First post, first chickens, first coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jovial_cynic, May 4, 2008.

  1. jovial_cynic

    jovial_cynic Chirping

    May 4, 2008
    Lacey, Washington
    Hey folks -

    I'm new here, but I've been browsing around and gleaning a lot of information. I decided recently to get a couple of chickens, and after searching around on craigslist, I found 2 10-month old gold-lace wyandottes that have been organically fed and handled enough to be friendly.

    So... before I could buy them, I had two days to build up a coop.

    Here's the frame.

    It's starting to look like something. I lowered the floor blocks to give more vertical room in the coop.

    It's starting to look like a coop!

    I spent a TON of time trying to figure out how I'd make a secured run. I've got raccoons that wander through my backyard at night, so my chickens need a lot of protection.

    Aren't they cute? My cat seems to think so.

    It looks like at least one of them is productive. She set it in the bedding on the floor of the coop instead of in the nesting box. Oh well. It's still an egg. Hooray!
  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Looks great.....

    If you have coon in your yard at night, you should consider shutting the ladies in at night. At the very least, you need wire on the floor of the coop so they dont dig under, but putting a door on your coop and shutting them in at dusk would be the safest. Raccons can be quite strong with some incentive, i.e. chickens on the other side. They are even known to reach through the wire and pull....

    There are quite a few posts about raccoons in the pest section.

    Good luck! PAt yourself on the back, you did a good job.
  3. Moselle

    Moselle Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    They are VERY pretty.
  4. jovial_cynic

    jovial_cynic Chirping

    May 4, 2008
    Lacey, Washington

    The chickens are closed up in the coop at night, but the coop's front door doesn't lock - it just drops shut. I'm pretty sure that raccoons could get in if they get past the run.

    So far, so good, though.

    I've noticed a few particular behaviors that I didn't expect. For instance, the chickens didn't really pay attention to the feeder when it was inside the coop. I decided to put the feeder in the run, and they dove right in. Weird.

    The chicken that laid the egg yesterday kept trying to lay down in the run. Since it looked like she was trying to lay an egg, I locked her into the coop for a few minutes, and when I opened the coop door, there was an egg on the ground. She must have really wanted to get that egg out of her. I assumed that chickens would be much more private about laying eggs... but I guess not. If she's willing to lay her egg out in the run, I guess she'll lay them anywhere.
  5. dutchman

    dutchman Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    Lebanon TN
    Welcome aboard. I think you did a wonderful job on you'r coop. And you have some nice looking hens there, To me it looks like you'r cat may be thinking tasty!!!! Dutchman
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Welcome to BYC -- beautiful ladies you have there and you did a great job on your coop.

    I would suggest that you wrap either hardware cloth (if you can't afford that) or 1" chicken wire around the bottom two feet of the run and bury it down at least 15 -18 inches into the ground. Raccoons can and will reach right through the wire and grab your chickens and kill them. I also suggest you put a good, solid lock on the door so the raccoons can't open it at night.

    It would be heartbreaking for you to lose those sweet hens.

    I can't tell what you have on the floor, inside, for bedding. I would suggest using wood shavings on the floor and in the nest boxes. (Maybe you are already.) If you haven't already you can nail a short board across the front of the nest boxes so that the shavings/bedding doesn't all fall out.

    I might also suggest putting a fake egg or golf ball in the nest boxes to encourage your girls to lay there for you.

    Have fun with your new girls!
  7. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    You should put a hook and eye on it I got a hook that has a lock on it and not a coon has got past.

    o and what type of cat is that
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  8. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I love your coop cute yet simple.
  9. jovial_cynic

    jovial_cynic Chirping

    May 4, 2008
    Lacey, Washington
    Thanks for all the encouraging comments.

    As it turns out, the chickens figured out the nesting boxes -- I had two eggs in the boxes today. So far, between yesterday at 11 a.m. (which is when I got them) and right now (8 p.m.), I've had three eggs. Woo hoo!

    I did some more construction work to reinforce the run and the coop. The coop now has a full latch with a pad-lock and everything -- unless raccoons figure out how to pick locks, I think my hens are safe at night.

    I'm going to run some extra wire-fencing under the run as a final precaution, and then I think they're set.

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