Ealanta Coop (going to be slow)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Steampunked, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Steampunked

    Steampunked Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hello folks.

    This is for me to document the building of our coop and run. It's going to be slow since my partner and I work full time and have a toddler and a 3-4 hour public transport trip to that work, which means very little free time. We're getting the run done first as we have a metal cage that can suffice for a coop that can be put fully into it.

    The plan is to have a rather Tudor-style looking coop with flower boxes on the outside and leadlight windows, which is roomy enough for me to clean out comfortably and a bit oversized as far as the birds are concerned. I can make the windows myself, as I do stained glass.

    Right now, though, we're working on the run. It will be one very big run split down the middle with a switchable gate so that the chickens can run on one side while the other is cleaned up and hopefully revegetated a little. At least enough to give the ground some rest.

    Firstly, here is my helper and the back of our house.

    [​IMG]

    And here is the rather idyllic rainforest edge out our back garden where the chicken run will be - we've started clearing it of tradescantia, which is a curse inflicted on gardens in Australia when they were bad in a past life. I hate trad because it's full of leeches.

    [​IMG]

    My partner developed a hernia while we were working on our house, so I've had to do the work so far - the poles are three meters tall and the run will be covered over so as to allow for plenty of head height and to keep out a very beautiful creature which we are lucky enough to have living on our property:

    [​IMG]

    I didn't take that photo, but it's of a powerful owl with its brushtail possum prey. For size comparisons, that possum would probably be larger than a cat.

    I also carried 400 kilos of concrete powder down three flights of stairs into the back garden, 200 kilos of miscellaneous other stuff (post hole digger, feed, etc), and then dug 50cm holes for the treated pine.

    They're concreted in. We'll also be digging in the mesh around the run as foxes are in our local area.

    [​IMG]

    And there we are so far - the poles look badly angled due to camera angle, but they've all been set in with a level. We had to fell some trees, invasive species like sycamore. You can see the awful mounds of trad on the neighbour's falling down shed - that's their property, but they refuse to go into their own back garden because they're arachnophobic so they'll never clean it up :D

    More photos as I gradually get everything done. I am pleased I can walk around down there now and not get covered in dozens of leeches.
     
  2. Steampunked

    Steampunked Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 22, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    And now here's the finished first half of the run:

    [​IMG]


    Each has as 25 square feet per chicken, so as a total split run, there will be 50 square feet per chook, it's just that they'll be moved from one run to another to rest it and to reduce parasite load. When I have enough money, the top will likely also be chicken mesh, but right now it's bird netting.

    None of this includes the coop, which will also be built somewhat oversize. In a way, it's a bit over the top, but it's also lazy as well, as the larger run and coop size allows me to 'get away with' less work.

    I did end up finding both diatomaceous earth (DE, at a feed store a long way from Melbourne !) and also Zeolite (at a Bunnings, but nowhere else). So it is possible to get both products in 'farm grade' in Australia, however it can be rather hard. I had to go to over ten stores before I found either, and ordering online meant huge shipping costs.
     
  3. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan Renaissance man

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    Feb 18, 2013
    Music City, USA
    Looks like you are off to a great start. Your helper looks excited about the project too.
     

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