My 12x12 wire coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WoundedEgo, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Alabama
    Yes, I didn't know my terms... it is a "run." No building.

    I was thinking that a trash can turned on itside might make a nice place to escape the cold (since it is plastic, waterproof, windproof) and allow the bird a place to nest.

    I have a few trash cans and plan on just having a few birds to start.

    Will that work or do I need a building?
     
  2. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Alabama
    Someone suggested putting Bird Cloth over the run. Given that I have many trees growing out of the run, I'm wondering if I couldn't just put some ribbons and/or aluminum plates in the trees that will scare off birds, should they happen to peer through the trees and see the birds.
     
  3. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    It depends on your weather. What's it like there?

    Trash can sounds like an igloo doghouse, which a lot of people use. The only difference is the opening.

    How are you going to protect the chickens at ground level from predators? Most coops have roosts up high so they are off the ground and predators can't reach them. Igloo doghouses have small openings.

    But my close friend had her 2 chickens in an igloo all winter and they are fine.

    I'm new, don't have any chickens yet, so not the best person to tell you all you would need to know to make a decision ... HOPEFULLY lots of people will chime in soon with excellent advice. [​IMG]

    Reading threads on this board is probably the most valuable thing you can do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  4. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2008
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    When I lived in Costa Rica, my neighbor had chickens. The weather was always hot, so they just hung around and roosted about 8 feet up on the trees. My run has several small trees and I think that when the weather is good they will just jump up there. When they need to hunker down (we have about one snow a year - but it CAN get really cold from time to time) I think they will be cozy way in the back/bottom of the can. The air in the can will, I think, prevent the wind from entering the can very much. I think that I might rig up some strips of plastic that they can walk through, but make a rain barrier - like they have on walk in coolers, or better yet, just make a plastic lean-to so they have a covered and non-straight entranceway. I certainly can make the entrance smaller if that is advised. What is the ideal entrance size? This being a trash can, I can Duck Tape the lid on and make a smaller hole in the bottom.

    I didn't think about raising up their shelter. I have some old plywood. I could set the plywood on cinder blocks, then set the trash cans on that. How high is ideal?

    Thanks!
     
  5. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Alabama
    UPDATE:

    Now that I have learned a few things....

    * my "coop" is actually just a "run" (new jargon for me)
    * my "12x12" turns out to be 15x15
    * I have obtained a rooster (black and white, kind of like a pigeon) and two hens (one like a pigeon, one red)
    * I am using 3 trash cans on their sides with plastic taped over the opening and a door cut out (but still hanging there like a flapping door)
    * I have installed hardware cloth all around. I had a fox or something try to dig under and they were unsuccessful
    * the cats have largely ignored the chickens, though one sometimes spends time checking them out
    * the dogs (Border Collie/German Shepherd cross) are OBSESSED with them and spend hours barking, running around their run and just watching, panting.

    New concerns:

    * I didn't put a top on the run. I did add a tarp to block some wind and rain, but it is still mostly open at top. I guess they are sitting ducks for a racoon who can climb over?

    * how long will it take them to acclimate to their run so that I can let them out and feel confident that they will come back?

    My trash cans will not work well once they start laying as it will be too hard to retrieve the eggs. I'm going to use a large tub with a lid that I can pop off.

    Chickens are kewl!
     
  6. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    * I didn't put a top on the run. I did add a tarp to block some wind and rain, but it is still mostly open at top. I guess they are sitting ducks for a racoon who can climb over?

    * how long will it take them to acclimate to their run so that I can let them out and feel confident that they will come back?

    My trash cans will not work well once they start laying as it will be too hard to retrieve the eggs. I'm going to use a large tub with a lid that I can pop off.

    Sounds like you are getting the hang of things pretty quickly... [​IMG]

    How tall is the run fence? I have never heard anyone complain of a raccoon climbing up and over.

    You could use bird netting over the top to keep out hawks, and tarp part of it so they'll have a place to get out of wind/rain.

    Keep hanging around here and you'll have that coop built in no time! [​IMG]
     
  7. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2008
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    Quote:The fence is about 4 feet tall.

    I have all kinds of trees growing in the run that I hate to cut down. My thinking about hawks is that my plan is to let the chickens roam free all day (when hawks attack) anyway, so I'm thinking that in this bigger picture, the netting won't really help.
     
  8. NancyDz

    NancyDz Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    Most definitely a raccoon could climb up and over, we had one scale the side of a wood building to try
    to get in through the vents on the top. Either make the whole run raccoon proof by putting on a sturdy
    top or make sure where they sleep is not accessible at night. Raccoons are smart and opened a slide lock on
    our coop, I now have a carabiner on the door and they havent figured it out . You could also try electric
    fence around it, sometimes that is easier and cheaper than enclosing.

    Sounds like a nice area for your chickens... beware they are addicting. I predict your 3 will grow very soon [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  9. whatsup chickenbutt

    whatsup chickenbutt Songster

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    Sep 9, 2008
    if youre wondering how long until you can let them out and they will come back, Im sure they would come back now. it really doesnt take long, a couple of nights for mine, if even that, they always come back. they dont even leave the yard, for that matter.
     
  10. WoundedEgo

    WoundedEgo In the Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Alabama
    I guess the only ways to lock the chickens in at night and let them out in the morning are:

    * manual
    * electric door

    I dread manual because I'm sure to forget them and they will be locked in their little box for hours. Do the little automatic doors work ok? I only saw it on one site in the US and it had discontinued carrying them - not a good sign.

    I'm already addicted to chickens and plan on having lots. I've heard that they can largely feed themselves if allowed to roam free - is this true?

    My rooster is basically silent. He certainly doesn't crow at dawn. Isn't that pretty unusual? (I'm not complaining!) In fact, all my chickens seem serene and hardly even cluck.
     

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