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making the ramp - wood frame with open hardware cloth center?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by samana, May 25, 2011.

  1. samana

    samana Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2011
    I've been reading all the great threads here on ramps and the innovative designs such as the astroturf one, laying down hardware cloth on top of a board, chicken steps, chicken ramps with some grips every 4" or so etc...

    I had an idea today I'd like to run by the more experienced here and get some thoughts [​IMG]

    Thinking of doing an open frame for a ramp, much like a picture frame.

    The idea behind my idea is that
    -it will be grippy enough for all ages,
    -easy to clean,
    -sand will fall through (sandy here)
    -will stay more dry
    -and maybe debris and snow will catch in it/ get rubbed off by it more (like the astro turf one) to keep the coop more dry and leaves and litter and things transferring less.

    My only thought is if there is freezing rain it could get coated and be slick but I'd probably be checking in that case anyways. And obviously if there's snow the snow would usually be enough grip I'd think..

    Any thoughts or anyone who has tried this much appreciated. [​IMG] My chicken door is probably only about a foot or less off the ground. My other consideration was some graduated cylinder blocks since I don't have a very long distance to go but this wire ramp will be easier for baby chicks to use if I ever have a broody hen raise some chicks in the future.

    My last thought is if you all think it's a good idea - what size hardware you'd suggest. I have 1/4" on hand. Might be too tiny? I think chicken wire would be too large.

    Here's a quick sketch:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd say if your only talking 1 ft, just go with whatever you have on hand, like a piece of plywood. My door is just like yours approx. 1.5 feet from the ground and the little buggers rarely use it, they just fly down and miss the entire ramp, and coming in you might see them use it on occasion. I'll attach a photo for you to see. I think your design will work, but at with most things we think the chickens will use and love, they end up breaking our hearts and avoiding the hard work we put into it [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ruger22mama

    ruger22mama Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2011
    Kansas City
    That is a fascinating idea! We have a huge hen (Peewee is 9# or more) that might have issues waddling up something like that if the pitch were too great, but I bet it can be fitted with ladder rungs on the top side. If the more experienced chicken peeps on here think it would work then I'm certainly going to plan on building one. I would build it with 1/2" hardware cloth.
     
  4. kichohana

    kichohana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Johnston County, NC
    My ramp is a 2x6 with small "rungs" spaced about 8" apart. they walk down to the end and hop the 12-18 inches to the ground. the whole thing gets pooped on and scraped clean every so often. i imagine a open frame wire covered ramp would work. imho it may not be so easy to scrape clean as poop would stick in between the wire. [​IMG]
     
  5. samana

    samana Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Well I think I will go ahead and give it a shot! Appreciate all the thoughts (and keep them coming if you have any more!). The pitch won't be much beings as its just a foot or so off the ground. They will still need it a bit I think b/c the entrance is an old doggie door insert and so its got a drop on both sides (in the coop too, not floor level) so not much foot hold or width for ease to fly through.

    So I will build one wire ramp for each side, make them 'disconnectable' with some grip clips and see how they go. I think yes they may get poo stuck on them, but it will dry and fall through as it gets walked on for the most part, then may just need a bbq brush to clean once in awhile. Will post pics and how it goes down the road [​IMG]
     
  6. samana

    samana Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2011
    Happy to report that the ramp worked out great! My little chicks seemed to enjoy it from the start, no hesitating or needing to force them to use it.

    Also love the fact that the poo dries on it quickly and then falls right through when given a nudge by traffic.

    I used 1/4" hardware cloth and some tool grip clips so that I can grab them off the wall to clean if needed.

    The cloth was stiff enough that I didn't add any horizontal support save for the dowel that clips into the metal gripper on the wall. Here are some pics for reference:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. cowchipss

    cowchipss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Looks great! Do you have any ramp "in use" pix? :-}
     
  8. samana

    samana Out Of The Brooder

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    I do have some - here's my Ameraucana using it and hanging out on it with her isa brown buddy [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. cowchipss

    cowchipss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2011
    Very late response... Thanks for posting ramp pics. [​IMG] I love Ameraucanas. How is the coop working for you?
     
  10. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, I think it is a great idea. Any ramp idea seems to work from what I've seen and tried. Like all ramps, they will poop on it, so the open mesh idea seems perfect for easy clean up....but I'm not sure about scraping, more like hose off. Then I would be concerned about how long the wire would last. Just thoughts. My other thought is, from your photos it looks like you have a ramp going up from floor..over sill of opening...then a ramp going down what appears on 6" or so. Why a ramp at all if that is the distance they have to navigate? The little suckers can jump pretty high with no problem, so I'm just curious as to the use of a ramp at all. Still cool idea though! Good luck with it.
    Erik
     

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