Frustrated newbie - PLEASE help with coop!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by roosterroost, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. roosterroost

    roosterroost Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2010
    So we decided to do the backyard chicken thing in our town, with plans to utilize a chicken tractor rather than a stationary coop. Since we have a sprinkler system, we thought this would be the easiest method without having to alter existing landscaping. AND since we don't have the skills/time/equipment to build one, we hired a carpenter. He made a great coop. However, it is bigger than we wanted and can only be moved with SIGNIFICANT effort on the part of two people. It is so heavy that after a day or two, it is sinking into the grass and becomes impossible to move without sustaining injury to oneself. It has been horrendously frustrating, and our backs are killing us. It was also not cheap. So, I am annoyed that priority #1 (mobility) has been lost. We even made him put bigger wheels on it recently, and it is still not functional.

    We have come to the conclusion that we need to make this beast stationary. It looks like we have found a spot where we won't have to dig up and move the underground sprinklers (just adjust the heads - hopefully); however, I WILL have to tear out some landscaping edging/rock/plants and move all of that to another area.

    My question: What do I do for "flooring" in the run? I am NOT going to invest any money into putting in concrete. Should I add some sod to what was the rock/planting area, knowing that this will never remain a really nice area of grass...? I cannot let it be just dirt, as the sprinklers will still get this area wet every few days; the mud would drive me mad. Right now, I'm leaning towards making it grass... But will the chickens eventually eat it down to just dirt anyway? Do I just put in pea gravel or something? But how to clean it?

    SOOO frustrated! I was at one point excited about this chicken business, but ever since this monstrosity landed in my yard, spoiled my original plans, and added frustration to an already difficult time (I just lost my mother), I am really ready to bag the whole deal!

    HELP! I need to act on this in the next few days.
  2. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    Okay... all is not lost... You need sand to fill in the bottom... Also get on CL and find a chicken tractor for sale.... They are really light and fairly inexpensive.. Mistakes like this can be a blessing... You will have the best of both worlds. Now you can put a light in it for warmth etc. Let's see the pix of the this behemeth
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Sounds like your run will be a good candidate for sand. They you just clean it with a rake, sort of like a giant kitty litter box.
  4. roosterroost

    roosterroost Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2010
    AND...something I forgot to add to my post just above:

    We do have a glass window on one side of the coop. Unfortunately, this side will have to be near the wall of our garage once we make this tractor move to a permanent location. We will obviously lose most of the light, but if this is still several inches from the wall, do you think they will still be getting enough light into the coop? There really is no other location to put a window, and I don't want to invest any more money into it.

    UGH. [​IMG]
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sand for the run. Can you disable the sprinkler heads that will be in it? You'll want to moisten it in really hot weather but other than that you want it dry..
  6. roosterroost

    roosterroost Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2010
    Quote:So do you think I should keep this monster as a permanent coop and have a tractor on the side? We do have a fenced yard (6 ft fence), and we have let them out to free range. I would plan to still have them free range as often as possible. So maybe ditch the tractor idea for good, let them free range when I can, move the beast next to my garage, and stop cursing at it under my breath. I was starting to wonder how mobile this would be anyway once the snow flies.....

    Just regular old sand from Menards?

    Will try to send a pix tomorrow if possible. It really is a cute coop. Just massive and annoying.
  7. roosterroost

    roosterroost Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2010
    Quote:There won't be any sprinkler heads directly in the area where we'd put the coop/run; we kind of lucked out there. There will be one on each end, several inches to a foot away from the structure itself. We may be able to adjust the spray so it is not directly watering the area, but it likely will be getting a bit damp.
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used play sand in mine, I think it came from Home Depot. I have 6 ft privacy fence w 4 ft chain link inside that, so my birds free range in my yard when the dogs are in and the gates are closed. Other than that they are in their run, which is roofed w chickenwire, part chicken wire part hardware cloth and screening with heavy 2x4 fencing all around the outside, and chicken wire aprons extending out 2 ft all around except the door itself. (where I will get those concrete pads set soon...)
  9. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    i will be waiting to see a pictures of your coop [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    Yelm, WA
    You might want to put down a barrier between the soil and the sand to keep the chickens from digging down and making a mess. I know there is a type of barrier matting that is made for horse stalls with dirt floors -- maybe some landscape fabric or something similar to the horse stall barrier would work for you.

    A small and easily moved tractor is a good idea, unless you don't mind your chickens messing up your flower beds and landscaping. If you need light or heat, just run an extension cord. If you spend much time looking at people's coops in the BYC forum, you'll see that a lot of us don't have very fancy setups!

    Please don't get discouraged -- your chickens will bring you so much pleasure and happiness. And eggs!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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