newbie with a few questions :)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Brieanneb, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Brieanneb

    Brieanneb New Egg

    Feb 12, 2012
    First of all, YAH! I am so excited :) I've seriously been stalking this site and forums for a year and we are finally taking the chicken plunge in March. I have a few questions (with more to follow I am sure) that I haven't been able to find answers for.

    Some info, we live in a suburb of Seattle, in a neighborhood. We're planning on getting 3-5 hens.

    I plan on using an exisiting chain link dog kennel that has a metal roof as the run, I plan on predator proofing it with hardware cloth and some low electric fencing (maybe, depending on cost).

    I plan on building the coop inside the kennel - if the kennel is secure, do I have to make the coop closeable? Can I have it so that there is a door that doesn't close? Will it stay warm enough in there (It rarely falls below freezing here)?

    AND I've seen the cat littler boxes for nest boxes but how do you stop the chickens from roosting on top of them?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  2. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    If your run is predator proof you don't need to have a coop that closes, though it's always good to build being able to close the coop. As far as the chicken nesting boxes, just don't put a roost bar over them and the girls should roost where you want them too. You can also take away their nest boxes for a night or put them on their roosts after they fall asleep to train them where you want them to be. Owning chickens is a LOT easier than I would have expected and I'm happily a one year chicken owner.
  3. LCTX-Chickens

    LCTX-Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2009
    League City, Texas
    Hi Brieanneb, we are looking at doing the same thing. We got our chickens today (1 rooster & 4 laying hens, all Rhoade Island Reds) & they came with a small coop but we don't like the design. We have a 6'x12" chain link dog kennel that we have the coop inside of. We intend to build another coop to keep inside the kennel & get rid of the old one. The 6x12 kennel actually sits inside of a 30'x30' fenced dog run that had an electric wire around it at one time.

    My goal is to build a 4'x4'x4' coop that is half solid & half hardware cloth. On the back wall of the solid side I want to put 4 nesting boxes that are accessible from the outside for easy egg robbing. I'd also like some type of easy removable poop tray that slides out some how for easy cleaning. Hoping to get some good ideas on here! [​IMG]
  4. Brieanneb

    Brieanneb New Egg

    Feb 12, 2012
    Anyone else?? Thank you!!
  5. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Howdy from Austin, Texas. I've never tried to keep my hens from roosting anywhere. I just put a piece of plywood over the top of the nesting boxes and wash it off every few weeks.
  6. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    LTC If you have 5 chickens, a good 5x 6 would be bigger and better. Also you realize you only need 1 maybe 2 nest boxes . They seem to only like 1 or 2 nests and share them. I have 5 girls and they use one nest box , so three is kind of over kill. Your size coop will not give them 4 square feet for all five. But a foot bigger will do way better.

    BreanaB a door is important, it will keep cold off the chickens at night and you do at times get snow. I would make a door on those days when you will need it.
  7. berniezahm

    berniezahm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 24, 2008
    Place the board over the nest boxs on a slope, 45 degree angle or steeper. That way the chickens can not pearch on or over the nest boxes, and you won't have to clean the board every 2 or 3 weeks.

    karlamaria is correct 4 nest boxes is over kill, for only 4 hens. Two would be more than plenty and still gives the girls a choice.

    I've seen 12 inches of snow on the ground in Seattle, about 60 years ago when my uncle was stationed there with the U.S. Navy. So as for closing a small chicken sized door to keep the chickens warm, not necessary..After all they have a down coat. Except for the comb on your rooster, chickens are good to go to about 20 below zero on their own, as long as it is reasonably draft free.

    I'm also not sure there is any need for electrified fencing, that also is overkill. If you line the chain link with hardware cloth/chicken wire and haven't left anyplace unprotected and a predator can still get in one or two electreic wires won't make any difference.

    When you put the hardwarecloth/chicken wire up also bury some 10 or 12 inches or more deep below the chain link. That way predators can't tunnel into the run. Some people advocate 24 inches deep, but that is a lot more work.

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