newbie needs suggestions making prefab coop safer/better

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flossyandprissy, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. flossyandprissy

    flossyandprissy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2014
    Utah, but from Georgia
    Hi! We bought this coop for two chickens: http://www.amazon.com/Ware-Premium-Hen-Hut-Yard/dp/B00BQKNU7I. Got it clearance (a steal really) at a local country store since it was a floor model, was missing roost in run, and was during the "off-season". Recently bought the matching double nesting box that attaches to the back: http://www.amazon.com/Ware-Premium-...d=1389757869&sr=1-2&keywords=ware+nesting+box. The floors to both are removable, can be pushed up and out from the bottom, have one inch circular holes in them, and small gaps between the slats. The walls are made of slats next to each other with no visible gaps, but now that I've learned a bit about chickens I'm thinking they may be too thin/drafty. As you can see, it sits on the ground so I'm worried about predators tunneling under and inside of it. I plan to add a (chicken) door cover and lock the gals in at night. Want to use it as a tractor at first. Also, there are three 1" holes side-by-side, covered with hardware cloth, on the side of the coop that faces the run for venting and that's it (you can see them in the pic from the link above). Since learning a bit I'm pretty sure this isn't enough venting. No room for a window. Need to add vents without compromising integrity of coop (roof is shingled and a bit heavy). The inside roost is the same size as the one in the run in the pic and seems too small. What size roost do you recommend? Despite all these little problems, we really need this coop to work.

    I have thoughts on how to make this coop better. Was thinking I'd use the removable floor as a template to cut plywood floors, screw the floors down into the coop, and then staple hardware cloth on the bottom of the coop for added nighttime security. Was thinking I'd use sealant caulk in between all the slats and crevices inside the coop to help it be less drafty. Was thinking I'd seal the inside with a couple coats of sealant paint. Was thinking I'd add a 2 " hardware cloth skirt to the run for added daytime security. I have no idea what to do to add vents other than drill more and larger holes and cover them with hardware cloth, but I'm not sure that'd be enough and don't want to do too many and damage the coop.

    Is any of this wrong? Should I do something else? Something in addition? Thanks in advance!!

    By the way, this is just for a couple/few months until we get a 6' high run with hardware cloth across the top (we have owls and hawks) run built in the late Spring/Summer when the ground isn't frozen and we can work with it and the snow has all gone. Then we will detach the little run and set the coop inside the big run permanently. (And probably get a bigger coop next year. I've heard all about that chicken math.)
     
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as a roost I would use a 2x4 flat on it's side it will be more comfortable for them, the plywood floor is a good idea but I would cover it with a cheap piece of vinyl for easy cleaning, caulking and painting the inside is a good idea it will brighten up the inside and make it easier to clean, the apron idea is a good one can't be to safe, anything you can do to make your life easier and having piece of mind is a good thing.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    I wouldn't worry too much about caulking since it needs more ventilation -- which almost all prefab coops do. Perhaps you could cut a rectangular hole where those vent holes are? Cover the hole with hardware cloth, of course. If one of the roof slants toward the downwind side, maybe you can raise the roof a bit, and fill that gap with hardware cloth.
     
  4. flossyandprissy

    flossyandprissy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2014
    Utah, but from Georgia
    Thanks! Im new to it all! Doing a lot of reading on it. :)
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    1 person likes this.
  6. flossyandprissy

    flossyandprissy Out Of The Brooder

    69
    3
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    Jan 14, 2014
    Utah, but from Georgia
    So we are planning to put linoleum on the coop floor then sand, add a 2x4 roost on an angle, add vents on both sides at the peaks of the roof, build a door that flips up to double as a ramp, and put hardware cloth on outside bottom to help deter predators. The door on the side that is for cleaning access has a gap around it. It gets fairly cold here in the Winter. Any ideas on weatherproofing it?
     

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