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Hurricane Harvey coop rebuild (Picture heavy)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tesumph, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road Premium Member

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    Good morning all! I have recently been given the clear to get chickens again, so I have been thinking nonstop about housing. Due to how big of a project this will be for me, I’ve decided to document it here so I can get advice as I go. Hopefully these pictures are good because it’s about to start pouring in muggy Houston.

    Backstory: Our property came with a dog run when we bought it. We repurposed it into a chicken coop and it worked pretty well, with some ventilation issues. Then a tree fell on my coop during harvey. I made emergency shelter in the run but ended up having to relocate my flock to my in-laws ranch. The destroyed coop, run, and emergency shelter have all been untouched since Harvey. It is quite a yucky mess.

    Full view of both coop and run from coop angle. The silver thing is the crushed and overgrown coop. The wooden pole leaning sideways is some electrical thing from the previous owners that we never used. The black tarp was for emergency shelter in the flood rain that has slidden off.
    47D020A3-5D31-4B78-84FF-693ACB242C93.jpeg
    5B594152-F773-4C2B-B002-E40A9EB1BB74.jpeg

    Another frontal view from the other side. Dog for scale.
    0186F5CF-C0BE-4A3A-B6B5-9EB228DE6BE9.jpeg


    Back view of coop, opposite from first picture. Did I mention it’s overgrown?
    41A90B8B-8A7C-4147-A27A-EE4CA91B902A.jpeg

    There are two separate runs. One smaller one, and a larger run that wraps around in an L shape.
    View from inside larger run, facing the crushed coop:
    A37BEDD4-1723-4481-8BBD-03CDC9A14071.jpeg

    View from inside large run, looking into the small run, facing crushed coop:
    425B1F01-C799-4FA9-9E0E-970D9D604DFE.jpeg

    Inside smaller run, facing the crushed coop. This is where the emergency shelter was set up as the other run was totally flooded. Plastic pallets and plywood were put down to get hens out of water. There is a built in wooden deck that my dog is standing on in this photo.
    CAC5CF0D-B7D2-491A-B335-42A4AC644245.jpeg

    View from outside both runs, looking in at the wooden deck part. Crushed coop to the right.
    9E92A01C-2DD6-4927-9F4A-F96AAEF4771B.jpeg

    Sideways and frontal view of crushed coop. Yep, she’s dead.
    174BCDDC-31DA-40B1-AE93-7CCD54D7B9D3.jpeg 7199067F-9296-43EA-86E7-55F4A85D13E2.jpeg

    Damaged chain link doors. There is pretty big gaps on either side and they just kinda suck.
    4F3EDC84-7BA2-4C25-B5F1-D87ACBFD0881.jpeg

    Picture of a bottom beam corner, showing some of the rotting going on.
    6F7C2946-00B2-47E1-BFEA-71431506BF1C.jpeg
    For some reason, the previous owners decided to put the cross beams in and THEN wire it. So the wire is very janky having been squished into the empty space made by the cross beams (not sure if that makes sense), and warped in some places. It’s also quite rusty, but not necessarily weak.
    2550D400-720A-4F9E-9131-EA5E555FF496.jpeg


    Alright, I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m not even sure if I can fix this thing up. I’ll be doing most or all of this by myself, which IS doable, but I am tiny with no muscles (don’t judge). My mother in law is giving me an old 6x4 coop that I plan making into a 3 sided “open faced” shelter and placing in the run. I am planning for this to be totally predator proof so I don’t have to lock them up.

    Here’s my tentative plan.
    Phase 1: cleanup. Weed whack all overgrowth and possibly spray perimeter with weed killer and fire ant killer. Get rid of old crushed metal coop.. somehow. Destroy wire barrier between the two runs to make one giant run, and then disperse the sand in small run throughout entire run. Rip off old run wire (?) and rotten bottom boards of the run. Cleanup plywood, tarps, plastic grates, etc. Remove damaged chainlink doors?

    Phase 2: rebuild. Place new treated boards along the bottom of the run to replace rotting boards there currently. Line the wooden deck area with something like vinyl or garage sealant stuff (?). Move coop inside onto the covered sealed wooden deck area. Rewire entire perimeter of run with hardware cloth (currently old 2x4 poorly stapled welded wire) and roofing screws (?). Cover top of run with heavy duty bird or deer netting zip tied around the sides. Figure out what to do with door situation..

    Phase 3: Success? Build up deep litter in run with weeds, leaves, and old pine shavings. Cover sealed wooden deck area with pine shavings that can be added to deep litter when necessary. Get chicks and be happy.


    Alright, so here’s my main concerns:
    1) Is this even worth it? Should I just build a new run somewhere else? These beams are already cemented in and this area is ideal on our property for chickens. But this is a lot of work.
    2) assuming this could work, should I go through the effort of ripping off the old wire, or just rewire over it with hardware cloth?
    3) I read roofing screws work well. Is that true? We previously used a pressurized staple gun and I hated it. The staples have not held up.
    4) the bottom run beams need to be replaced. They’re literally crumbling away. I’m not sure how to replace them if I don’t tear the old wire off though, and I don’t know how to prevent future rotting..
    5) what the heck do I do with the doors.


    Any and all advice is welcome. I am way in over my head.
     
  2. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road Premium Member

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    @KikisGirls feel free to tag anyone who’s good with this sort of stuff :confused:
     
  3. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Read more Premium Member Project Manager

  4. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road Premium Member

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    Thank you :th
    I know it’s a long read but I need something lol. At the very least if someone in my situation would attempt it or just start over.
     
  5. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Crowing

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    I would contact F.E.M.A and put in a request.. never mind bad joke:oops:
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    First thought, are you sure that power pole is dead(not 'hot')?
    Ensure that it is, or get it, disconnected asap.

    Second, yes, clean up all the crap, try not to think too hard while doing that. ;)
    Can you employ some friends, or hire it done, to increase your 'muscle power' to remove the heavier stuff?

    Here's few thoughts:

    If it worked before, I would not go too far in rebuilding the run.
    Are the cemented in posts in decent shape, down near the ground?
    Would not bother replacing, or even removing, rotten bottom boards if you are going to do deep litter. You might know/see more once you get things cleaned up.

    Just add screws where you feel wire mesh needs them.
    Do you have an anti-dig apron?

    Did you put that platform in?
    Makes me think 'rodent/snake heaven'...I'd remove it.

    CL doors, not sure if they can be bolstered with mesh to close gaps or should be replaced.
    How are they damaged?
    Looks like the bottoms are buried?
     
  7. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road Premium Member

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    Thank you for replying! I need an expert desperately haha.

    No, I am not sure if the power is disconnected. I don’t even know where it runs to honestly. But it was touched and messed around during the flood and nothing happened, so I’m not sure if it died or what. I will try and find out where it runs to.

    What do you mean by “I would not go too far in rebuilding the run”? Does that mean you would or would not attempt this?

    The cemented in posts seem to be in pretty good shape, for how old they are. Some of the cement is showing in places as the ground is so eroded in there. I didn’t test them very much but they seem decent.

    That is true, if I was going to do deep litter then it would already be built up above the height of the ground boards anyway. My intention for deep litter is to reduce cleaning efforts and help with flooding. Do you think it would even be a problem if I made it say, a foot deep? Wouldn’t it spill out the sides of the wire?

    I did not put the platform deck thing in, it was already installed. And yes, it is a snake/rodent hazard, as is the area under the crushed coop. I can try and rip it up but I don’t even know how I could do that without demolishing a lot of the supports. I will have to check that.

    I wasn’t planning on doing an apron but I could. The entire run is so old that the outside ground has built up around it, so the inside of the run is 6 or so inches lower than the outside ground in some places. The picture of the rotten ground board is just to the right of the door. You can see how much lower it is in there than the outside, and why flooding is a problem. From the outside they do look buried because of how low the ground is in there.
    The doors aren’t broken per say, but one of them had a dog chew through it or something. Previous owners boarded up the hole. They scrape on the ground when you open them, so they definitely wouldn’t open with a built up deep litter.

    If I don’t replace the rotten boards, and I don’t tear off the old wire, how do I make fresh wire sturdy and look halfway decent?
     
  8. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road Premium Member

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    Lol not a bad idea. If this doesn’t get refurbished, we’re tearing it all down.
     
  9. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road Premium Member

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    To clarify: there are two wooden sections in the run right now. One was temporary plywood thrown down over the water. That is the “redder” looking wood toward the front that you can see in the photo with my dog. That stuff will definitely be taken out.
    The pre-installed deck is the “yellower” looking wood that my dog is actually standing on. It’s not so bad, the wood is decent planks, but I do not know what could be underneath it. I know that’s confusing, sorry.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    I would use it as is....if the framing is solid.
    I'm assuming it was secure before, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Don't think you can have it both ways, without a lot of tear down and rebuild.
    Add screws/washers where you think they are needed on the mesh to make it predator proof. I'm not much for 'pretty', function is beauty to me.

    If you can't unscrew or pry it up without damaging supports/framework, then get a sawzall and cut it as close as possible.

    I would put up HC inside to hold the DL.

    Might not need aprons then.

    Might be best to build new doors then....eliminating gaps and accommodating the DL.
     

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