Fairly New At Raising/Owning Chickens - Need Assistance Please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smoknz28, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. smoknz28

    smoknz28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Central Virginia, USA
    It has been about three decades since I last owned chickens. I was a teen back then and our family raised hens for eggs and poultry.

    I now have two children that I want to be involved in raising chickens and ducks. We have started with six Ameraucanas and 6 straight run ducks. They are chicks still and thinking I've got about another month before they are ready to make their way outside. This will give me some time to get my thoughts together on what to do for their coop/pen.

    A couple of thoughts I have is to either put the coop/pen in the back on dirt or I could lay in a concrete slab to place the coop and pen on. My thought is in placing the coop/pen on will make it easier for cleanup. I just run a shovel through the pen to pick up the poop and throw in our manure spreader for the grass. But like I said..it's been nearly 3 decades since raising chickens.

    Would be great to hear what you all have to say. Where I live, we do have a fox that runs around here....though I've never seen it our neighbor has caught it on their surveillance camera at times. We also have large birds capable of picking them up. So, the pen has to have a top to it.

    I'm considering the following already made coop/pen: http://www.tractorsupply.com/ware-manufacturing-premium-chick-n-house-pen-nest-box-kit-1027433

    I'm not handy with wood work....but I would be fine with running fencing.

    What are your thoughts?

    Appreciate all your help!
     
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    The pen would need to be at least twelve square feet if you housed the chickens by them selves. If you were planning on buying that coop it's not nearly big enough. I always use concrete in my pens and haven't had any problems. I'm not real familiar with foxes or ducks. We did have a problem with a fox and we could never catch him. He always liked to dig under the pen and then get our birds that way. I think this one had something wrong with it because it would come out during the day light hours.
     
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  3. smoknz28

    smoknz28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Central Virginia, USA
    Thank you for acknowledging that having a concrete pad would indeed be beneficial. I may have to "man" up and build a coop/pen that would be large enough. Adding the concrete pad will run me about $1,000.
     
  4. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I were you I would build my coop larger than I need. That way if you want more later you have room.
     
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  5. prescott2k

    prescott2k Out Of The Brooder

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    The only other advantage I can see to using concrete over the dirt is that the concrete is that is makes clean up alot easier. The hardest part would be picking up the bedding/droppings that you would have to eventually sweep up. However, the dirt will give your chickens something to peck at and help keep them from getting bored, which could lead to the birds pecking at each other (which really shouldn't be much of an issue anyways). As far as the fox is concerned, you can try and prevent it from getting into your coop/run by burying some fencing around the perimeter (if you choose to put your set up on dirt) of your coop/run. This should frustrate the fox to the point of giving up. Again, no guarantees, but it should help. Hope this helps you make your decision![​IMG]
     
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  6. smoknz28

    smoknz28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Central Virginia, USA
    Thank you all for your quick responses.

    If I were to buy a coop, any recommendations of where to go?

    The pen would be the easier part to build...with the exception of the top portion of the pen. I need it to be fully enclosed so the large birds don't get in and take the hens away.
     
  7. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dirt floors will allow the fox to dig under and mice will also have an easier time getting in.
     
  8. prescott2k

    prescott2k Out Of The Brooder

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    One type of run that could work on either dirt or a concrete slab that I'm actually going to build to house my coop in is a "hoop coop". I don't know if you've heard of one of these yet but it is essentially a green house shaped enclosure made out of cattle panels and 2X4s. Here is a link for someone else's hoop coop so you can see what they look like. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/172799/our-hoop-house-chicken-tractor
     
  9. VkyVky

    VkyVky Out Of The Brooder

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    Are you planning to put chicks and ducks together?
     
  10. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dirt floors can easily be predator proofed. If you want to have your chickens have the best environment possible, then let them have dirt. Chickens love to scratch and dig. Lay heavy wire fencing along the out side of a run, on the ground. Use pins or stones to weight it down until grass or with whatever you want grows through. The wire will disappear and any predator trying to dig will encounter the fencing. That way the predator has to dig through the wire and the chicken can do what they like to do most. There are many creative pictures and description of on this forum of movable structures. Here's my idea of a successful movable coop and run. Not hard to make, cost run around $1.00 a sq. ft., each run piece take about half an hour to assemble and they weigh about twenty pound. They are predator proof and can be maintained easily because nothing is stationary, so no run problems or smelly coop problems.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...eeded-one-long-and-picture-heavy#post_8521974
     

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