HELP! Coop Advice Please

AnimalAddict

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 15, 2012
10
0
22
Central Foothills of California
I am in the process of designing a new coop for my 8 chicks, which are 3 weeks old. I also want to incorporate my 4-5 week old goslings (2) and ducks (2). I am EXPECTING, because I know myself, that i will be expanding the number of birds I have. Turkeys? Peacocks? An emu guardian? I have lots of "Wants", (if you haven't noticed my name is Animal Addict!), so I want to be able to expand eventually. I was thinking of putting together a 2-story coop out of an existing greenhouse that I have. I already lost a duckling to my dogs in a horrible unexpected way, so I am paranoid for their safety. I have every predator imaginable in my area, including mountain lions, but mostly hawks of all types, coyotes, etc. We are a busy family living in the foothills, while I try to run a demanding business 30 minutes away (flexible schedule), run the kids back and forth to school, tutoring, sports, etc. So needless to say, I cannot always be home to put everyone away before dark, etc. However, I want them to have the chance to free range (at the very least just inside their "corral"). The area I am putting them (coop, etc) in is a goat corral, which is approximately 300 x 100 feet wide. The exising corral is 3 rail white vinyl fencing with the lower 2 rails covered in goat wire. After my duckling was killed, I kicked the goats out of the corral and put a temporary area in the middle for the goslings and duckling. (T-posts, welded wire, covered by shade cloth). I thought the duckling was lonely after the death of her sister last weekend, so I bought another duckling today. I only allow them out there when it is light out and when I am home. The chicks are still inside my dining room in a temporary coop while I figure out what to do with everyone, so I'm kinda (KINDA!) in a hurry to come up with a design plan. Lol!

Questions:
*Will I need to add another type of wire around the corral for added protection, or will the emu/geese be good enough protection? (Currently the geese are only 4-5 weeks old so they themselves still need protection of some sort!)
*Should I try to find a way to cover the corral? It is quite a large area. I have considered pvc "hoops" with bird netting or something.
*Could/should I build a coop in the middle of the corral with an enclosed run where I can put them to be safe when I leave?
*When is it okay to put everyone outside? My dining room stinks like heck and sounds like a bird haven with lots of peeping, honking, and quacking.

I truly appreciate any and all advice I can get. I do not do well with trautmatic events with any of my animals, and want to do whatever I can to protect them.
 

Nsampsel

Songster
7 Years
Mar 6, 2012
1,961
41
141
East Central Ohio
Pix of what you are working with would be helpful if you can.

Bear in mind, your ducks & geese are going to want a ground level sleeping area (not sure on emus). Your chickens are going to want perches to roost on. Depending on how many ducks/geese/emus? you have a small dog box style house would work perfectly for them. Mine is a 3x3 box about 26 inches high with a sloped lift-open roof to access eggs & replace bedding. I wouldn't try to make ducks & geese climb a ramp to reach a nesting/sleeping area. From my experience they tend to have trouble with the ramps that chickens climb right up. I would say put several areas where they can at least get under cover out in your run if you can't practically afford to cover it.
 

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