making a new predator proof run advice wanted

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Double Kindness, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I got in 150' of the good 1/2" galvanized fencing to put up an enclosed run for my chickens starting this weekend.

    There's been a live trap next door at the abandoned property and we catch raccoon, squirrels, and recently a skunk. I have seen mice scurrying around also and brazen songbirds getting into my chickens food and water.

    I'd like to not feed the local wildlife & keep my flocks happy, healthy and safe.

    The area is flat. This fencing is incredibly heavy! Oh my, I haven't worked with this stuff yet, but I bet it's going to kick my behind and I will kick my ayam cemani & haffie (ayam cemani x orpington) chicks out of my master bathroom to take a nice hot bath especially if this rain and cold weather continues.

    Atm I'm concentrating on keeping my 26 straight run chickens safe until it's time to go to freezer camp in a couple more months.

    I also need a place for the ayam cemani & haffies & bresse chickens I have/am getting over the next 2 weeks. My chicks are feathering out atm, and I was thinking of putting their run in a different area from the ones headed to freezer camp. I have room for possibly 2-3 more hens in my laying flock for any haffie or cemani pullets. Ideally though, I hope to have breeding pens to create my sustainable meat and egg laying flocks, and keep the purebreed apart.

    Help with designs that work for keeping the critters out, and how to separate out the roos for selective breeding while keeping all my pullets together is much needed by me, b/c I can't figure it out how to do that. Hawks also fly above regularly. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    What might work is sort of a row of coops or rooms for them, in a larger building, with separate runs attached to each. You can lay a fencing apron along the bottom, attached to the walls, to avoid digging the fence down into the earth, or use something like large rocks or pavers.

    You can also plan on keeping them all together except for time to breed, then separate out the pairs or trios you want to breed into a few breeding pens; might save in materials.

    You probably want some sort of netting for the top to exclude birds.

    Maybe something here isll give you some usefull ideas:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/large-chicken-coop-designs-pictures-of-chicken-coops

    Good luck!
     
  3. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our set up is a bit different. We have 1 area that's a big raised garden bed that has old landscape logs stacked up about 18" and we were thinking of enclosing it to use my 26 meatie dp chickens to get it ready for spring planting.

    This area has been unused for 6 years as a garden, there was a huge maple tree in my backyard that blocked the raised garden bed from getting any sunlight or getting warm enough to grow anything.

    We're excited to start planning our plot for spring planting and I'm getting ready to plant a bunch of garlic and onions where I have my current salad patch. It gets dappled sun most of the time, so what does well in the shade?

    My bf says he wants to build a little tractor for the front yard b/c my 6 little chicks look like they would love nothing better than to get out of that tiny brooder box in the master bathroom. These are my ayam cemani & my haffies which are ayam cemani x mottled orpington. I am expecting 12 bresse chicks in a couple of weeks on top of these 6. I may even pick up another 6 chicks of these ones littermates. Chicken math indeed rules my life.

    The next door neighbors said to go ahead and use anything in their backyard to use to build the coops and runs, and I've been collecting odds and ends as well as my friends, so there's a lot of potential here.

    There's another area on the other side of my barn that I'd also love to turn into a raised garden bed area with greenhouse potential but use maybe my sustainable meaties there once a year to kind of 'prep' the area for planting another crop there. I currently have 24 large plants in 7 gallon pots there doing well, but next year, to really utilize my property better.

    I need the barn for storage, as these chickens go through a bit of feed. I am looking for ideas to store their feed to keep critters out, such as mice and squirrels, as the squirrels were so determined to get at some boss seeds they gnawed through much of a home depot bucket to get at it and I saw a mouse under my current meatie dp chicken coop yesterday. So I know they're around. I want to get possibly 1000 lbs of feed stored, b/c going to the feed store every weekend is getting old already.

    I got a poultry pecker feeder thing from a friend that she said greenfire farm said they used. The plan is to put it on another bucket and see if it works, since I do have a rather large number of chickens in different areas, I'm trying to cut down on feed waste. It might be ok for a few chickens to waste feed, quite another to have 42 chickens waste feed like that. So gotta nip that in the bud.

    For a daytime type tractor for 6 chickens, how big should it be? They're not sleeping in it, just more like enclosed free ranging.
     
  4. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What size are the squares in your hard ware clothe? Hopefully small enough to keep birds out! I have a fully enclosed run for my layers. We didn't bury our hardware cloth but left enough to do so, the ground is to hard right now to dig.I think we are going to put pea gravel over top of it. Since you have a threat of hawks, I would completely enclose your run. Make it an A frame so you can save on the hardware clothe. Meat birds don't need much room in a run depending on what they are. They tend to want to stay close to the food and don't care about moving around to much. I would keep them separate from my layers Due to the fact it is very hard to make older birds like newbies! Save yourself the hassle and keep them separated. Chicken tractors are great for meat birds, if you have the room. You can move them all over. And they poo a lot! so you can spread the poo around and very little clean up! I have lost 2 flocks because of predators in the past and my own ignorance to the predators in the area! That was way before BYC! Now I am predator paranoid! I have hardware clothe everywhere! And it is not stapled it is screwed down with trim boards over top of it. Just a few thoughts good luck!
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  5. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hardware cloth is 1/2" squares. It's too big an area for a tractor, and we need it person sized to get the tiller in the spring inside the raised garden bed. So screwing the new fencing to the logs would work?
     
  6. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh and I already have them all separate. My layer flock is already in their enclosed run and coop.

    But my 26 dp meaties are in their temporary run while the raised bed gets enclosed, but this hardware cloth is crazy heavy and difficult to work with just me & my bf.

    And I have 6 chicks outgrowing the brooder box in the master bathroom, with another dozen chicks expected in 2 weeks and another 6 ayam cemani chicks. That's the next project after we finish the dp meatie run... so I need lots of help/ideas on how 2 ppl can work with this very heavy fencing? And attaching it to posts, we have really big heavy pavers too that we can use for the cemani/bresse run/coop.

    Then there's a little area on another side of my property that I wanted to build out for a raised garden greenhouse and do maybe 50 cornish x there once a year in the fall.
     

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