Help Me Please with construction The $50.00 a dozen eggs better be good someday. Lol

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
I just joined and I need help please.
I have a 5 x10 retriever dog kennel. Just ordered the roof top for it. Covered with tarp now. I covered the sides with hardware cloth
I am in mid construction of bordering the ground about 12 inches down, 18 inches out with 2x4. Inch welded wire and hardware cloth. I have wood pallets on the ground on the inside covered with hay and sawdust. Do I have to put hardware cloth under the pallets. Right now the chickens aren't scratching much. Guess because it's not dirt. I'm brand new to this. Should I get rid of the pallets?

My concern is predators in northern California. Got them all! Even huge ravens nest near the house, big black birds,, maybe they are not ravens.. I hate rats and rattlesnakes freak me out. Lol. My handy friend said pallets should keep heavy predors from coming up through the bottom in the inside of the coop,, but sometimes I wonder if this is the right thing to do. Maybe 2x4 welded mesh. Thinking hardware cloth may not be needed. My friend said the perimeter is enough.

I have a. 24x24 area shaded with tall trees..I want to build for their run. I can put up a electric fence with a solar panel.i already have a solar panel and metal wire. Would the bobcats jump over it? What spacing of wires should I use if you think this is a good idea. The area has good tree coverage. Do I have to put bird netting over the area. Someone said the hawks and such would crash through it. I would like to let them out but don't want to watch them all day. Would a pallet fence be better?

Have the following for 2 weeks now.. I have 1 male and 4 female west coast harlequin ducks
8 polish hens. They are getting used to me.. got the chickens eating out of my hand,, but the ducks keep their distance.. My friend just gave me a male rooster and a hen. Norwegian-jaerhon the other day. I have them in a dog tranporter, decent size. They are scared of me right now and I thought I wait a few weeks until I introduce them, but the kennel seems to be overcrowded as the ducks Chase the chickens around. They are not laying eggs because maybe the ducks stress them in a 5x10 kennel. My 8 laying boxes are about 4 ft up from the ground with a 12 inch ladder at the end. I would think adding the rooster and his mate would be too much?

It's kind of overwheming for me right now. Your input would be awesome!
Blessings
Stewart
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,508
3,323
407
Portland OR
Lots of good questions - I will start off with a very simple thing about the pallet floor. Rodents are going to try to get into anything you build and pallets are going to be extremely easy for them to permeate. In fact ideal to nest in! (the rodents, not your birds)

You could use pallets as the "frame" - what I would do for the floor is put hardware cloth down under the pallet- make it a 'bowl' and secure those edges somewhere up the wall. Then put another layer of hardware cloth on TOP of the pallet floor, again, secure it up the wall.

Then put down 3/4" plywood on top of the hardware cloth making sure there are NO GAPS between the floor and walls. And I put a rubber mat over my plywood floor to make it moisture proof and easy to keep clean- and very easy on everyone's feet. Personally I did a regular shed build and then I added hardware cloth up and down the walls, over the floor frame etc, then put my plywood walls up so the rodents have to get through more than one layer of hardware cloth to permeate the coop. And I blocked off access to my rafters with more hardware cloth. At my last property I had rats come in the ROOF VENTS. They will do ANYTHING to get in. You might not have a problem for a while - but once they find you - ugh.

Make your run as big as you can. Use aviary netting over the top to keep the hawks out. Welded wire can work as long as you also secure it with hardware cloth for at least 2 feet up to keep the chickens from sticking their heads thru - some predators will grab and decapitate heads that way.

But in the mean time- make your run as big as you can, 5x10 isn't going to work for long as you're finding out.

You can use cattle panels which come in 16ft lengths and are about 4ft tall- and secure the bottom with hardware cloth- of course - as a way to quickly expand your run (cover it of course) using t-posts to hold it up. Very strong and VERY easy to install. https://www.farmstore.com/product/cattle-panel-16-ft/
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
18,123
64,516
1,317
Melrose Park Illinois
Let me offer some of my thoughts. You adapt them to what you have already, and modify what you think needs to be.
Your 5 x 10 kennel may be getting quite crowded,, especially since you have ducks besides chickens.
Your kennel is somewhat an open air coop,,, but since you are in relatively warn California,,, it may work. I prefer a Garden shed conversion myself. But,,,, you are doing with what you have..
Leave the pallets inside kennel,,, unless you see them as potential foot breaking objects. If they are filled with bedding,,, then things should be fine.
The perimeter 2 x 4 welded wire , I would opt for 24 inches wide,,, and buried just below surface. No need to go 12 inches down. Digging predators start at the point where wall of kennel meets ground. They are not smart enough to back up 2 feet distance back.

For you run,, I would suggest a chainlink fence as the cheapest secure route. The taller the better. Bird netting on top to protect from flying raptors.
You can electrify the fence easily since it is metal. There are a number of things that need to be done,,,,, to have electric fence working properly. If you do decide,,, then I can give you more details.
You don't need 8 nesting boxes. 4 should be plenty. Ducks will use those on ground. Have nesting boxes only about 1 foot above ground. Then have roosts for chickens 2 to 3 feet above ground.
Introduce your rooster and hen ASAP . since you don't want them prisoner in a small cage.
Post some pix of your setup,,, so we can get better ideas what to suggest.

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
 

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,085
17,963
766
North Central Iowa
Others are offering tips on construction. I just want to say I totally understand the part about $50 a dozen eggs. That's how I felt after I built a new coop this spring while lumber prices were soaring.

My "free" chickens, thanks to a friend who worked at a major hatchery, actually cost me more than $200 per bird -- that's without feed costs. So far, the new girls have produced about a dozen eggs total. Good thing I love them for their looks and entertainment value!
 

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
Lots of good questions - I will start off with a very simple thing about the pallet floor. Rodents are going to try to get into anything you build and pallets are going to be extremely easy for them to permeate. In fact ideal to nest in! (the rodents, not your birds)

You could use pallets as the "frame" - what I would do for the floor is put hardware cloth down under the pallet- make it a 'bowl' and secure those edges somewhere up the wall. Then put another layer of hardware cloth on TOP of the pallet floor, again, secure it up the wall.

Then put down 3/4" plywood on top of the hardware cloth making sure there are NO GAPS between the floor and walls. And I put a rubber mat over my plywood floor to make it moisture proof and easy to keep clean- and very easy on everyone's feet. Personally I did a regular shed build and then I added hardware cloth up and down the walls, over the floor frame etc, then put my plywood walls up so the rodents have to get through more than one layer of hardware cloth to permeate the coop. And I blocked off access to my rafters with more hardware cloth. At my last property I had rats come in the ROOF VENTS. They will do ANYTHING to get in. You might not have a problem for a while - but once they find you - ugh.

Make your run as big as you can. Use aviary netting over the top to keep the hawks out. Welded wire can work as long as you also secure it with hardware cloth for at least 2 feet up to keep the chickens from sticking their heads thru - some predators will grab and decapitate heads that way.

But in the mean time- make your run as big as you can, 5x10 isn't going to work for long as you're finding out.

You can use cattle panels which come in 16ft lengths and are about 4ft tall- and secure the bottom with hardware cloth- of course - as a way to quickly expand your run (cover it of course) using t-posts to hold it up. Very strong and VERY easy to install. https://www.farmstore.com/product/cattle-panel-16-ft/
Thank you so much
Let me offer some of my thoughts. You adapt them to what you have already, and modify what you think needs to be.
Your 5 x 10 kennel may be getting quite crowded,, especially since you have ducks besides chickens.
Your kennel is somewhat an open air coop,,, but since you are in relatively warn California,,, it may work. I prefer a Garden shed conversion myself. But,,,, you are doing with what you have..
Leave the pallets inside kennel,,, unless you see them as potential foot breaking objects. If they are filled with bedding,,, then things should be fine.
The perimeter 2 x 4 welded wire , I would opt for 24 inches wide,,, and buried just below surface. No need to go 12 inches down. Digging predators start at the point where wall of kennel meets ground. They are not smart enough to back up 2 feet distance back.

For you run,, I would suggest a chainlink fence as the cheapest secure route. The taller the better. Bird netting on top to protect from flying raptors.
You can electrify the fence easily since it is metal. There are a number of things that need to be done,,,,, to have electric fence working properly. If you do decide,,, then I can give you more details.
You don't need 8 nesting boxes. 4 should be plenty. Ducks will use those on ground. Have nesting boxes only about 1 foot above ground. Then have roosts for chickens 2 to 3 feet above ground.
Introduce your rooster and hen ASAP . since you don't want them prisoner in a small cage.
Post some pix of your setup,,, so we can get better ideas what to suggest.

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
Thank you so so much! I have all the material for a electric fence, but just have to buy Copper rods to ground the system. Hardware cloth on the bottom 2 feet would be prohibitive for me living on social security. I guess would need about 75 to 100 feet for the run and another piece 5x10 to cover the floor of the coop.
Let me offer some of my thoughts. You adapt them to what you have already, and modify what you think needs to be.
Your 5 x 10 kennel may be getting quite crowded,, especially since you have ducks besides chickens.
Your kennel is somewhat an open air coop,,, but since you are in relatively warn California,,, it may work. I prefer a Garden shed conversion myself. But,,,, you are doing with what you have..
Leave the pallets inside kennel,,, unless you see them as potential foot breaking objects. If they are filled with bedding,,, then things should be fine.
The perimeter 2 x 4 welded wire , I would opt for 24 inches wide,,, and buried just below surface. No need to go 12 inches down. Digging predators start at the point where wall of kennel meets ground. They are not smart enough to back up 2 feet distance back.

For you run,, I would suggest a chainlink fence as the cheapest secure route. The taller the better. Bird netting on top to protect from flying raptors.
You can electrify the fence easily since it is metal. There are a number of things that need to be done,,,,, to have electric fence working properly. If you do decide,,, then I can give you more details.
You don't need 8 nesting boxes. 4 should be plenty. Ducks will use those on ground. Have nesting boxes only about 1 foot above ground. Then have roosts for chickens 2 to 3 feet above ground.
Introduce your rooster and hen ASAP . since you don't want them prisoner in a small cage.
Post some pix of your setup,,, so we can get better ideas what to suggest.

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
Hi Marie

Here are some photos of the coop, and the area I want to build the run in. You can see basically a shaded area, with clear sky between the trees where I want to extend
 

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Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
Thank you so much

Thank you so so much! I have all the material for a electric fence, but just have to buy Copper rods to ground the system. Hardware cloth on the bottom 2 feet would be prohibitive for me living on social security. I guess would need about 75 to 100 feet for the run and another piece 5x10 to cover the floor of the coop.

Hi Marie

Here are some photos of the coop, and the area I want to build the run in. You can see basically a shaded area, with clear sky between the trees where I want to extend
 

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Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
Here are some photos. The 24x24ft area is shaded by trees, but clear skies between them. I'm thinking electric fence since I have materials and just have to bury 3 copper rods. I have aluminum Horse wire. For the 2 feet of the hardware on the bottom I would not let it touch the ground because it would short the system? What distance wire separation on a 6 o r 8 ft t post. Is this idea good. No need to buy new chain link fence. Wouldn't a block yet just jump over the whole darn thing?
Blessings,
Stewart
 

Evolvingspirit

In the Brooder
Oct 19, 2021
22
53
49
Hi marie,
When I went up to get the chickens the Drake was living with them Day-and-night, although there were about 30 Hens and one Drake. I guess you're saying in such a small area. It would be a Pain to separate the Drake in a dog carrier at night. I posted photos
Blessings
Stewart
 

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