New coop for my growing flock

clickdb

Chirping
May 22, 2015
226
52
73
High Desert, Southern California
My Coop
My Coop
Building a coop for my young flock. I used an old frame of a 10x10 shader(?) to create their run, I did that a few weeks ago, thinking the babies would stay small a bit longer (yeah, I'm new to this). Starting last week I have been taking my older 5 outside to the run during the day, they have been loving it. Ultimately they will be free ranging on 2 acres most of the time.
The coop frame is 4'x4', raised 1' off the ground, 5' tall on the high side of the roof, 3 nest boxes, and includes a pullout tray for easy cleaning. The roof will also swing off to aid in deep cleaning (at least that's the plan at the moment, might change tomorrow when I actually put it on).
I also plan on putting a number of 6" round windows, so I can adjust the circulation/ventilation a bit better. I live in a hot desert that has decently chilly winters so I have to be able to adjust it during the year.

Feedback welcome, this Is my first coop attempt, designed it myself.
More pics will come tomorrow!

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junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,203
491
Long Beach, WA
If you plan to leave them in the run overnight, be sure that your run is raccoon and coyote proof. If you can fit a couple fingers in a space, a coon could reach it's whole arm through. Any chicken it could reach is a dead chicken.
 

lynnehd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 1, 2015
777
137
206
Vancouver, Wa.
If you plan to leave them in the run overnight, be sure that your run is raccoon and coyote proof. If you can fit a couple fingers in a space, a coon could reach it's whole arm through. Any chicken it could reach is a dead chicken.
Yes, if that's the case, you could cover the bottom 2-3 feet of the run with 1/2 inch hardware mesh over the existing wire. Even better, you could get 4' wide 1/2" mesh, and, for example, cover 2.5' of the bottom of the run then fan it out 1.5' along the ground (an 'apron') to help thwart digging predators. Bury the apron a few inches under the soil and/or cover it with gravel, and secure with garden staples.
I also framed in the inside of my 'man door' and any 'free range' doors if the gap was > 1/2"

As you work on predator proofing your run, you could then feel comfortable about leaving the coop door open at night, which is what I can do.

Additionally, in colder weather, you could cover 1-2 of the 'bad weather sides' (North, East?), with a clear tarp.
 
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clickdb

Chirping
May 22, 2015
226
52
73
High Desert, Southern California
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks for the tips on predator proofing. I am going to work on that next.

Finished putting the walls and roof on today, filled it with pine shavings and my chickies seemed to like it, they spent a bit of time throwing shavings and playing before heading back out into the run.
And I blocked off the nest boxes for now, thanks to the numerous tips here about not letting them get into the habit of sleeping in there.

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clickdb

Chirping
May 22, 2015
226
52
73
High Desert, Southern California
My Coop
My Coop
After reading about a lot of coop and run designs, I decided to add an extra separate 4'x10' run and small coop. It seems important to be able to occasionally separate a chicken or two if there are problems or I need to introduce a new bird into the flock. I figured it was better to do it now (while I'm motivated) instead of waiting for a problem to come along and not having it when I needed it, and I can work on security for the whole unit at once.

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It still needs a door, but I'm workin on it.
 
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