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My urban stealth coop ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CptCluck, May 18, 2011.

  1. CptCluck

    CptCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Indianapolis
    Hello,
    The wife and I are seriously considering about getting and keeping 3 illegal fancy Australasian ground parrots. I live in a city where this need to be kept on the down-low [​IMG]

    We're am thinking about building a coop under my back deck, behind the lattice deck "skirt" or whatever it's called. It'll be invisible for the most part. I'll put the lattice on a hinge for access. I'm looking at making 4 sq. ft per hen, so am thinking about 4'x3' and 3' high - with the three nesting boxes up near the top, leaving the entire floor space clear.

    We don't think we need a run because our yard is 60' x 120' with 6-ft solid privacy fence all the way around it. Friendly neighbors on two sides. We're hoping to just let them out into the yard.

    Here's my notes from what I've read, please help me out if I am missing anything:

    1) I'm thinking of ventilation at top and bottom - perhaps 1" gaps around the floor and again near the roof - or perhaps just near the roof. I'm reading conflicting things.
    2) I want a solid, linoleum-covered floor for the "scrape it all out into a bucket" mucking method.
    3) The whole front will be a tightly-fitted wood door, for ease of cleaning
    4) It gets cold here, so thinking about building this as tight solid as possible (except for the vents)
    5) we have raccoons and the occasional possum that show up around dusk every night- another reason to build solidly
    6) I am going to build it on a foundation of treated 2x4s to keep it from rotting on the ground...

    What am I missing? thanks [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  2. Mom2sixpeeps

    Mom2sixpeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Monroe, GA
    My chicken coop is under the 8x8 stair landing from our deck, we love it. I was concerned in the beginning about smell, but there's no smell.
     
  3. CptCluck

    CptCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Indianapolis
    Quote:Thanks, I appreciate that- we just don't know what to expect as far as smell and noise. We'll start with 2 or 3 max, probably get a smallish egg laying breed.
     
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    So, here's the deal. Chickens are loud when they lay eggs. I love the noise, but if you are trying to have stealth chickens, that egg song will give you away.

    Ventilation should be at the top only. Ventilation at the bottom would likely lead to draft. There's a great ventilation page on here somewhere...

    Good luck [​IMG]
     
  5. Secretchicken

    Secretchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    We also have stealth chickens and have never used laying boxes. I do put straw in the mini coop (looks like a dog house) and the girls make nests like real birds. They do the egg song sometimes. I make sure to give the neighbors on both sides free eggs on a regular basis. Our new coop will just be a bigger "dog house" and the attached run will have lattice surrounding it with flowers. I have to let them out and lock them in every morning and night. We have too many predators.
     
  6. Secretchicken

    Secretchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
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    Quote:Thanks, I appreciate that- we just don't know what to expect as far as smell and noise. We'll start with 2 or 3 max, probably get a smallish egg laying breed.

    We have all bantam breeds...If you are used to 2 eggs on your sammie, you'll need 3 of what our girls lay. About 2/3 the size of a regular large egg from the store. Little chickens are easier for us resistance farmers to keep.
     
  7. calista

    calista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2010
    You know, along with my off-the-wall idea about characterizing illegal hens as Australian Ground Parrots (and helpfully giving suspicious busybodies the Google link to prove their existence), I've often wondered why more stealth chicken owners don't use the magician's trick of illusion and misdirection through SOUNDS.

    If you build your lattice-skirted back deck coop (very cool idea!) and find that everything is hidden except the daily egg songs, well, then, be sure to get in the habit of playing some of these while you're reclining in your deck chair right over the top of your stealth chickens when the busybody glares over the fence and asks about the cackling: CHICKEN SOUND EFFECTS

    http://www.sounddogs.com/searchresults.asp?Keyword=Chicken

    Examples: Rooster,Medium Distant,Call,x2,BG Chicken and Birds (MONO)
    Hen,Moans,Coo,Calm,Nursing Chicks,Sporadic Chick Cheeps (MONO)

    Look wistful as you raise your specialty beer in their direction and say, "Yes, I grew up on a farm and have been so nostalgic lately for that lifestyle that I just had to order some recordings of chicken noises. I find it very soothing instead of gangsta rap, don't you?"

    Better to be deemed the neighborhood weirdo than to sacrifice your right to backyard chickens. [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  8. CptCluck

    CptCluck Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Indianapolis
    Hah- right on. I actually think we'll be OK with the visibility, the noise is the potential issue. We're talking three hens here. If they lay eggs only inside their coop - I can build it tight enough and orient the door to limit noise to the potential problem neighbors. Coop location is about 100 - 150' from the neighbor's backdoor, with trees, 6' privacy fence, and woodpile in between.

    This would be the size of a doghouse too...
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  9. Sassafras

    Sassafras Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 16, 2011
    N.H.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A deck coop sounds neat as all get out!! [​IMG] I would personally opt for cement floors if going all-solid though. Get a hose with a power nozzle and spray down daily. That's what most places use for real (messy) parrots. I can tell you from working as a bird keeper...scraping is the worst. The. Worst. Sand with a sieve scoop, or cement with a hose will probably save you at least an hour or two of cursing!
     

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