Hardware cloth flooring? Is it safe?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Graceyyy, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. Graceyyy

    Graceyyy In the Brooder

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    I have enclosed the entire run space of my coop on hardware cloth to protect against predators. We live in a heavily wooded area with a 200 acre game preserve across the street, so we will encounter every possible predator. My only worry is whether or not the hardware cloth will cause issues to our chickens feet. I've seen so many coops with aprons to predator proof, but i have also seen some off the ground runs with mesh bottoms, so I am unsure which way is the best for our chickens?
     

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  2. Mckennas poultry

    Mckennas poultry Songster

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    How many chickens do you have ? The coop is small I’d say three chickens at the most
    Will you be letting them free range ?
     
  3. Mckennas poultry

    Mckennas poultry Songster

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    No the hardware cloth shouldn’t cause issues unless they are there all day, the chickens should be inside the coop at night and then let out during the day. It looks predator proof to me
     
  4. Graceyyy

    Graceyyy In the Brooder

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    I only ordered 3 chickens, but ended up getting 5. The dimensions of the interior of the coop is 30 inches long by 40 inches wide with separate space for 3 nesting boxes. My husband insisted on no larger than a 4 ft x 4 ft run, but I convinced him to also allow the under the coop ground space for the run, so that is another 30 inch by 40 inch space for them. 2 of our chickens are Bantam Silkies, while the other 3 are Golden Laced Wyandottes. My husband's friend has a coop the same size as what we built and at one point he had 7 chickens in it, so I am hoping ours is large enough. Worst case scenario, I figure we will just enlarge the run if they seem to be too cramped. I do not plan on free ranging at all because I am too concerned about the amount of predators in the area. The friend with the 7 chickens is down to only 2 now because he allowed them to free range and then watched as hawks swooped down and took out most of his birds, so I really don't think it's too safe in our area. Someone on another thread had said that the hardware cloth wouldn't be safe for the chickens to walk on while they are in the run during the day and that it could cause bumblefoot. Do you have any experience with that?
     
  5. Mckennas poultry

    Mckennas poultry Songster

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    Mine free range during the day and we have a cocker spaniel dog to watch over them, I would make the run bigger if possible
     
  6. Mckennas poultry

    Mckennas poultry Songster

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    Coop:

    • 4 square feet (sq ft) of floor space per Large Fowl (LF) chicken
    • 3 square feet of floor space per Bantam chicken
    • 1 square foot of ventilation per 10 sq ft of floor space

    Perch Space:

    • 12 inches of perch space per LF chicken
    • 9 inches of perch space per Bantam chicken

    Perch Type:

    • Perches should be positioned at least 12” to 18” away from the wall for head/tail space.
    • Chickens need a minimum of 18" to 24" of head space above the perch. Remember - they have to fly up there and you don't want them banging their heads each time they jump for the roost!
    • 2”x2” boards with the edges rounded off may be used for bantam breeds
    • LF do best roosting on the 4” side of a 2”x4” with rounded edges.
    • Natural branch roosts may also be used (minimum diameter of 3”-4” (but not all types of wood are healthy for chickens, so check prior to using.)

    Nest Boxes:

    • 12”x12” is the standard size for nest boxes, but your chickens won’t mind slightly smaller or larger boxes (provided they fit comfortably).
    • Minimum of 1 nest box for every 3 laying hens

    Run:

    • 10 Sq Ft of ground space per LF chicken
    • 7.5 Sq Ft of ground space per Bantam chicken
     
    oregonkat and 21hens-incharge like this.
  7. Mckennas poultry

    Mckennas poultry Songster

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    Consider free ranging them
    You could let them out Only when you’re there if you are worried about predators. Most predators come out early morning, evening and night. The pen is way too small for 5 chickens so I would definitely consider free ranging when you’re there
     
    featherhead007 likes this.
  8. Mckennas poultry

    Mckennas poultry Songster

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    Having them in a small place can encourage feather plucking and even canabalism, so as I said consider free ranging them
     
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    Oh dear. Your coop and run are way to small to not have behavior issues.

    The wire bottom will cause issues because chickens dig and scratch. That wire can cause all kinds of foot issues.

    Your coop is 2.5' x not even 3.5'. I would not put more than 2 chickens in it.

    Where will the food and water be?

    I know you don't want to hear that you are setting up to struggle but you are.

    In my opinion putting 5 birds in that amount of space is not ideal.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2018
  10. X_and_Z

    X_and_Z Chirping

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    My Coop
    You only have space for ~2 chickens in your coop - if someone got away with 7 chickens in the same size coop it is not something that most people can replicate without serious issues.

    I would keep either the silkies or the GLWs, but not both. The silkies would be at a disadvantage even if you had a much bigger coop and run.

    I have HW cloth on the bottom of my run without issues - it is covered with sand which works well in my climate, but I for a climate that is a bit moister I would look into litter (grass clippings, dried leaves, etc).
     
    Mckennas poultry likes this.

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