box along the back wall, it was a 12 hole and sat on 2x4s on the ground...if you have small hands, you can reach thru the back to collect eggs, if not, you can go in the front door to do this. Took several more pine trees I cut, about 1" to 1 1/2" in diameter and 6'6" long, and ran these thru the wire side to side and secured with more zip ties for the chickens (and turkeys too) to roost on at night, they all picked their favorite spots, I put these about 5' high and just had to duck my head a bit to get around in the pen for feeding and maintenance. Hung feeders and waterers from the roost poles. Closed in the front and back arch at the top with chicken wire, again using zip ties...lol

    During the hot South Texas summers, the chickens get a nice breeze. During the winter, I use tarps to close in the bottom and hang a heat lamp from the ridge pole, if necessary and really really cold.

    It ain't real pretty, but it does the job.....most of all the chickens are happy. This can also be moved around, if you got a couple of friends that really want yard eggs.....lol

    Good luck on your own project, just wing it and things will turn out fine! lol
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dog runs make great chicken runs but you need more panels as 10x10 only handles 10 birds. Good news is Lowes has individual panels in various sizes that you can add on with and also they can be used as roof panels. If used as roof panels, you can throw a tarp over, it won't sag, and the birds have shade and rain protection (especially if you oversize the tarp and stake it out like a tent fly)

    If you put the coop inside the secure run and raise it off the ground, you don't loose run space and you don't have to critter proof the coop or worry about forgetting to lock down every night

    Warning....make sure every fence wire tip on the panels is secured to the pipe frame so a critter can't push thru between the frame and the wire. And don't forget to skirt the run and to run hardware cloth around the base of the run about 12" high to prevent coons from reaching thru
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Quote:Im doing more than just a run I am doing a whole poultry house out of Dog kennel panels. I live in a very dry hot climate so All I need to do is put in wind break for two sides and cover the top with a good tarp. The Poultry house will be 24 x 24 feet with seven partitions and a hall way to access all the nests and feed and water.

    This is what I want it to look like:
    [​IMG]
    This is what it looks like now:
    [​IMG]

    I have over 300 linear feet of kennel panels to contain my goats. [​IMG] [​IMG] LOL believe it or not it isn't working so I am going to have to build Goat proof fence else where...LOL.

    edited to add:
    Just remember you will still have to line with chicken wire or hardware cloth to keep wild things from pulling the chickens through the chain link. And believe me they can get a whole chicken through it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  5. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    The first coop/run, we attached the coop to the end of the run; this gave the run more room. For this one we purchased a 7 by 12 foot dog run online from yourfencestore.com and extended it to 15 feet because we did not run the chain link on the panel attached to the coop; this allowed us to give the chickens more run room:



    [​IMG]


    For our second coop (for bantams) we did use the Lowes dog kennel but the 10 by 10 size can also be modified to become a 5 by 15 run. We placed the coop inside the run and you can see how doing so cut down on the space for the bantams:

    [​IMG]

    As a result, we added a smaller run to the first made of PVC pipe and hardware cloth. They like this run very much:

    [​IMG]

    Changing out this 10 by 10 kennel to a 5 by 15 made putting on a roof of electrical conduit pipe and hardware cloth much easier than trying to deal with a 10 by 10 kennel size.

    If you can work your plans to build the coop outside the run and attach it to the run (instead of putting it inside) it will provide much more space in the run.

    We're getting ready to build yet another coop and run using the Lowes dog kennel, keeping it a 10 by 10 run but attaching it to the front of the coop and NOT running the chain link fencing along the front of the coop, allowing us to lengthen the run using extra pipe and galvanized sleeves picked up in the chain link fencing section of Lowes. This allows for a larger run without having a significant increase in cost of the run.

    I hope this makes sense..

    Gail
     
  6. discoveregg

    discoveregg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2011
    Northern Idaho
    georgiagail, beautiful pictures that show you learning as you build! I've seen a large set up with all dog kennels, but the coops were on the inside. You can definately see the advantage of having the coop on the outside of the kennels from your pics. I'm going to start keeping an eye on Craigslist for gently used dog kennels [​IMG] Good Job!
     
  7. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Wow, excellent ideas. I think the coop outside the run is probably perfect for what I'm looking for, giving them lots of space to move during the day if I have to leave to town for a few days. georgiagail, do you have any other angles of the coop, maybe one from the inside as well. How many chickens do you keep in that first one. That is very close to what I was thinking of doing. Building a coop large enough to fit over 10 chickens inside the chain link run would really cut down on the space they have, as seen in your second picture, though as someone else said, you could raise the coop off the ground, not taking away any square footage of play space for them.

    If I'm putting this much money into it, I want to make sure it's done right, and certainly makes things easier on me for cleaning and egg collecting. So something smallish on the ground won't work, and outside the chain link fence access for eggs is optimal. So much to consider!
     
  8. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here are a few pictures of the first coop we did. It ended up being 4 by 8 (there are advantages of this size considering plywood typically comes in 4 by 8 panels).

    The nest boxes and access door for cleaning were placed on the back wall of the coop.

    Right now we have a dozen chickens but this will likely decrease in number once the presence of roosters becomes evident (I suspect these guys are telling each other "keep quiet! I heard it's freezer camp if you crow!"):

    [​IMG]

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    Hope this helps!

    Gail
     
  9. Toothless Willie

    Toothless Willie Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Howdy,

    Besides extending the 7X10 run another 5 feet, the space under the coop is high enough that the chickens often spend the hottest part of the day under it. So this provides right at 140 square feet. Just about enough for the gang of 12. As GeorgiaGail mentions the roosters will likely be sent to new homes once they show themselves.

    Only major changes for the next coop will be a lower roof profile on the coop as it is fully under the shade of a massive Tea Olive, and I will add horizontal members to the bow roof structure to tie the side walls together and avoid the slight outward pressure at the top of the run. While this is not critical, one can see a lessening in the bow at the center of the roof.
     
  10. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Awesome pics gail. I wonder if I'm capable of making something like that. Where do you access the coop for cleaning? Is it the larger hinged door in the back? Do you feel it's big enough for access?
     

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