On a whim I decided our spoiled little feathered family members needed a new coop (really 2 new ones) and run area. Well, really it could be me deciding we need to expand the feathered side of the family lol! We're not in any time crunch for it so we're starting with what will be the run area, then moving on to the coops. I can use an extra run area right now due to the fact we have some babies that aren't big enough to stay outside full time, but they can absolutely spend most of their days outside. For some reason, I don't know if my older ones are just too spoiled or what, but they don't get along with young birds particularly well. If I wait to introduce new ones until they are about 10-11 weeks old, everyone gets along great. Any time before that - it's the biggest ordeal you've ever seen. Some of the older ones will begin to starve themselves and not want to leave the run at all (they free range all day, so run areas aren't that massive and I feel horrible when they do that) and 2 others just see red and try to murder everything. And all this from the sweetest chickens I've ever had. They follow us around the yard, almost beg and drive you insane to be held and carried around, they will even "talk" to you. I don't know what happens, or why, but that's the main reason I decided to start with a separate run area. To have the little ones able to get outside now they they can and not have to worry about coming back to horror. I'm thinking by the time we get it all done and move in ready, they'll be past that threshold of the age that requires their immediate doom, and onto the living peacefully forever part. When we get to that part, the old coop will be move and joined, as well as the old run. But that's enough back story on my crazy chickens, lets get on to the progression of this new coop/run! We decided to use the kids old swing set to do the new run with - this was what we started with (minus the swings of course): You can see on the top bar we started spraying it black - basic, simple, and I have endless cans of black spray paint lol. Next, we started framing it up with 2x4's. Here you can see the skeleton of what will be the new coop. They will be joined together when we get that far. Then the 2x6's go on. Here, I've "stained" the portions of the wood that will be exposed in a barn red. (It's not stain, it's simple outdoor paint that I dry rubbed on with a rag) You can see the red better here. The end behind the tree has been completely framed in at this point. Chicken wire going over the section where I used the red paint/dry-rub. Opposite side. My pretty blue tin sheets going up on the other side (this is why I didn't bother with painting that half of the wood.) I also got my little 'patio' put down today with newly painted chair and table, this is also getting covered, for my comfort and convenience lol). This is where it's currently at as we start working on it today. It's not far from being finished, we'll probably be done with it today. Then it's on to the coop. The coop will connect onto the end with the tin on it, with their pop door leading straight into it. When we get it ready for move it, we will move the other coop to the opposite end of the run. The other run with also be taken down and move over coming off this section (opposite side of the tin) to the back to give more space, even though they don't really spend much of their time in it at all, they free range almost all day. I just want it to be big enough for everyone to be happy in case something ever happened where they had to spend a lengthy amount of time in it. Also, the bundle of stuff that's been inside the run in almost every picture is underpinning. This is for around the bottom of the fenced area (painted blue to match the tin, I'm thinking as of now). They'll be on the outside of the fencing (to protect the every fragile chicken wire, and thus the chickens), dropped 8-12" into the ground and extending almost half way up, 3 1/2 feet up the sides. The gate to get in and out of the run will be in the very back once the existing coop and run are moved and added. I'm quite happy with how it's coming along. Ill be adding an update tonight of the day's progress! Hopefully we've got this part finished and ready to move on when that time gets here! Any suggestions? Anything I'm not remembering/haven't thought of? We don't have any huge problems with predators. I've never had anything dig into the other coops, it's never looked like it's been messed with. But, as always there are exceptions, hawks are an issue for us. I have lost some while they were free ranging to hawks. The run will be completely hawk-proofed. Also, we have an armadillo. Not as a pet, but he ought to be at this point. You can sit around and watch him play in the back yard in the late evening hours. I've caught him playing with our dogs, and even our cat before. He never messes with my flowers, never digs up the yard leaving holes everywhere - but he has an obsession with the chickens. He doesn't try to hurt them, he just wants to be around them at night for some reason. But he destroys so much burrowing in and out. And he always finds a way in. Any suggestions on why he might want to be in there so much? And what I can do to keep him out of the new one? I do not want to kill him - that is not even remotely an option - I am quite attached to him and enjoy his presence - so, I don't want to run him off either. I simply want to keep him out of the coop. If I knew what was in it that he likes so much, I'd make sure he had it on the outside lol. I've spent hours searching online and only get "kill it - it's an ugly pest!" And I'm not doing that. If I have to I'll make him move in with the chickens before I do that haha!