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My coop idea: run under deck

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CptCluck, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. CptCluck

    CptCluck In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    What do you think of this idea:

    We're about to get 5 hens. Out back we have a pretty large wood deck that sits about 3' off the ground. I am thinking about walling it up with some wire and making it a "run for when we want to keep them out of the yard." I am thinking of making a smallish moveable coop that will sit right beside the deck, with two entrances, one in back to let them run and eat the bugs under the deck, and another door to let them out into the yard.

    No grass grows under there, but it's bug city... earwigs, ants, spiders, you name it. Good idea or not?

  2. CptCluck

    CptCluck In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    Further thought:

    Potential cons:
    I could never move it, or clean it.
    Would it cause a smell so near the house?
    I'd have to lock them out and away when I stain the deck.

    It doesn't get much water, so mud is not an issue.
  3. mlm Mike

    mlm Mike Sunna and Mani Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hardy Township, OH
    I'd be concerned about it smelling if they were only under the deck, also lack of sun, and any enjoyment of watching them. Also , what if they decide that is a good place to lay eggs, can you get the eggs out?
  4. SouthCoastguy

    SouthCoastguy In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2012
    Have you ever thought of building a chicken tractor that you can move around your yard? That way they can eat the bugs out of your lawn while they fertilize at the same time. The only con is that you will need to move it often or they will destroy the lawn. I built one for 3 hens...the only thing I do not like about it is that it is a little on the heavy side which makes it tough to move....you can see a picture of it at the below link

    Chicken tractor
  5. CptCluck

    CptCluck In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I'm just talking about turning the deck's "crawl space" into a run, not putting a coop under there...
  6. redhen689

    redhen689 Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    SE PA
    I think they might decide that it's a great place to lay eggs, and you'd have trouble accessing the eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  7. lokua

    lokua In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    I see the main issue being the inability to get under there to clean up or spread sand our straw to control odor. Eventually even a few birds will cover the area with poo and it WILL stink especially with no sun to dry it. Then you will have to crawl through a solid layer of droppings to clean them out our cover them. Not to mention having to catch them.

  8. Remudamom

    Remudamom Songster

    I wouldn't do it, it'll eventually stink and of course they will decide that it's egg laying heaven.
  9. I would bet they will find the shade and bugs without any help. I would not put them in there intentionaly. The egg gathering does not sound fun either
  10. CptCluck

    CptCluck In the Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    Thanks everyone - so my next question is: should I block off the deck's crawl space? There's a couple hundred square feet of space under there. I don't want my chickens dissappearing under there forever.

    I have a very large yard, and I intend for the whole yard to be a "free range." Thank you all for your advice!

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