Easy coop/run for bantams?

MerleCalico

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2020
9
10
18
Hello! Long story short we're planning on moving out onto some acreage in the spring/summer next year and in the meantime I wanted to get some chickens to get our feet wet before jumping in, if that makes sense. Practice with the whole livestock thing and see if we even like it or if we're truly suburb people at heart who don't enjoy rural activities. Better to find out now then after we move right?

So anyway. I'm the proud owner of five bantam silkies. They're only a couple of weeks old right now and I'm planning their coop situation. I'm planning on getting one of those small chicken coop/rabbit hutch set ups.I plan to have it on the side of my house where I have a garden area. It's fenced off from the rest of the grass because I was keeping the dogs out of my veggies. It's full of pea gravel and has a wooden privacy fence.

My problem is the run. Ideally I want a set up that can be completely removed, cleaned up, all evidence gone, less than six months after it goes up. I need to be able to clean it easily to keep the smell down. I need it to be affordable especially since it's temporary. I need it to be short so it's under the fence line. Is there some sort of self contained situation, almost like a giant cat litter box, that I can look into? If they're directly on the pea gravel can I just do a tractor situation and move it weekly and wash the gravel clean with a hose? I really have very little idea exactly how dirty they are as I've never had chickens before! I hope to give them a lot of time free ranging but it depends on how well they stay in the yard, whether my dogs react to them, etc.

I'm so nervous and I hope someone can help me figure this out! I thought I had it figured before I got them but I forgot about the run getting dirty and how to handle that exactly and what the floor of it should be.
 

cavemanrich

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6 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Not sure where you live, and climate. One of these prefab coops should handle your small flock. I only suggest such coops to newcomers into chickens, who are not sure of the chicken raising hobby.
image_2020-11-21_013440.png

It is self contained coop, and run combo. If you do decide you like chickens, then on your new acreage, construct something bigger, more appropriate then.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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Hosing poop into gravel will likely yield very stinky gravel as bits of poop get wedged in there. Really best to not house chickens on top of gravel in general due to sanitary issues and the fact that gravel can be hard on their feet.

Given your situation I'd probably just sacrifice a patch of grass for the chickens and situate a small coop like cavemanrich showed, inside a larger run (i.e. a dog kennel works well). Let them destroy the grass, then when you're selling the house, just fill in with some top soil and sod over the destroyed patch.

OR if you want a really hardcore solution you could put an entire coop and run on a wheeled base and simply tow it to the new location when you're ready to move. No mess left behind (as it's all contained on the trailer) and it'd give you something to use while transitioning to a new property. Don't know if that's way overthinking it though. This is an example of what I'm talking about: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/new-coop-small-street-legal-p.1361077/
 

MerleCalico

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2020
9
10
18
Not sure where you live, and climate. One of these prefab coops should handle your small flock. I only suggest such coops to newcomers into chickens, who are not sure of the chicken raising hobby.
View attachment 2419372
It is self contained coop, and run combo. If you do decide you like chickens, then on your new acreage, construct something bigger, more appropriate then.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
What would I put under it, do you think?
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
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The nice thing about bantams is they have small poops. I only have to clean my 8' x 8' bantam coop out about one time per year as I keep the litter about 6 inches deep and dry. There is not really much odor to speak of, even after a year.
 

MerleCalico

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2020
9
10
18
The nice thing about bantams is they have small poops. I only have to clean my 8' x 8' bantam coop out about one time per year as I keep the litter about 6 inches deep and dry. There is not really much odor to speak of, even after a year.
That's great! I wonder if I could put a solid base down, maybe plywood covered in a tarp, then 6" of litter (or 3" and keep adding more, deep litter style). Then when it's time to clean I can shovel it all out without leaving any odors embedded in the gravel.
 

MerleCalico

In the Brooder
Nov 19, 2020
9
10
18
Plywood on base. Staple tarp to open portion of roof, to keep inside somewhat more dry.
What is your location so that we can give you better ideas on dealing with weather issues.

Colorado Springs. If we do indeed move this spring, the expect weather for this coop to endure will include temperatures down to the single digits, up to a few inches of snow that will last a couple of days before melting, wind (will be right next to the house though), and heat up to maybe 80. Later in the year temperatures can get up to 90 or so (100f would be rare), hail a few times each summer, and occasional rain. We get 17" of precipitation annually so we're very dry here.
 

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