I hope this will keep them safe.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TnTom, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. TnTom

    TnTom In the Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    Woodbury Tn
    I have 2 hens and a rooster. Sadie and Ethel and Butch.

    I've seen raccoon chews through the top of heavy duty plastic garbage can lids and have even had them try to come though a window screen in my kitchen, lights on, wife screaming get your gun get your gun so I don't think that my 11oz per yard tarp would keep them out if they decide to go in. It is a real heavy tarp but short of like a lumber tarp or steel tarp. Its probably the heaviest light duty tarp. It drops all the way to the ground in front and I have panels for the side.

    I gotta get a roof on. I'm trying to think of what other preds I have around here that could harm. Possum, fox, coyote, cats, bobcat, skunks,coons, coydogs, not to mention hawks and owls. I'm laying stone all around so digging will require more determination. What critters can get through chain link? Snakes and ????

    My little helper peeking in from the tarp where it wraps around from the back loves to watch them and shes been good not trying to torment them. I haven't ranged them yet and she'll learn quick not to try and chase them although she'll take a shot at it we'll get it all worked out. We have 2 yard cats that are somewhat afraid of them right now. They're both pretty mellow but if a chicken were to come in grabbing range one of the 2 might go for it. I'll have to watch them close until I can see what the situation has in store for them. Ive got about 3 acres of grass and bugs and surrounded by woods. I's like to be able to let them range some.

    My thoughts were to keep it so I could move it easyily. I'll probably just build a fully enclosed coop and be done with it. The coop is something I found on-line." BESTCHOICEPRODUCTS" sells these kits. It was $150 and this guy get as much as $200. when people dont discover he runs numerous auction on ebay with varying pricing...same coop. They are really trash out of the box. BADLY constructed but well cut .I got out my bucket of wood glue some 1 by and my table saw and brad gun and went to town on it. poop canned the role out clean out pan its garbage also. Put in a new bottom. Once I reinforced and glued it up it goes together with 4 -1/4 20 3" nut and bolt and it dry draft free and solid. The chickens seem happy. They've been in a week now and both girls are laying.

    I made a "jungle jim" for them ( actually made it from an old Jack Daniels whiskey barrel and the ladder is from an old George Dickel whiskey barrel I put some straw in it but at the most they like to roost on the ladder. I figured they might like a place if they needed some quiet time.


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  2. kichohana

    kichohana Songster

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC
    I think you've got quite a nice set up. Any determined predator will chew through the tarp to get in. Birds of prey are more visual hunters and if they can't se in from the top I suppose you're safe with the tarp. I would reinforce the bottom 24"-30" of the chain link with 1/2" hardware cloth just to be safe too. It should keep snakes out, but it will certainly keep out the paws of raccoons. I've heard of them reaching through chain link and grabbing unsuspecting chickens. [​IMG]

    I like your "chicken jungle gym". I have multiple roosts in my enclosed run and the girls use all of them. I won't comment on your coop other than you did the right thing to reinforce it. I just don't trust those pre-fab kits, but i'm lucky enough to have a handy husband, and be pretty handy myself with carpentry that we were able to build our own from scratch.

    What is your chain-link setting on? Is it wood like a 2x4 or 2x6? I like your idea of surrounding the perimeter with rocks to discourage diggers from the outside, but keep in mind your chickens may scratch out holes for themselves and do a fair bit of digging from the inside. I was surprised at how my girls dug through 5" of sand in their run to get to the dirt, which then then dug about 2" into for a cool spot to hang out in.

    All in all you're got a nice set up and I like the location backed up to the woods.
     
  3. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    I think you've got a great start! And I love the colors on your little roo. I agree with Kichohana regarding wrapping the bottom couple of feet of the run with hardware cloth. Also, with the amount of "digging" predators you have around, I would also suggest burying a 2 foot apron of hardware cloth around the perimeter of the run - most any of the predators you mentioned won't have any trouble digging through that stone, and they can be very determined for a chicken dinner. I know it's more work, time and money in the beginning but you save all three, plus some heartache, in the end by being careful. The forum is full of posts from people who wish they had been. Good luck with your birds and [​IMG]
     
  4. TnTom

    TnTom In the Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    Woodbury Tn
    Quote:I started to put the hardware cloth on this morning and got side tracked and hope I get it finished in the next day or so. I've got it on 2"x6" buried to the rear but nothing under the rear of the frame it's on the ground so I've got to get some digging done. My creek is full of good pieces of bed rock as well lot of good gravel and I'll place rock below the surface all the way around at least 6" the ideal would be use a ditchwitch and set in a footer. This ground is so hard to dig in roots, rocks, Ive done it elsewhere around here but lord its a days work. I drove re-bar 24" into the ground each side of the 2x6 and then heavy wired the frame to the wood. It wont go anywhere short of a Tornado but we have those to.

    There was enough slope that I was able to fill most of the inside with creek bed rock then covered it with creek gravel I see what you mean about the gal digging. Sadie the dark Cochin can kick it. She cracks me up. She'll get down right indignant with Butch the rooster to.

    Im an ok carpenter and was in a hurry to get something up and took a chance on the kit and the kennel on craigs list for $50. I saw at Ace some 6' x 50' chicken wire fencing and will probably wrap it with that. It was $55.00 Right now I have some 36" I can do the bottom with. When I compared the cost of HD/Lowes materials and the kit cost Im sure if I bought my wood right (and thats where my carpentry goes south) a $150.00 can go a long ways. I have an unimited supply of cedar poles. And I like building. Fortunately I was set up to "fix" the kit. I also put an ample amount of Thompsons on it. I hosed it down and its dry and I added ventilation on one end opposite the nesting box.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  5. TnTom

    TnTom In the Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    Woodbury Tn
    Quote:There is so much great information here and I have really appreciate the feedback. So many things that are easy to overlook. The coop kit was designed with the roost lower than the nesting box and I learned what that meant the first night. Got that straightened out. I let them range tonight for a while and they did real good. I let them out about an hour before sunset and they went right in at dusk. That was a relief.

    The stone I'll be using is heavy sections of creek bed about 12" to 18" tall x 2" thick by varying lengths so it will take a lot of digging but its gotta be done at least along the back side. Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

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    Grifton NC
    I've got to get some digging done

    This ground is so hard to dig in roots, rocks, Ive done it elsewhere around here but lord its a days work.

    Just use an apron and you won't have to dig at all​
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  7. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

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    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    if it was me i would go get more dog link chain and lay it over it or go get some flex glass[covering greenhouse] to lay on top of the pen. the trap will fill up rain water. and put hard wire cloth on the bottom of the wall on runs.
     

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