Newbie coop/tractor questions - drawbridge door/ramp and hoop runs????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scratchpeck, May 6, 2011.

  1. scratchpeck

    scratchpeck New Egg

    May 2, 2011
    Hiya![​IMG] I'm starting to plan my coop and need to ask some questions before I get too far along - I want to build a darvo (gypsy caravan) style coop (wheels and all) and a hoop house tractor/run that the coop opens into.....

    Has anyone build a ramp that doubles as a door? Drawbridge style? Are there any pictures around that might help me? If I use a rope/chain to pull it shut from outside the coop/run, will it be secure enough against a coon or skunk? This would be on the side of the coop, not underneath, as I have seen more commonly.

    I do plan on making the tractor/run pretty secure (hardware cloth on top and about 12" or so on the ground around the frame), so does the door even matter security-wise? I do want to be able to shut it for cold weather, and to keep the hens in and quiet for early summer mornings - we're on a city lot, eggs will only go so far with the neighbors.

    The hoop house run will be built using bent galvanized conduit hoops with a height of 44" or so, with cedar 2x4 or 2x6 as the base of the frame, covered with hardware cloth of some sort. I'll cover with a tarp for shade in summer and greenhouse plastic in winter (we frequently see -10 degree stretches here in winter, sometimes -20, I don't know how much they would get out without a covered run).

    If it is in the run, will the metal cause condensation issues, or is that more of a concern with the coop itself?

    And I need an idea for making the hoop run detachable/reattachable when we need to move it - I think I'll make the coop 4x6 or 4x8, and the run 4x8, with the idea of moving it frequently.

    If I run another piece of galvanized pipe crosswise, and use braces (they make these little metal loopy things that attach to both pieces of conduit to firm things up), might it be strong enough to hold a feeder or waterer? Or am I better off getting one of those step-to-open kinda feeders? I want to minimize the rodent problem somehow.

    We can have 4 hens, we're probably starting with adopted ones from a friend that are about a year old, and we'll get chicks in a couple years probably. In general, the bigger chooks seem to be better with kids, so that is probably what we'll end up with down the line - Barred Rocks, Australorps, Buff Orps, along those lines....

    Can't wait to have chickens![​IMG]

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