Don't know the first thing about building, need a run attached to my coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by marbleheather, Jul 18, 2016.

  1. marbleheather

    marbleheather Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Hello all. I have a 4x4 coop for 6 chickens who are not laying yet. The pop door leads into my yard and my son built a 3 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long PVC and hardware cloth run that butts up to the coop where the pop door is. It's a little cumbersome because we have to pull the run away from the coop slightly to be able to raise and lower the pop door (it's on a pulley and slides into a framed slot that protrudes a little from the exterior coop wall), and then push it back again to eliminate any spaces where predators could get through. There is also no other access door other than the opening that abuts the coop.

    I'd like to build something permanent that attaches to the coop, allows chicken access through the pop door, and people access somewhere else so I can tend to the DLM compost materials and such. My problem? I don't know the first thing about building. I mean nothing, zip, zero. Every building plan I look it might as well be in greek. Where does someone with NO construction knowledge get some basic learning?

    Anyone else been through this?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! Firstly, your coop is TINY for six full sized birds; maybe for bantams, but still small. For the run; to build a very safe run includes a dig proof foundation and a solid roof of some sort. As a better than free range, but slightly safer choice, consider a chain-link dog run, maybe covered in netting. Sometimes they turn up on craigslist for cheap too. Mary
     
  3. jim c

    jim c Chillin' With My Peeps

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    this may be a shot in the dark but hey that's what makes life fun.
    Since you have none, no, nada experience in any type of construction, the best people to ask in your area is the guy yes the guy you see always selling the sheds pre built. stop by and ask all the questions you can. if they try to sell you a shed to convert to a coop let them know that you do not want one just how to fix the one you have or maybe see if they would be willing to do the work for a small fee.
     
  4. danielkbrantley

    danielkbrantley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed with Folly's place. We use a chainlink dog run and it works like a champ. No construction necessary.
     
  5. marbleheather

    marbleheather Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Yeah, I got the coop before I got the chickens, and I originally only intended to have 4. We ended up with 6. They seem happy enough, though, but I think it helps that they have the run as well as inside the coop.

    Thanks for the idea about the chainlink fence. That's what the woman who had the coop before me did, but she had it all set up on her concrete patio, and I don't have that. Just grass yard.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    It won't be very secure, but better than nothing. You could lay hardware cloth on the ground under the chainlink, and cover it with dirt, bedding, or pavers, to help prevent digging. And zip -tie hardware cloth to the chainlink around the lower three feet of the run, and the door. Also, netting or something over the top to keep hawks out. Mary
     
  7. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PM sent with photos of ours.
    Kristy
     
  8. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2016
    PM sent with photos of ours.
    Kristy
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    We have an inexpensive, attractive, functional, and super strong run that we made out of three cattle panels and steel fence posts. Just pounded the posts into the ground, arched the panels between them and wired them into place, covered it with chicken wire to deter overhead predators and then ran hardware cloth about 2 feet up the sides, folded the excess outward at the bottom, and secured it with landscape fabric staples. The hardware cloth apron at the bottom deters digging predators and any gaps where the run meets the coop have additional hardware cloth. It's worked very well for us for a few years, withstands Wyoming winds (which today are steady at 35-40 mph, gusting to 55) snow loads, easy to clean, and I can work in it without hunching over. We added a little white vinyl lattice to make it look purty, since we're on a corner lot in town and it's visible from the street on the north and east sides.

    The beauty is that Ken and I were in our mid 60s and both of us are somewhat disabled, Neither of us has the building skills to put together a straight sandwich. But this went up in no time flat, we were able to complete it in two days, and last year when we decided to expand it we just took of the end, added another fence post on each side, arched another cattle panel into place, wired it to the existing panel, and put the end back on. Of course, we also added the chicken wire and hardware cloth to continue the predator protection, but the whole project took just a couple of hours.

    [​IMG]
    Hardware cloth and chicken wire put on the run.

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    Front door is just a frame with lattice - reinforced just after this was taken with hardware cloth.

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    Almost completed run.

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    The end piece taken off in one piece so we could expand the run. Notice the chicken wire, hardware cloth skirt and apron still very much attached, ready to go back up onto the new panel.

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    Ken wiring the new cattle panel to the existing one.

    [​IMG]
    Winter and snug as can be in there. We put clear greenhouse plastic over most of it, leaving open areas for ventilation, and we even able to raise broods of chicks out there from day one when temps were still in the teens and twenties.

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    Shortly after completing the run, and before we put on the addition the following year. We used landscape fabric as "roll up" window shades in summer.

    [​IMG]
    You can see how the shade is pulled up a bit in the center on the east side. Max air flow, still nice and shady, and cheap to replace if it gets ripped. We love this thing, and it didn't cost an arm and leg or need to be hired out to get it done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  10. jim c

    jim c Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that is one smart way to get a nice yard and keep cost low. love it.
     

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