Finally moving along...

SemperChicken

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
191
30
83
Raleigh, NC
Just wanted to share some pictures of what we're building, fabricating, etc. and maybe to get some feedback and ideas on what we could do with our coop and run.

Here are the pictures:



We purchased a pre-built one from Craigslist since I am not great at carpentry, plus I don't have the necessary tools to properly build one. Anyway, they refused to drive through our backyard (after I said I didn't really care) so we had to use our van and PVC pipe to pull the coop onto the foundation I had built.


There was a very mild grade to our backyard, so I didn't have to do much.




Painting the interior first. I laid one coat of Kilz primer down first on all the walls, and in the nesting boxes. I then put a single coat of high gloss white on the walls and I picked a simple flat brown for the nesting box areas cause I read it's good to keep that area dark for the girls to go and feel comfortable in.


I just finished doing this today. I know the way I did it was different than what I've seen in videos (again, I've got no carpentry experience), but all the angles came out at a perfect 45 degrees. The coop is a 4x8 at the base (5x8 with the extension of roof and nesting box), and I decided to make the run 8x12. I was asking my wife if she thought that would be too small, but I figured we could always extend the run in the future. This will be good for now, I think.


And here's the gang. We have Lola (our Gold Laced Cochin Bantam) in a separate coop cause the others are picking on her... her back had almost no feathers. I'm curious how I'll be able to reintroduce her without her looking tore up within a day again.

Anyway, that's about it. Gonna see how the little post-hole digger will work out... if it becomes too much of a pain to dig with that piece-of-crap, I may run out and rent an auger. I want to do the roofing with that clear plastic roof material. Is it absolutely necessary to have an air-powered nail gun or can I just go old-fashioned and use a hammer and nails to build the run (frame and roof)?

Thanks for looking!
 

SemperChicken

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
191
30
83
Raleigh, NC
So, I have 3 hens and 1 rooster (as of now, and yes... a poor ratio). You're saying to pick the lesser aggressive one and put her in with Lola? I'm honestly not even sure which one is less aggressive cause they both pick on her... Harriet, our Easter Egger, will try and peck at Lola through the wire. Lola is such a sweetheart, I just don't get why they're so mean to her!

If that is what you're saying, maybe I'll try that one day. Supervised, of course lol.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
23,756
99,015
1,602
Northern Colorado
You certainly got a nice coop. I do not think you need an air powered nail gun.
I would suggest renting that auger. IT IS SO WORTH IT.
Think about buying yourself a battery powered impact driver too. I know it is a little over a hundred bucks but again so very worth it. Before I got mine I would struggle with the battery powered drill to drive 3 inch screws in without stripping heads. The impact driver is very much worth the investment. The one I got was a drill and driver combo pack around fathers day last year. (on sale for 99) WORLD of difference having it.

If you are going to be using heavy duty fence nails I would recommend using a pair of needle nose pliers to hold them while you start them. (saves the fingers from getting an occasional smack)

Your bantam is probably getting picked on because she is the smallest. When you get additional pullets I would suggest getting a couple small ones she can buddy up with. (Her same breed)
My little cochin actually buddied up with the buff orpington. My wyandottes although pretty are very mean to the cochins as are the EE's.
I am actually in the process of segregating all the big hens from all the small hens for this very reason.

Best wishes,

Babs
 

SemperChicken

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
191
30
83
Raleigh, NC
Yes, I was outside just now just chipping away at one of the corners where a post will go and I got maybe 6 inches... but with that old school post hole digger, it would take forever. I just placed an order for one of those hand powered augers where you manually turn it (excellent reviews from everyone who has used one), so I guess I'll knock those out when that tool gets here. In the meantime, I may go ahead and get all my supplies ready... probably need to write out on paper my plans so I'm not just "winging" it.

As for Lola, do you need that is going to be a permanent situation? Where she will probably need to be separated from the bigger hens? We kind of wish we could have purchased more at once so we had a larger flock who grew up together, but we were new and we only got Brooke and Harriet as our first chickens (the Wyandotte and EE). We got the Cochins about 6-7 months later at our local state fair where they had chickens for show, and some were for sale. Now that we've moved from our first house (which we sold couple weeks ago, but have been in our second home since January), we are wanting a lot more chickens... obviously... lol.

Thanks!
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
23,756
99,015
1,602
Northern Colorado
It very well may be that she needs to be away from the larger hens long term. The only reason I have been able to keep the cochins in with the large hens is the bond that the one has with the Buff Orpington. The Buff went broody at the same time as the very small cochin and after the 21 days in the nest together she is certain she hatched the cochin. She is a great defender of the cochin going so far as to put the blue wyandotte in the hospital coop for an entire summer.
I witnessed the attack from shortly after it began. I was in the house and the ruckus got my attention. The Wyandotte was going after the cochin and the Buff stepped in ripping and tearing feathers out of the wyandotte. By the time I got to the coop to break it up the Wyandotte was in sad shape. To this day the Buff defends the cochin. Sadly the Buff is aging and has a bad leg so will not be with us much longer. This puts the cochin at risk so she will be in a segregated portion of the coop with the other small hens that are docile. All of the grown large hens are going to be gone by the end of summer and I fear for the bantams with the new pullets being large breeds.
I have kept bantams in with large hens before but always felt they suffered for it. Many of the large breeds will refuse to allow the small ones to even eat so I always keep multiple feed and water dishes as well as hiding spots for the small ones.
 

SemperChicken

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
191
30
83
Raleigh, NC
Well dang, that's sad. Both for your cochin and her friend, as well as the fact that bantams and larger hens don't mix well without there being altercations. If we would've known this first, we probably would have just stuck with bantams. I do, however, love our Wyandotte and EE... they always come running at me when I go out to the backyard lol. It's also funny watching Roo (our cochin bantam rooster) try to get it on with the bigger girls, haha.

Well this gives me a better idea of what to expect. Thank you!
 

MagicPidge

Chirping
May 19, 2015
284
17
61
ACT
That coop looks great! I would also suggest keeping the feuding birds separate. I once had an Ameraucana who was constantly picked on by every other chicken. No matter what I tried they just didn't seem to like her.
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I ended up getting revenge on the 'mean' chickens though (an Australorp hen). I'd always feed my Ameraucana first, and give her first choice of treats before the other chickens were allowed to eat. As they lived separately there was nothing they could do except watch - and fume.
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SemperChicken

Chirping
5 Years
Nov 5, 2014
191
30
83
Raleigh, NC
That's funny. Every now and then, when I remember, I'll go ahead and lock up the other 3 and let Lola free range a little bit. She is the sweetest thing ever... when it gets dark, she won't go back into her little coop, but instead will walk up to the back storm door and look at us through the glass. She's never skittish of me and always lets me pick her up. We tried having her wear a diaper, but she has managed to work herself out of it no matter how we wrap it on her. Otherwise we'd keep her inside. I feel bad for her because she's all alone, but it's funny the other 3 will keep her company most of the day as they'll sit and prune themselves right outside of Lola's coop.
 

MagicPidge

Chirping
May 19, 2015
284
17
61
ACT
How sweet!
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Lola sounds like such a loveable hen. Once my chickens learnt where the "human coop" (read: house) was they'd wait outside the kitchen door and watch us eat with the saddest eyes. 9 times out of 10 I'd feel sorry for them and let them have some of my food. If you closed the door on them or ignored them they would hint by pecking at the floor or clucking insistently until something happened. Oh, and they wouldn't leave unless shooed away. They were crafty birds, I say.
 

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