First Coop - Altering A Dog Kennel

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by itgns, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. itgns

    itgns In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2013
    Central California

    This is about the size of the dog kennel we have (this is not ours, I just tried to find a picture on Google of a kennel that was the same size). I intend to alter it to become a coop or maybe a coop/run? There is a top to it, and while there is a chain link bottom that can be placed underneath, it is not currently attached. We will be putting it underneath in the future to help discourage digging predators. I have five chicks arriving in a few weeks so between the time before they get here and the month or so they'll be spending inside growing up, I've got some time to prepare the coop. I know they'll need roosts and nesting boxes, etc. I guess I have a couple questions that I wanted to focus on.

    1. If the ground is going to be dirt-covered, should we still be putting shavings/bedding in for them to run around on?

    2. Is it too big to be an actual coop? Should we make a smaller coop to put inside? I thought about taking some paneling or wood and blocking off sections of it (the back quarter or half, maybe) in order to block the wind.

    We live on 2 acres of agricultural land with neighbors on the same sort of plots so the chickens will be close to free range. We live in Central California. Our only predators of concern are birds of prey, foxes, possums (rare), raccoons (even more rare, I've only ever seen one dead one), and snakes. Maybe a stray dog, but we haven't seen those in probably a decade. Temperatures in the winter get as low as 30 degrees, while summer temperatures are routinely high 80s. Winters are very rainy, though, and summers are very dry.

    Other than my questions, any other advice/comments/stories are really appreciated!
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Yes, putting something on the ground will be a good idea or it will be a muddy mess. Wood chips or even better, sand. And yes, I would block off parts of it to make it more secure for the birds as well as to make them comfortable with laying - they like a dark and cozy place to lay. Not sure how many birds you are aiming to get but the recommended coop size is 4 sq. ft. per bird and the run size should be 10 sq. ft. per bird. You might also want to put a cover on it to keep predators out. Good luck to you!
  3. itgns

    itgns In the Brooder

    Aug 28, 2013
    Central California
    Thanks for the reply!
    I read the "Using Sand" article and I'm really tempted by it. The only thing is that it mentions "wet sand" and how they'll remove it. It rains A LOT here during the winter. Is the sand going to be a problem then since it'll always be wet?
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

    Jun 18, 2013
    Here's my kennel setup, I would recommend covering the run floor with wire before the sand, I did it to prevent anything getting in.
  5. wekiva bird

    wekiva bird Songster

    Mar 18, 2010
    South Carolina
    x2 and roof to keep the sand dry

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