Electric Fence and Chicken Door (Coop Update)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by olinr, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. olinr

    olinr Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Phelan, CA
    Hi All,

    I just finished my latest additions to my chicken coop and pen.

    Electric Fence

    I have been concerned with our dogs digging under the pen wire and the Antelope Squirrels feasting at night.
    So, I extended my electric fence to run along the ground of the exposed pen sides.

    [​IMG]

    This image shows the underground insulated wire coming from the outside fence.

    I have the wire inside 1/2" Schedule 40 pipe. A hole was cut at the top of a cap to route the wire. This was
    connected to a switch as a safety precaution. A wire was connected to the main woven cord of the electric
    fence.

    [​IMG]

    This is a close up view of the insulators for the electric fence.

    My supplies were purchased from Kencove Farm supplies. I used a fiberglass rod to mount the cable
    and stand-offs. I could adjust the cable height from the ground by moving the rod up, or down.
    Mounted to it are the plastic (insulated) stand-offs. Not shown, are stainless steel wires to hold the
    rod in place with the pen fence.

    [​IMG]

    Another view of the cable and stand-offs near the ground.

    Chicken Door

    I used an Ideal Pet Products Extra Large Pet Door (10-1/2" X 15") purchased from Home Depot.

    [​IMG]

    The exterior view of the Chicken Door showing the clear plastic flap.

    [​IMG]

    Another view showing a RIR pullet entering the coop. Note the cuts made in the flap.

    I installed the door by rough framing with 2X4's. My final trim was completed using 1/4" plywood.
    I have added aluminum flashing for looks and protection with some of my dog doors. Both sides of the
    doors were attached with decking screws.

    While the chicks were growing, I left the clear plastic flap off and covered the door at night. This caused
    the chicks to get familiar with the door. After I covered the top of the pen and completed the electric fence,
    I added the plastic flap. This was after I cut the plastic to look and act like warehouse doors that I have
    seen. Before the flap was cut into five pieces, I removed the bottom closure bar. The center flap was
    pulled up and tacked above the door for the first two days (and nights). BTW, since the flock is protected,
    I leave the door open day and night. This gives early exit and ventilation to the coop. After the second day,
    I dropped the center flap after the flock was accustom to the flaps. Now, they come and go as they please.
    By Sunset, they are back inside the coop for the night. I have set a timer for the lights to come on and go
    off two hours after Sunset and two hours before Sunrise; depending on the time of the year (as calculated
    by the digital timer used.) This is so the pullets will be familiar with lights when they start laying.

    If I have left something out, or you have questions about this project, please contact me.

    Dick.
    Phelan, CA
     
  2. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    Nice work. How did you get your girls to go through the plastic door? We have larger versions of those on our boat stalls to prevent birds from coming in our boathouse.
     
  3. olinr

    olinr Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 15, 2008
    Phelan, CA
    Quote:Thank you!

    As I explained, I left the center flap held above the door with one screw for several days. I lowered the center flap
    after they were all in for the night. The flock is too interested in getting out in the morning that they used it very quickly.
    They love to investigate their surroundings.

    It was far better than I had anticipated.

    Dick.
    Phelan, CA
     
  4. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    WOW!! Very nice job with the preditor proofing and poop door.

    My run isn't totally preditor proof or I'd love to leave the door open. I slept in till 6:30 this morning and my newly discovered EE roo at age 9 wks was out their perfecting his crow as if to say - wake up and come let us out - the sun's up all right all ready!!!

    My roomy got up and asked "did you hear something funny?" I laughed and said that's our little roo attempting to crow.

    She was relieved - thought it was her cat injured or something that she had left out last night.
     
  5. PortugalBreeder

    PortugalBreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Quote:I think that doing this is asking for premature laying and consequent problems caused by that, like Prolapsed Oviducts.
    Chickens get the reproducing hormones levels high when they get 14 hours or more of daylight, if they get their hormones up before their bodies are ready they will get problems.
     
  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:I think that doing this is asking for premature laying and consequent problems caused by that, like Prolapsed Oviducts.
    Chickens get the reproducing hormones levels high when they get 14 hours or more of daylight, if they get their hormones up before their bodies are ready they will get problems.

    Can you point to a study?

    Using that reasoning you would expect chicks born in spring an summer to have "problems."

    People that think chickens need short winter days to be healthy forget that chickens are not native to places that this happens. They are native to the tropics where day length does not change much.
     
  7. PortugalBreeder

    PortugalBreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Quote:I think that doing this is asking for premature laying and consequent problems caused by that, like Prolapsed Oviducts.
    Chickens get the reproducing hormones levels high when they get 14 hours or more of daylight, if they get their hormones up before their bodies are ready they will get problems.

    Can you point to a study?

    Using that reasoning you would expect chicks born in spring an summer to have "problems."

    People that think chickens need short winter days to be healthy forget that chickens are not native to places that this happens. They are native to the tropics where day length does not change much.

    No. I can't point a study that say what I said, word by word.

    But I can point studies that:
    - are the base for modern egg laying explorations with closed controlled environment, where the conclusion is that 14hours or more of light daily increases the bird sexual hormones resulting in increased egg production;
    - conclude that sexual hormones are the trigger for starting sexual maturity and reproduction (not only on birds though).

    Of course an animal body is not prepared to produce this hormones at born time, but the problem is that they are able to produce it way before they are prepared for it;

    For this you don't need studies, every body knows that major causes for prolapsed oviduct are:
    -Immaturity of the female sexual organs* (specially oviduct);
    -The size of the egg being to big for the current oviduct size (also related with immaturity, but can also apply to mature chicken);


    Conclusions are easy to get, but I will point them anyway; = or > 14hours daylight increases the bird sexual hormones that trigger sexual development that can cause the problems I referred if at early age.

    Many more birds are affected this way by light, quail, partridge, etc. , most of them from the Galliformes order, that's why mating season for this WILD birds is spring/summer which means their offspring bodies when expose to these long days (spring/summer) are too young (1 or 2 months) to react to them, so they will mature during fall/winter and will only experience 14 or more hours of day light in the next year when they are prepared to mate. What humans do is exposing chicks that are 4 to 6 months old to this prejudicial quantities of light artificially (with lamps) or naturally (if they incubate eggs in winter, per example).

    You said "chickens are native to the tropics", nowadays chickens are native to nowhere, they have been domesticated some thousand years ago and transported to very different latitudes enough time ago to evolve there, ANYWAY I do NOT point this (natural evolution) as the cause for nothing, just referring it because you pointed it out.

    In fact nowadays chickens are much less prone to problems derivate from this much less than wild birds, (because if by human hand they are exposed to too much light too young, they are being unconsciously selected to be less prone to this problem, because the ones that get prolapsed oviduct per example get euthanazed so do not pass their genes) but they still are vulnerable to this, specially the egg laying breeds selected to react more to bigger days, and if 1 in 10 are affected is still a loss you can avoid, by listening to what I said.

    You said, in the tropics day length does not change much, well did you know that Red Jungle fowl, said to be the "father" of all domestic chickens today, natural to Tropic of Cancer zones (as you well referred), mates in spring, not all year round or sometimes when it happens by mistake, this means that even that "day length does not change much" they know/feel/react when it changed, that is why this day light is an important issue!


    (*)- Immaturity of:
    -Ovary/Infundibulum, causes yolkless eggs;
    -Magnum/Isthmus, causes rubber eggs;
    -Oviduct, causes prolapsed oviduct;
    ----this are all symptoms of early laying-----


    P.S. - I'm not a natural English speaker, so please forgive me for my grammatical/syntax errors, I tried my best.
     
  8. PortugalBreeder

    PortugalBreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Quote:Also you can check the second item of the "What causes prolapse?" items at www.agric.gov.ab.ca/livestock/poultry/prolapse.html which is a site of the Agriculture, food and rural development of Alberta state, and ask Martin Zuidhof (PhD by University of Alberta, working area being Poultry Science and Bioeconomic Modeling) who wrote that, for studies.[​IMG]
     
  9. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Show me a study showing light is the cause. Opinions don't make fact no matter who they work for. (They dont say it causes it anyway. It just says it makes it more likely.)

    I hatch about 40 weeks a year threw all but mid summer for years an always use lights. So if light causes it then I should be seeing it an I'm not, I have never actually seen one case of it in my birds. I don't think my birds are special.

    Now, just maybe I dont go threw enough chickens to see it. But seems to me that if that is true then the odds are so low that its not worth the average chicken owner worrying about.

    My opinion, bad breeding an/or bad health causes it, not light.
     
  10. PortugalBreeder

    PortugalBreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 9, 2010
    Quote:You got to be kidding.

    Quote:Just like I said at my first comment, "I think that doing this is asking for premature laying and consequent problems caused by that, like Prolapsed Oviducts."

    Quote:As I said,

    Quote:If you don't understand, I can add that some breeds are virtually immune to this, but you never know.

    Quote:Show me a study.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010

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