Need help with my brilliant idea, please!!!

gotro17

Songster
Oct 25, 2015
631
78
166
Thousand Oaks, CA
Chicken math has set in and I have now decided I need ALOT more space! We recently moved into our "dream house", on a half acre lot (almost unheard of in Southern California). There is a shed/playhouse I had an epiphany I could attach the coop to. My girls can watch their feathered sisters from inside the playhouse, while the north wall provides great structure and protection. The "wall" closest to me I plan on making solid wood with the nesting boxes protruding out, giving us access to the eggs. I also picture making the right wall built up with wood, to the first post, to protect from wind and rain. If course there will be hardware cloth from the top of the wall to a frame and door at the end of the playhouse... They need protection from hawk threats. They will have the perimeter of my garden to free range (with supervision
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..

Now- I just need some better ideas or execution thoughts to help me explain to hubby how this will happen and not look totally cheesy! Please excuse all the trash and junk... The previous owners left that, and then some, when they moved!
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gotro17

Songster
Oct 25, 2015
631
78
166
Thousand Oaks, CA
Here's the view from inside the playhouse... Please forgive all messes. My father in law is painting it (pink and purple, of course) for our daughters... I'm thinking ladder roosts with another just beneath the windows.
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Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
58,322
242,653
1,687
Sounds like a good plan - I hope that some BYCers with more imagination will chip in, but from a practical, rather than aesthetic point of view here's a couple of things I would consider.

1. Are there other windows in the shed / playhouse that can be opened for ventilation? - opening the windows directly onto the coop / run may give you issues of odour / dust.

2. I'd lower the height of the wall to give the chickens more daylight and you will be able to see them more readily from the house.

3. if you go with suggestion 2 then you may have sufficient bricks to recycle for the "coop" part of the construction which may improve the aesthetics.

4. Take a look at the roofing over the run area as from the photo it seems its creating a "V" with the shed / playhouse and ensure that there is effective guttering in place (don't want the bedding / coop flooring to get wet).

Thats all i can think of (its only just gone 7am here in Nairobi so my brain is not what it could be
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).

Good luck

CT

Ok, and maybe consider using something like clear corrugated plastic for the wind / rain protection? - it will provide a little more light inside the coop area.
 

gotro17

Songster
Oct 25, 2015
631
78
166
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thank you! As for other windows, yes- there are two more windows, plus two entrances, with openable windows too. The block wall is our back fence we share with the neighbors... I do like the idea of corrugated clear plastic for the side~ thanks! The roof is pitched away, with rain gutters off the opposite side of the playhouse. I'm thinking of putting in a raised floor, we are on clay and expecting "El Nino" this year (in our drought state, I'll believe it when I see it!). They will then have RE entire perimeter of this area, along the wall, to in front of the large mandarin. I'm moving the blood orange, and fig, trees to the perimeter as well, for protection and to open up an outdoor "dining" room. We will fill in most of the center area with gravel and a mulch border. We will erect a 5' fence which I plan to plant with lavender, mint and rosemary, along the outside of the run- they can graze through fence, saving the esthetics. Along the back wall, I'm putting more bougainvillea, some grasses and cape honeysuckle for some hawk protection...
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Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
58,322
242,653
1,687
You're welcome! Sounds like you have it all sorted. I know what you mean about hawk protection - they are stunning creatures, but i just wish they would not eat my chickens! I let mine free range (in a similar size property to yours) and consider the occasional loss as part of the bigger picture (not to say i don't rant and rave when it happens though!). I'm going to try with a catapult when i return from Xmas in the UK - no intention of trying to harm the hawks, just scare them away - ditto with the troop of monkeys that wreak havoc in my garden (as well as roofing tiles and glass windows now and again)
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All the best and post some pics when you've got it sorted.

CT
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,083
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Hey gotro17 that looks like an area that could be put to great use for your chickens and I hope that you get some more creative ideas from BYCers like the ones you already have from CTKen; sadly creativity, design and building stuff is not my forte
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I just wanted to mention that here we have laws which state that the coop and run have to be so many metres away from an adjoining fence and wonder if you have any similar laws?

I would hate for you to go to all the trouble of making it chicken friendly to find out that the positioning is wrong.
 

gotro17

Songster
Oct 25, 2015
631
78
166
Thousand Oaks, CA
Thank you both! What I desperately need help with is how to enclose the space, exactly, behind the playhouse.

Where do you live, Telia? I doubt we have any laws regarding distance away, we are in a "horse property" neighborhood.
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,083
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Thank you both! What I desperately need help with is how to enclose the space, exactly, behind the playhouse.

Where do you live, Telia? I doubt we have any laws regarding distance away, we are in a "horse property" neighborhood.

Hey gotro17 I am in Aus, so a long way from you; just wanted to preempt any possible issues before you do too much.
 

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