Ideas for a coop with hidden run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by snuzulooz, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. snuzulooz

    snuzulooz New Egg

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    Okay, we have finally clarified our city ordinance for chickens and they are causing us to struggle with designing a coop.... We also found out that even a rolling "shed" or outbuilding of any size will require a zoning permit which is no big deal but... the city ordinance for chicken keeping is thus...

    A chicken coop is allowed within 25 feet of a dwelling. A chicken coop with a run has to be 60 feet from a dwelling. After pacing out our yard in relation to the houses around us we cannot make the 60 rule work (we end up too close to one house or another either way) with a visible run. We talked with 3 of our 4 neighbors and they could care less if we have chickens. BUT, we live next to people on one side who actually complained because we mowed their lawn for 2 years as a kindness... I am not discussing chickens with them. Part of their yard joins a busy church with people who like to amble around a great deal. Our combined yards and church parking lot essentially look like a giant field. Chickens in a run would be noticed without question.

    We only want 2-3 chickens. We want to be within the scope of the law and are trying to figure out how to build a concealed run. My discussions with city hall imply that fencing constitutes a run. If the run were underneath and somehow covered it would not be seen as a run.

    Would this work for the health of the chickens. I am thinking something maybe covered on a couple sides and an obstructed "view" on the other sides for ventilation. We toyed with building something in the garage....

    Do chickens really need a grass run or could be just give them a big open coop. The size of the coop is not an issue. Just the run.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  2. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What if you put lattice (re-enforced with hardware cloth) on the sides that are visible from the church and the neighbor The other sides could be just hardware cloth. If you're concerned, do all sides with lattice.
     
  3. WildBurroShirts.com

    WildBurroShirts.com Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being legal is like being thin...we all wanna be. Sometimes though...ain't happening.

    (I'm to the point where I'd like to shoot my bathroom scale with a 12 gauge.)[​IMG]

    So if it were me...I'd probably build a faux front kinda thing, like maybe a legitimate tool shed on one side (facing your neighbors) and maybe a coupla evergreen arbor vitae shrubs or an evergreen tree or two, and then the coop, with maybe something else on the other side.

    Like...a raised garden bed, which in summer you could have tall stuff like sunflowers and corn and peas on a trellis kinda gig. And maybe a trash can enclosure. And maybe you could sort of angle it near the garage for more hideablity.

    So basically, you've made a hollow boxlike 'yard' that's not visible from outside of itself. You could cut a door in the coop to get thru to their run (depending upon what size, and in your case I'm thinking one of those little tool shed kinda things would work) so as far as anyone could see from outside, you were just going in to get a tool or do a craft project or whatever.

    The other way around the legal definition of fencing meaning a run is to take something that's legit on it's own, like a trampoline, and just put wire around the bottom of it. Not for chickens, oh no, heaven forbid [​IMG] just to keep critters out of the dang trampoline. Or picnic table. Or outdoor pergola/shade house thingie. Or (and I just got one free on craigslist) a truck topper thing, which is snow/rain proof, has windows for ventilation, and a lift door to get water/food into it, plus you could just wire a hanging nest box into the back.

    I've also saved all of the big black plastic buckets that my fruit trees came in and have been using them as mini raised planter beds (to try and outwit the rabbits...varied success). But if you lined those up in a row and even stuck fake flowers into them...no one could see chickens behind 'em. And you can pick those up free at nurseries.

    Bottom line though...if your snarky neighbors complain...you could end up having to build a high fence.

    Good luck!
     
  4. sixlittlechicks09

    sixlittlechicks09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I remember hearing a few weeks ago about someone who built two large raised flower beds, about 5' or so apart with a concealed run built between them? Best of luck!
     
  5. snuzulooz

    snuzulooz New Egg

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    Great suggestions! We actually just added to raised garden beds to our existing raised bed and they now form a U shape with an 8 x 8 space open in the U. I think the coop will go there with some of the suggestions made. The neighbor it will be closest to said she doesn't care if we have 100 chickens. I am glad I rethought the design of the beds as we were building this weekend [​IMG] I was thinking the U shape would be easier to work from the sides but... It looks like it will serve a better purpose.

    THANK YOU!
     
  6. chickenboy21

    chickenboy21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    another option is to put a small run underneath the coop... in other words have the coop part 3 or 4 ft above the ground and have a ramp leading down to a run under the coop... goodluck hope everthing works out for you
     
  7. CT_Todd

    CT_Todd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:BINGO! (and surround it with raised flower beds) and you are good to go!
     
  8. chickenboy21

    chickenboy21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    glad that helps good luck [​IMG]
    Quote:BINGO! (and surround it with raised flower beds) and you are good to go!
     
  9. snuzulooz

    snuzulooz New Egg

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    Awesome! That is exactly what we will do. Just needed to think outside the box or in my case inside the U . Thanks!
     
  10. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Let's get creative here - - - - Is it a run if it isn't attached to the coop ? ?

    My chickens have a coop and a run. HOWEVER, they have way more fun in my potbelly pigs fenced in area. Compare this area to a fenced in back yard. It is not attached to the coop. I escourt the ladies (hens) to the "PARK" (the fenced area) every day. At the end of the day, I escourt them back to their coop and smaller run area.

    Consider a chicken tractor . . . same concept. Get them out of the coop area and into a fresh area as frequently as possible.
     

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