1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

New coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by joedie, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. joedie

    joedie Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I ended up buying a 10x12 ft former construction office buidling for cheaper than I priced the lumber to build a coop of the same dimensions. It has 3 windows, vinyl siding, insulation, drywalled, and electricity. I'm going to put hardware cloth around the foundation 12 inches deep? and build an attached run. My chicks are 7 weeks old now and are curently in the basement so I need to finish this quickly.
    My question is, Since the foundation will be secure from predators, do I need to put hardware cloth across the windows? They are about 5 ft from the ground and I don't know what could scale the side to get in. They currently have window screens.
    I planned on just using the front door to let them in and out with a ramp. I wanted to avoid cutting a hole in the building for a pop door because of the electric outlets. (there are 11). I will cover the outlets with child protective covers . Does this sound okay?
    Also, I know this question is in the wrong place but, I plan on letting them frre range when I'm home. Are cats a problem or can the chickens defend themselves against them? I have 2 barn cats.

    Thanks for any assistance you can give.

  2. Scoop

    Scoop Songster

    Jan 16, 2009
    Central PA
    Your screens should be fine. I'm not sure about the electrical outlets - as long as they aren't live you should be okay. My cats don't even seem to notice that the chickens are a meal. They just stroll on by.
  3. emilyweck

    emilyweck Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    Hi there. Sounds like a cool home for you chicks. In my opinion, I would put hardware cloth over the windows. I have raccoons and they seem to be able to scale anything when they have a reason to do it.

    In regards to cats....yes they can be a problem. Some cats don't even bother, but others will totally go after them.

    Post a pic of your coop. I would love to see it since it sounds pretty great!
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Um, well, my experience has been that adult chickens are safe around cats. My cat is scared of the chickens. I'm sure she got pecked at some point. But at 7 weeks I wouldn't be so sure. I'd sure monitor the situation if nothing else. Cats will certainly take baby chicks.

    Vinyl siding should be difficult for a predator to climb, but if it can jump up to the screen, it could probably tear it up or pull the screen off.

    I'd also keep an eye on the drywall. People on here have recommended against using it to build coops. If the chickens find or make an opening through the paper they could start eating the stuff underneath.

    I'd have bought the office anyway, though. Sounds like a good deal, and sure makes it easy.
  5. joedie

    joedie Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Thanks for the quick responses!
    Here's a couple pics. I hope this works. I'm not real computer saavy.
    It just arrived last night then proceeded to pour outside. When it dries out in a few days, we will level it out. The middle of the flooring lifts up to expose the beams underneath and we will dig in some concrete block to level and support it, then after I put in the perimeter HC will secure the lower vinyl siding back into place. I plan on laying vinyl flooring for easier cleaning and maybe painting the wall with semigloss or gloss paint(buff yellow) to also allow for easier cleaning. I think the electric outlets (even though the electric will be connected) should not be a problem with child proof covers. I don't want them trying to peck into the outlets!
  6. joedie

    joedie Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Sorry! Let me try again!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would put hardwarecloth over the windows. Do you really want to find out the hard way whether there's something in your area that can jump or climb up there? I had an injured feral cat, being confined to heal severe bite wounds all over the pelvis and hindquarters, jump 4' up to claw its way out a windowscreen. I think it likely that some motivated canine types could do similarly.

    Chickens eat drywall. Anyhow mine do. You may want to put up old panelling or something up to where they can't reach.

    I would cover the childproof covers with a couple layers of packing tape (mine don't peck at packing tape as much as they do at duct tape), you don't want them dislodging the childproof thingies and then sticking a beak into the wrong hole of the outlet!

    What if you cut a pophole through the people door. Or made the pophole go out one of the windows (with a big ramp, obviously). You will not want to be leaving the people door open all the time, on account of weather, so it'd be real good to have some other means for chickens getting out and in.

    Good luck, have fun, should make an interesting coop [​IMG],


  8. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    Quote:Amen to the raccoon problem - their climbing ability is amazing!

    One easy cheap way to cover the dry wall might be to look for some vinyl remnants and tack it all around the inside at least 4' high from the floor.

    Great building - what a good find on your part!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by