First time building a coop..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sarahbalcombe, May 5, 2017.

  1. Sarahbalcombe

    Sarahbalcombe Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2017
    This was our firat attempt at building a chicken coop. Its made from pallets and free wood. The coop is completely enclosed. There is a 10ft run attached. The coop itself is roughly 4ftx3.5ftx5ft. We used 2 inch chicken wire all the way around. We have placed pavers all tge way around the bottom of the coop/run. We have used wood blocks that pivot as our door stops/locks. And our nesting box door has a standard eye hook and latch system. We live in the suburbs so predatora are not a huge concern. Our biggest issue is currently 2 of our 4 dogs.. We have been trying to only let them out when we are out. However today i tried trusting them and the two broke into the coop. No injured birds or dogs. But a very unhappy mama. As the days go on we make adjustments and improvments to the coop. As this is all trial and error for us. We only have free materials to work with and no additional money to put into it. Input is much appreciated. In the last few days we have, put new wood stops on just for one to be broken today, put branches inside the run for them to play on, raise the feeder off the ground by a branch and mule tape, and today we found some shed siding we are going to screw down as extra roofing. [​IMG]
    I just addes the lattuce now as the dogs chewed a hole in the wire. The first picture is of it first put outback. The other pictures are the quick changes weve had to make.
  2. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    Is that chicken wire? That's the reason you dogs were able to tear into the coop. Chicken wire is used to keep chickens in, not predators out. 1/2" hardware cloth will be a better choice for keeping your dogs or other predators out.
  3. Kates Chooks

    Kates Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2017
    I think you are going to need some other protection come winter time.
    Agree with the other poster about chicken wire. I used that in a run
    the very first time I had chickens and I have learned since to hate it. LOL
    I just renovated my old chook shed into my new one with a run attached.
    NO chicken wire. Galvanized fence, hardware cloth buried and up the
    sides 12" under and up the sides. ( Predators) Hardware cloth on
    a very sturdy 2 x 4 framed door to the coop. Ventilation via a very
    small window, and hardware cloth covered under roof spaces, one
    front , one back ( airflow) I do not have much income either, hon,
    but I saved and saved and then bought the best I could and
    worked my tail off. Happy protected hens, not going to lose
    any to predators this time around [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. Sarahbalcombe

    Sarahbalcombe Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2017
    Yes it is chicken wire. Thats what we could afford. The hardware cloth was way out of our price range. We live in florida. So what do you mean by need more protection in winter?
  5. Sandy001

    Sandy001 Just Hatched

    Oct 15, 2016
    MIddle TN
    I would be scared of snakes getting in through the chicken wire!!!
  6. Chickenrunlady

    Chickenrunlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2017
    there is too much of a big gap between your door and on top of your door all kind or critter can get in. Must use hardware cloth, it comes on sale often at TSC, or look through kijiji. Not worth losing your flock, chicks are pretty cheap to buy but I value heir lives and well being. In the coop section on this forum, their is tonnes of great info on making a coop and predator proofing it.
  7. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    For someone with no experience, that was a good effort on your part and with mostly free stuff too.

    However, as you have already found out with your dogs, a run covered with only 2 inch chicken wire is not secure.........from your dogs, nor from the other predators that you almost certainly have and don't know about. Varmints like raccoons can be expected......even in town. Almost especially in town. With that light chicken wire, your coop looks similar to those we see on the predator forum where someone thought their coop was secure.........then post the pictures of how a dog or coon or other varmint broke in and killed all their birds. Almost exactly like those coops they thought were secure but were not. You have aleady seen a glimpse of what is to come with your own dogs.

    So what to do? If you can deal with it being in the way, try nailing a 2 x 4 behind the slot in the gates, to close up the gap and to act as a stop to prevent a varmint from pushing the gate in. Do not under estimate the strength and power a a determined varmint in frenzied kill mode when they get that close to your birds. You won't believe what damage they can do.

    The metal roof on top will provide shade and shelter from the rain and help secure the top. So that leaves the sides. Your best bet is hardware cloth or some other sturdy wire in the range of 1" x 2" or smaller. Not much you can do now except to start saving and/or keep an eye on craigslist for fencing or wire. This is going to be a race between when you can find and install better wire and WHEN........not IF.........a predator breaks in and kills all your birds. asked for advice? Raising birds has its ups and downs. We tend to focus on the good and find out about the bad stuff the hard way. Of all the bad things........the fact that there are any number of determined predators out there who love to kill our birds is the hardest to realize and accept.
  8. Sarahbalcombe

    Sarahbalcombe Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2017
    Our biggest issue is our dogs. Raccoons and possums etc dont bother coming in our back yard because of the dogs. Cats rarley come in our back yard and if they do, they quickly realize that was tge wrong thing to do. Our dogs are curious about the chickena as most dogs are. The one we are having most problems with is a heeler mix. She tries to corral the chickens. And when she did manage to let one out, she chased it and used her paws to hold it down then released it. We are looking for free materials we can use. We have no extra money to put into this at all. Hence why i said hardware cloth is out of the question.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are photos on this forum where large dogs have torn hardware cloth. Any wire offers some protection but any can also be breached by something.

    I understand the money issue. Try looking in Craigslist for free wire. Chain link or 2x4 welded wire would probably be best. Or if you can find something like that lattice, just secure that lattice well so they can’t rip that off. You might check scrap piles at construction sites too.

    Good luck!
  10. Sarahbalcombe

    Sarahbalcombe Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2017
    We do have some more lattuce, we have to pull it off our fence first. But its our best bet as of right now. We are going to fix the chicken wire where they got in at and put the lattuce on the outside of the chicken wire.

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