Is a hen house necessary in this set up?

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

  1. Gimpy Quail

    Gimpy Quail Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2014
    Apologies for not knowing proper terminology. I was looking at the following coop/run? to house a few hens. It comes with nest boxes and roosting bars. I live in the Sonoran Desert in the SW and was wondering if I still should have an additional enclosed (as in boxed in) area within this structure for nighttime roosting.

    I am (clearly) still in the planning stages. The linked design is divided in two. I intended to use one half for a few hens and the other half for doves, button quail (changing wire to hardware cloth).

    Here is the link to the coop/run:
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  2. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think just about anywhere you live you have to consider predators. If not walls at least some strong fencing to lock in your flock at night. Absolutely everything loves to eat chickens. A strong roost well off the ground will make them feel safe too. A quiet place to lay eggs. Speaking of eggs. If you wait to let the girls out in the mornings you won't be hunting eggs all the time. Even if it doesn't rain much a roof would be nice for shade. I hope this gives you something to think about anyway.
  3. Gimpy Quail

    Gimpy Quail Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2014
    Thank you for your reply. The linked coop does have a roof, nest boxes, and is enclosed (solid wall in back and chicken wire on sides). The entire structure will be in our backyard that itself is surrounded with 6' chain link fencing.

    Perhaps I was misunderstanding your reply but were you suggesting that I should have a separate area within the coop that is basically a large wood box in which they roost at night?

    In other words, is the coop that I linked not sufficient as is?
  4. flax99

    flax99 Just Hatched

    Apr 27, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    I'm a total noob, but that looks like a perfectly fine coop to me. It's similar to the one I'm building in my backyard right now, as it happens. I'm in southern California and get no wind or snow, but heat is definitely an issue. This design is super ventilated! With the hardware cloth I think you're good. My humble opinion.
    1 person likes this.
  5. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I live in Maricopa County just north of Phoenix off the I-17 and just south of Anthem so we're in the same type of environment. I'm no expert but I take security extremely serious due to the standard issue predators around here. I looked long and hard at the same website before deciding to design and build my own. There's nothing at all wrong with their coops and runs, in fact I think they make the best around if you're going to have someone build it. Their prices are very good too for what you're getting. I just figured I was going to spend a lot for the secure setup I wanted, and while I don't have a lot of free time, I have more time than money, so I figured I could build what I needed for a little less than the added labor cost of having someone else do it for me. So that's what I did and I'm very happy with my decision.

    The particular coop you're looking at would work fine I'd think. The only thing I'd have them do different is use 1/2" hardware cloth instead of chicken wire, and either add a 1/2" hardware cloth skirt at least 2' wide around the bottom or dig down at least 1' and attach the hardware cloth bottom that way. Definitely don't overlook the hardware cloth barriers though. I've only had chickens since January and I get persistent intruder attempts regularly since I've had the gals. But I think the coop itself with three sides and a roof is fine around here, especially on days like today when it got up past 100.
  6. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is me slapping my head in a aha moment. I just realized the avatar picture wasn't what you were describing. Duh! I clicked on the REAL design and I have to say I'm impressed. Like someone else mentioned wire mesh is a good idea. Your weather should be able to handle this. If you have an extended cold season you can always clip on some tarps on three sides temporarily.
  7. Hrairoo

    Hrairoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Don't house quail near chickens... the chickens can easily give them coryza and other viruses or diseases which can easily be fatal.
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    Unless you opt for the hardware cloth upgrade you will definitely need something more secure at the very least during the night time. Chicken wire provides no security from a determined predator so depending on the predator density and behavior patterns in your area, your birds might not be safe in chicken wire at all--even during the day. I'd not skimp on the upgrade.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    No apologies necessary, we all have to start somewhere.

    How many hens are “a few”? You might follow the link in my signature for some comments on space that might help you with management techniques. I think you will have plenty of room.

    I agree that should be quite satisfactory for you, though I also agree on using heavier wire mesh than chicken wire. You should have coyotes. They are big enough to tear most chicken wire. Chicken wire will provide some protection from certain predators but coyotes, big dogs, and large raccoons can rip it. Your 6’ fence should be a deterrent but can critters get under it by digging? Coyotes can jump really well too.

    I can’t see where the roosts are. They do need to be higher than the nests. Certain critters, like raccoons, have been known to reach through the openings in wire and pull a chicken out in pieces. You might want to put something solid or fairly small mesh wire at the ends of the roosts on the outside wall to prevent that. It’s not likely you will get a raccoon that will do that but it’s a reasonable precaution.

    I don’t do quail or doves. Where do they nest? Three nests will be plenty for 12 or more hens on the chicken side. You might be able to save some money by not getting the nest on the quail side. If you build it yourself especially and commit to going inside to gather the eggs you can probably get away with a much easier to build nest box, less cutting and less hardware. If someone is building that for you he may already have the nest built where all he has to do is slap it on. A simpler easy nest may not save you any money if he has to build special.

    If I have Ebola I can give you Ebola. If I don’t have Ebola I can’t give you Ebola. If your chickens have coryza or some other diseases they can pass them on. If they don’t have these diseases they cannot pass them on. Not all chickens are diseased.

    How much slope does that roof have? I know you don’t get a lot of rain but it just seems wrong to not have at least some slope on the roof.

    How tall are you? Is that 6’ height inside clearance or outside measure? You are going to be going in there. How much do you enjoy banging your head?

    I may sound like I’m being critical of that coop. I’m not, it looks really nice. But it might could use a few tweaks. Good luck!

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