First Chicken & First Coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sen, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Sen

    Sen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Hi there! I've been a longtime lurker, but finally got a chicken a couple weeks ago--unexpectedly, unfortunately. My dad's coworker found her wandering around and was able to walk over and pick her up. They couldn't find the owner, and asked me if I'd take her, and, long story short, I have a chicken named Sadie. Living in my bathroom.

    Anyways, so I figured why not just prepare to get the chickens I've always wanted and build a coop and run big enough to accommodate a small group! Two weekends later, and...

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    So, details on it: Coop is just a plastic storage shed I found at Home Depot for about $200, which is about what I was going to spend on building one, anyways, and for me, the simplicity was worth it. It's approximately 6'x4'.

    The run is 10ft long x 8ft wide x 4ft tall. I have 2 doors on the top to allow me to get in, and it's got enough room that I can comfortably move around to clean and stuff. Half of the run is protected from rain by a 12ft long piece of corrugated plastic roofing. The top of the non-roofed half is protected by 4''x2'' horse fence to keep critters out, and the sides of the run have 1/2'' x 1/2'' wire mesh. Construction was all 2x4, except for the "doors" at the top--we used 2x2s and 1x2s for that area.

    Because of where the coop is placed, we cannot dig down into the ground to run fence down underground to prevent digging, so instead, I chose to put the same 4''x2'' horse fence on the bottom of the run as well. It's very well tacked down, so nobody can get a foot or claw caught in the wire, and I walked over it until it laid completely flat to the ground, so they're walking on the ground with a layer of wire over it, not on top of suspended wire.

    Since the coop is placed on a hill, I didn't bother putting a slant to the roof--the reason is because the water will run off following the line of the corrugated plastic away from the actual coop, and it has an overhang of 1 ft on each side, so I think it should be plenty dry.

    And, finally, in order to give me easy access to the run, we have the handy-dandy step stairs! I got 2 sets of heavy plastic steps which will let you step into the coop more easily when you need to.

    I haven't finished the inside of the coop itself yet, and the last coat of paint isn't on yet (We were in a hurry with this!) but it's habitable. And way better than the bathroom!!!

    Anyhow, just thought I'd share. :)
     
  2. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2012
    I like it! You did a great job. The only thing I see is that chickens like to scratch around in the dirt and grass but your can't do this because of the wire.
    Is there some way you can add some sand? Your chicken will also need to be able to take a dirt bath.
     
  3. Sen

    Sen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Thanks Janet!

    I thought of that, too, but was more concerned with animals getting in and causing trouble than that. We have a lot of big dogs loose in the neighborhood, along with raccoons, foxes, bobcats, feral cats, etc., all of which I've seen in my yard, so I was worried about their safety first and foremost.

    I'm planning to put sand as a substrate in the bottom of the coop once it's further along, and if that doesn't seem to be enough then I'll get a litter pan of some kind and put dirt/sand/crushed oyster shells in it, and put it under the roof. Do you think that would be sufficient?
     
  4. puglady

    puglady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are flock animals. Will you be getting her a friend or two?
     
  5. Sen

    Sen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2011
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I will be. I'm actually arranging with a BYC member about an hour from me to pick up some friends for her in the next week or so. Until then, she is getting lots of attention and visits. She's even taken to following the dog and cat around when I have her out.*** (They aren't too sure about that, yet, but have proven that they won't attack her, after two weeks of her living inside the house.)

    *** Closely supervised only, of course. I'm always within a couple of feet when they interact, just in case. So far the worst that's happened is the dog enthusiastically sniffing her butt and the cat getting a few tufts of hair yanked on by the chicken, haha. (Kitty now resolutely avoids the chicken, as a result. He just casually walks away when she approaches, and then hides on tables while she looks up at him, wondering why the fluffy thing with fur to yank on doesn't want to play.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  6. puglady

    puglady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2012
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    Nice. Glad she's getting friends. You're the second person I've seen use that as a coop. I'll need to check into it!
     
  7. Irishhenman

    Irishhenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 2, 2013
    Ireland
    Instead of the wire on the bottom of the run, could you cut the wire down the middle until you are a few feet from either end then cut parallel to the ends. Then fold the wire so that it is on the ground outside of the run. It will stop diggers getting in and let your chickens scratch and dust bathe inside.
     

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