In the beginning... First coop - April 2008

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wingnut1, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Hi! My DH and I benefited so much from reading the coop design posts. And I wanted to return the favor and show our chickenvironment!

    It began with a 10 x 10 dog kennel covered with shade cloth, poultry netting and with the bottom wrapped in hardware cloth. I'd read so much about predators on this site, and probably went a bit overboard.. (ya THINK?) on protection..

    And we bought a chick n barn from MPC

    We have our own built in predator - and any hopes that she would tire of stalking the chickens were quickly dashed.

    seemed to be enough room at first...
  2. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    As the 8 pullets and (what turned out to be) 1 roo grew, we quickly realized that we were short on space. The chick n barn is a barn to chicks... but to large standard chickens it is a teeny place.

    We did put the chick n barn on a frame (copied that idea from BYC!) so they had a covered place to hang out.. but it just didn't seem like enough space...


    We began work on a second coop - 9 ft long, 3 feet deep - a 2 story of sorts -- with plans to attach it to one end of the 10 x 10 dog kennel-ish original pen.

  3. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    And here is the 2nd coop, attached to the first pen/run - and to the right you can see the second run. Yep - the spoiled brats have a completely secured run and 2 coops and an open run - [​IMG]

    A focus on the 2nd coop -

    So - the wood coop is 9 x 3 x 5-7 ft tall -- inside, it is structured to have an upper floor that has roosts and will have nest boxes - and the floor of the upper level is part solid (covered with linoleum tiles for ease of cleaning) and pard hardware cloth for ventilation (we are in MS - heat is the largest issue we face) - the lower level is wrapped in hardware cloth, and a strip all around the bottom is left in just hardware cloth (no wood) for ventilation. The chickens love this cool covered area.
  4. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    In the pics, you'll see a door in the top level that goes out to the open pen - that is closed at night, open in the am. Because they have the run of the 2 coops and the first secured pen, I don't feel rushed to let them out in the am - but they are always happy to come on out!

    You'll also see a stretch of hardware cloth toward the top -- Gracie, the GL wyandotte - thought it would be great to show us how she can jump on top of the roof of the new coop. [​IMG] hence the solution you see...

    Basically, on the inside - the quiet areas are to the left and to the right - there is a ladder in the middle that goes down to the lower level and the secured coop that contains a chick n barn, and in the side in the middle there is the door mentioned above that goes to the outer pen.
  5. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    And now the 2nd run...the one that is open -- around 35 x 15 -

    we are finishing up by placing hardware cloth at the bottom - running it out from the bottom rather than digging. With the dogs in the side yard and the trees, we aren't too worried about predators in the open run during the day. But we wanted to have some protection.

    So with this run, we think we are done! Oh yes - the rolls of wire? To keep our german shepherd dog from doing the chicken terrorizing run... once the hardware cloth is down she won't need the rools as an obstacle.. she *hates* the feel of hardware cloth on her feet.. How fortunate!!!!

    SO the 8 chickens have the 10 x 10 secured run, the chick;n barn on a frame, the 9 x 6 wood coop that has 2 levels and the 35 x 15 open run. For the wyandottes, orpingtons, and the others (cuckoo maran, ameracauna, polish, cochin) - this seems to be about the right amount of space.

  6. tygab

    tygab Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    Wow, I'd say those are some lucky chickens! that's an awesome amount of space! do you have to worry about any overhead predators (lucky, if not)?

    nice work & I'm sure they love it.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have 11 week old chooks that could fly over that outdoor fence... and have seen coyotes who wouldn't have any problem getting over it.
  8. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    hey tygab,

    Lucky they are!

    We do have overhead predators, I am sure! I think they have easier pickings because we have tons of birds, herons, egrets, frogs, toads, squirrels, you name it... and there are trees and evergreens that the chickens can hide under. The chickens go out in the yard during the day, and are locked up in the secure pen at night. During the day, predators have to contend with two dogs who can run around the perimeter of the chicken pen.

    Better safe than sorry, though! . I have poultry netting to drape over the top of the open pen - need to get that installed asap!
  9. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Mahonri -

    In the Phoenix area, I wouldn't dream of having the chickens out in an unsecured pen even during the day with dogs around! Where I am in MS, it isn't as open as the desert - there are many trees.

    I can imagine that there are many kind of chickens that could fly over the 6 ft fence (though when the poultry netting is draped, I suppose that would be a futile activity). My chickens are all heavy breeds - in fact, one (Ivy - the cuckoo maran) tried to fly to the top of the new coop and, well, she didn't make it! *ow!* But my gl wyandotte and my polish did -- and we had to put up some hardware cloth at the top.
  10. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    That is very nice, I like the plants on the inside of the chicken pen, I bet the chickens like them too.

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