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Ideas for a protected area around the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicken Cake, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. Chicken Cake

    Chicken Cake Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    One of my dogs is not safe with the chickens and I have kids who want to visit, feed, check for eggs, etc.. I rotate the yard with chickens and dogs, and that is pretty failsafe but there is always a chance someone could let the dog out at the exact moment I’ve opened the coop door and the chickens squeeze out when they were not meant to have their turn. I also plan to have my dog sitter collect eggs/check on things twice a day while she’s here, and have neighborhood boys who will do the chicken grunt work and exercise the dogs. It would be ideal if they could all do both things at once. We were going to add electric poultry netting but that seems like overkill for what I need.

    Here is the mostly finished coop (right) and covered run under my kids’ playhouse. There is a full sized door on the long side of the coop and a smaller door on the back of the run. Those will be the only places the chickens come out unless we decide to add a pop door somewhere.
    https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/s...OzkDHTS0UuO?v=grid&ref_=cd_ph_share_link_copy

    The “buffer” doesn’t have to be predator proof but I would like it to briefly hold off a large dog and high enough the chickens don’t pop right over. Basically, an area that anyone should be able to herd them back in one of the doors. It also needs to either be attractive or nearly invisible. My husband would prefer that it was cheap and easy to put up because he is over building more things for the chickens. LOL

    This is a rough draft of my thought and where I might end up putting the nest boxes for outside collection.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    even with all the preventive measures in place.. accidents can still happened

    i would suggest putting a sign right on the door of the coop.. reminding the person to remember to keep the dog in a secured place before opening

    the same of how i put my dog away when we have strangers in the house (phone tech, electrician, etc..)
     
  3. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2016
    Missouri
    I'm not sure about cheap, easy and invisible! We have the same issue. Dog thinks chickens might be tasty, and a couple of the chickens think they might like to fling themselves out the coop door. Not a good combo! I've though about either enclosing a buffer space using those prefab picket fences or (ugly but temporary) a dog pen barrier ( think they may call them x-pens) just in the immediate area. Again, neither are real predator barriers, just giving a degree of comfort that things can be easily sorted out in the event the three year old lets the dog out while I'm out messing with the chickens.
     
  4. Chicken Cake

    Chicken Cake Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    We have several barriers in place now for when the chickens free range but I don’t use them all every time I go out to check something in the coop. It’s not a problem when I’m home alone but the 4 other people living here could mess that system up. And, the point would be that the dogs CAN be in the yard at the same time I’m refilling the food/water/whatever.

    Cheap is relative because we’ve already spent over $1000 to have these chickens. LOL I’m looking into T-posts and welded wire or no climb horse fencing.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/studded-t-post-6-ft-133-lb-per-foot

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/welded-wire-60-in-x-100-ft?cm_vc=-10005

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/non-climb-horse-fence-48-in-x-100-ft?cm_vc=IOPDP1
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd go with Tposts and 14ga 2x4 x 6' fencing....you can use shorter posts and let the top of 6' fencing be 'floppy' to dissuade birds from landing on top of fence.
    Note: a 6' Tpost includes the part that goes into the ground.
    Spray paint the white top of posts, makes them more 'attractive'...or rather less visible.
    I like the cast Tposts, there easy to install with a post hammer(if your ground is not rocky)....
    .....and they are even fairly easy to remove and relocate(again depending on soil-mines pretty sandy).
    Gates can be tricky tho.
    The fence clips can just be clipped on rather than bent around as intended, again easy to relocate and easier to install.
    Put the fence on the dog side of the posts, so if dogs jump against fence the post will hold it.
     
  6. Chicken Cake

    Chicken Cake Out Of The Brooder

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    This is pretty cheap and I’d only need 50 feet so I could double up to go higher.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/welded-wire-48-in-x-100-ft?cm_vc=IOPDP1

    To make it really easy, I could use 2 of these for the long sides with a post in each corner and still go up with something else.

    http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/horse-fence-panel-5-ft-x-16-ft?cm_vc=-10005

    We would put a 4 foot wide gate in that short side on the back and my husband could build it, no problem. I’m tempted to enclose under the playhouse deck and around the trees so the chickens could use that extra bit of space most of the day but I’m afraid they’d use the stump or deck as a launching pad to fly out.

    The dog ignores the chickens unless they are in places she doesn’t expect to see them or really flapping around. I believe she’s more protective of me than prey driven. Still not a good idea to chance it and we had a very scary moment last week, which is what prompted me to think further.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    2 levels of the 4' 14ga welded wire fencing might be tricky to install, you'd need very long (8') Tposts.
    Remember the labeled length of posts includes what goes into the ground, and doesn't match the fencing heights.

    The horse panel is overkill for what you want, IMO, it's very heavy (6ga rods) and hard to transport. It's a 16' long panel and doesn't roll up like the fencing.
     
  8. Chicken Cake

    Chicken Cake Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    I meant overlap 2 feet of the middle section to still have 6 feet.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    30,473
    3,361
    516
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
     
  10. Chicken Cake

    Chicken Cake Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    I brought this up to my husband today and he said he would build me larger area in back if I didn’t go around the corner to enclose the big door. Maybe even 8X12, which would give my 5 chickens lots of extra space when they aren’t free ranging. The deal is I have to agree to use T-posts and only one roll of welded wire but I could probably get something to put on top for hawk protection later. My dogs are not diggers and the one I’m concerned about will stop paying attention once they’ve been out there for a week (under my supervision).

    Is that set up reasonably safe to use without keeping an eye on them? I’d probably go with taller T-posts and maybe use the “overlap” as a very basic apron but those are all the extras I can push for.
     

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