1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Most secure run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KDOGG331, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,649
    182
    178
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I think predator proofing is relative really there are many factors namely your area and prospective predators, how much money you can spend, materials at hand already, and how big a deal it is to actually lose a chicken. If you are raising pet chickens and only have 6 and you can't bear the thought of one dying then you should probably go all hardware cloth completely sealed, this often is more realistic with a small coop run than surrounding a large semi free range area with hardware cloth.
    I run a larger amount of chickens around 50 if I lost an occasional one it's not a huge deal, I chose to use materials at hand which was dog kennel and protect against the larger predators. My coop is solid and nothing will get in it has a steel plate for a pop door though as of the last couple months I haven't even been closing it at night, and I do have weasels around the area along with any number of other predators but my only losses have been to raptors while ranging.
    With larger numbers of birds and a larger area to contain or range making a weasel proof area gets pretty costly
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

    8,387
    391
    358
    Jan 18, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Thank you all for the all the input!! Definitely a lot of stuff to consider!!

    The security against larger predators is what my dad was most concerned with and he wanted to just have it like a normal fence. I don't think that would be very secure. But do you think would framed like above with frame every 3 or 4 feet and a horizontal one at 3 feet it would be more secure??

    The wood for that might get expensive though. I hadn't really calculated that part. Even if the HC might be cheaper initially the wood would probably add up I guess.

    My dad wants to just use the dog kennels. As for existing materials, that's why we're using one now cause we had it laying around for years. I guess it does make sense to just expand that but I don't know. I don't want predators but it would probably be easier and cheaper. I thought of maybe a combo of the two but that would look bad.

    Supposedly we have raccoons but I have never seen one. We haven't even had anything try, knock on wood, that I can tell. Even started digging a trench around 2 sides but stopped but so it'd be easy but nope. Maybe they are getting fat on trash. They are off our back deck though and we leave the light on at night. Sometimes I let them free range and have been more lately. But even inside they seem bored but alright. Right now we actually seem to have more of a problem with the squirrels and wild birds. They don't go after their food that I've seen but after the corn and goods I sometimes toss while they free range. The squirrels are getting bolder by the minute lol and today we had 3 doves by their run and a fat squirrel. The girls ran them off though when they finally noticed (they were on the other part of the yard)

    We only have 8 and to me they're pets but to my dad and brother they would gladly eat them when they slow production. I'm not sure if that's just a mean joke thougg or what but either way I will NOT be allowing it. Lol. But yeah, I'd be pretty upset if I lost one of them.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

    8,387
    391
    358
    Jan 18, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Alright new question: anyone have experience with hoop coops/runs? Now we're thinking of building one of those for the run.
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

    8,387
    391
    358
    Jan 18, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Still gonna have a real coop though
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,649
    182
    178
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I have one use it for my meat birds last summer and right now it is my pig house
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

    8,387
    391
    358
    Jan 18, 2008
    Massachusetts

    And it's pretty secure? The birds can't fit through the holes right? My dad's worried about foxes and how it stays upright?
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,649
    182
    178
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    It's cattle panel so the holes are quite large I ran chicken wire across the bottom area on both sides so the holes werent an issue, I then put a tarp over the top which went almost to the ground on each side and wrapped around the back since I was using it as the actual coop not just the run. Mine is built 3 panels long my buddy build a larger one 6 panels long.
    To keep it in place I screwed together a wood frame of 2x4s 8 feet wide by whatever the length of 3 panels is, just over 12 feet I think because I want to say each panel is 50 inches but that will vary with suppliers.
    I bent the hoops and temporarily secured them with large zip ties then I welded all the panel's together. I then had an extra panel I welded across the back for a back wall then I cut the remainder off and used it to partially enclose the front wall and then built a door into that. However you can just attach them together with heavy zip ties or wire you don't need to weld them, I plan on moving mine around for different purposes so I figured welding it was the best
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,649
    182
    178
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I have seen others on here just drive steel fence posts in the ground along the sides to hold the hoop coop in place as well but that's gonna be better for a permanent location than a mobile coop
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

    8,387
    391
    358
    Jan 18, 2008
    Massachusetts
    Thanks for all the info and details on how you did it! We are planning on building this coop so it will just be a run, though I did initially considet a hoop coop. Already have the wood, gotta get building. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jonny-anvils-chicken-coop

    I think we will make it 4 panels long but might go 6 or just 3. The current run is a 6x12 dog kennel we had laying around and it's a bit small for them so wanted to give more space. But then again the extra 2 feet in width would probably help plus the fact the coop is sitting smack dab in the middle of the run so that takes up space, especially since the bottom is enclosed. New coop will be outside the run. Do you need 2 people to bend the panels or were you able to do it yourself? Don't knoe if we even have access to welding but zip ties would probably work. I think we actually have a bunch of left over fence ties we had bought to fix the parts of the kennel that had come undone from sitting for years. Could probably use those? It definitely seems like a nice option though. I hadn't thought of the chicken wire idea, figured I'd need hardware cloth but chicken wire makes more sense and more economical. Is the tarp necessary or more just to be a little warmer in winter and give shade or rain protection? They'll be locked into a solid wood coop at night so I figure raccoons aren't an issue especially since I've never seen any but I guess I should still be careful. But have you had an issue with larger predators? Assuming not or you wouldn't still use it? I'm assuming since it is designed to hold cattle in that it could keep a fox or coyote out? I also like that the whole thing is sort of it's own enclosure too, like that I would not have to run bird netting or anything over the top to keep hawks out. Did you run a beam or anything under the top to hold it up or no? Sorry for all the questions..... hahah
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  10. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

    644
    76
    108
    Mar 25, 2016
    Southwest Virginia
    I have an 8' x 16' Hoop Coop. 4" x 4" x 16' baseboards on the sides and 2" x 4" x 8' baseboards on the ends. These are setting on concrete blocks or concrete end caps (I used them to level on a slope) which are setting on buried rabbit fencing. The length of the coop, like blucoondawg, is arched cattle panels. I covered my panels in hardware cloth (because I live rural and we have coons, coyotes, etc and while I've all ready shot a lot of them - there's always more to go around). I used t1-11 plywood to make my end cap walls. The front half is completely open run and the rear has an elevated coop (~ 2' off the ground so they can have ground access to the entire thing, essentially having an 8' x 16' run.

    The coop is basically the entire rear 8' x 8' but is really around 8' x 6' because I made straight side walls on the coop instead of curved walls so I had to come in about a a foot on each side to fit inside the hoop walls. I basically made a frame that attached to the rear framed plywood and my center post and added plywood walls. I didn't build a roof for the coop (since I have a heavy duty trucker's tarp (TSC) covering the rear of the entire hoop coop. I just covered the top of the coop with hardware cloth for ventilation. I'll add photos soon but basically it's a big box without a roof inside an 8 x 16 hoop coop. A lot of people just stack straw bales or such to act as a windbreak and that was my original plan as well, but 1.) I had a lot of extra lumber laying around, & 2.) I'm one of those sissy types that worry about my birds so wanted to give them another level of security by adding the coop to help against the elements and predation. I think that the hay/straw/whatever windbreaks are perfectly fine and would be using it if I didn't have a ton of extra lumber laying around.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by