Hubby is starting coop this weekend!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CHIARA10, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! I am already a worried chicken mom, and our chicks don't even arrive until April 13th! Lol at first, we were going to do a tractor stye coop, but thought we'd like stationary coop and run better, w some free range time during the day. In the last few weeks, though, I have been paying attention to the Hawks. There are 14 nests that I counted within a mile of the house, and they are literally circling in groups all throughout the day.
    I do not think free ranging is going to work. I'm thinking now (my hubby is going to kill me) that I'd like a stationary coop w a 5x12 run and then a separate tractor style run on wheels to move around for them daily. Does this sound overkill for five chickens? I'd hate for them to be bored spending all their time in the attached run when we have all this grass for them to explore.
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    We have hawks nesting nearby who never bother the chickens, at least not the adult ones. It depends on the breed of hawk, whetner the chickens are bantam of large fowl, and probably the availability of mice or whatever the hawks like to eat.

    As for space, you really can't give a chicken too much sace. Mine have a 70'x70' yard and they explore then entire area every day. It stays green but I doubt a grasshopper survives in there for long.
     
  3. lynnehd

    lynnehd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Judy, what species of hawk do you have nesting nearby? Cooper's hawks?
     
  4. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, Judy. We will have a mix of Easter eggers, brahmas, and a jersey giant. I thought the bigger hens (when grown) may be a turn off for the Hawks, but wasn't sure. I have found remains of wild rabbits that Hawks have taken in our yard.
    I might talk to hubby about making run bigger; I still like the idea of a "field trip" in the yard while being protected by all of our predators around here!
    Side question that's perhaps for another board - same size nesting boxes for the larger fowl to lay? Do the big girls like to shove themselves in a tiny box to lay, and/or will EEs lay in a bigger box? Want to accommodate both size ladies and we will have three large, three reg size chicken s.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, I've never tried to identify them . They do have the typical hawk beak, soar as if hunting, and get in fights with the crows in the same trees. They seem to be migratory. We did see one sitting on a fencepost of the chicken yard once, a few years ago. There are plenty of rabbits and rats around here for them.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Go big on the mesh covered run...then they'll always have a safe place to be out of the coop during the times when free ranging is not an option.

    14" x 14" x 14" is a good sized nest for all birds.
     
  7. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, apart!
     
  8. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The coop is coming along. Hopefully we'll have the girls out there in the next week or two.[​IMG]
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    That is gorgeous!! Beautiful and functional.

    What is your climate?
    Might need some more venting in the coop?

    Pics of inside too?

    Is there anything to prevent digging under on the run?
     
  10. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks!
    We get hot (upper 90s) sometimes in summer and in teens in winter here and there in PA.

    The roof of the coop has about a half inch open area between each firring strip for ventilation and also some other spots where all the cedar shingles meet on the sides, if that makes sense.
    Also my hubby cut up an old door to make our clean-out door, and used the bottom half for a pop-out vent. So in summer, the window and the pop out vent will be wide open w quarter inch mesh covering it -- in addition to all of the roof line venting. I think that's sufficient?

    We are nailing 1/2 by 1 inch 17 gauge apron 2 feet out around perimeter and then putting two to three inches of gravel or river rock over that.

    I am hoping this is predator proof because we just adore our five girls!!!!
     

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