Noob with pvc coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cajun Rabbit, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 18, 2011
    Hey yall,
    New here and new to chickens (building coop and getting ready for chicks first) and have a question.
    I am looking at getting a few chicks to be kept in a tractor so I can move them around the yard. After looking around I found plans for PVC and thought it would be in-expensive and light weight....well after buying all the pvc I found it isn't very cheap [​IMG] But I have all but the '4way' (not the cross) pieces and have noticed a few problems with the plans and I am not done yet. (simple things so far like wrong number of some connectors. but also can't get the wheel assembly to go together)

    The plan looks to be a good 'guide' so far, has anyone used this? how is it once put together? How many chicks can you keep in it? PORTABLE POULTRY PEN.pdf
  2. pawsplus

    pawsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Well, don't use chicken wire as is shown in the plan! Use heavy-duty hardware cloth. More expensive, but worth it--a raccoon WILL get in there otherwise.

    Make sure you'lll be locking the chickens in the coop w/ no run access at night, as well.

    I can't easily tell how big the coop and run are. Doesn't look huge, though. Personally, I wouldn't keep more than 2 in there--but I know I alwasy err on the side of more run space than most people. Others may have different opinions, but you will need to post dimensions.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    It looks like that plan has a totally open bottom and is raised above ground level in the back, where it's mounted on the wheels. Around here, the predators would go right under that through the gap and eat the chickens.

    As Pawsplus mentioned, you need something stronger than chicken wire to keep out predators, too.

    I don't have a link to a good PVC plan as an alternative handy, but maybe someone else will come along that can suggest one. I know there are a lot of plans out there and some are quite successful. Have you looked at the Coop Designs link at the top of the page or done a forum search here? I know people on the forum have done PVC tractors and posted pictures in the past.
  4. AngelaClassAct

    AngelaClassAct Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 5, 2011
    I am building a chicken tractor for my meat birds that were inspired by these PVC coop plans. I choose PVC because it would be lightweight and easy for me to move around my yard without the help of my DH. Cost-wise, I'm not sure it is much cheaper. And along the lines of what another poster said, use something besides chicken wire for security. Also, extend out the chicken wire, kind of like a skirt that lays flush with the ground that you can put rocks or bricks over. This will help keep out the digging predators - the digger predators can dig pretty quick and get under and in the coop in no time at all.
  5. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 18, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I was thinking of making the run inclosed with standard chicken wire with an additional 'shield' of hardware cloth around the bottom say using a 36" in roll?? so that way the more expensive wire is where it is needed most and no large crows can come steel food from above due to the lighter weight chicken wire.

    I hadn't thought about making a skirt and weighting it down though... Maybe an additional bar of PVC weighted with concrete to keep the skirt in place? my thinking is that if it is attached there is no way the bricks can be moved or left behind, and anything that wants to dig into the pen will have to start a foot or so away.

    I have not seen any racoons in the area, and our neighbors have free range ducks (wings clipped) so I don't think we have much worry about predators here.... yet. But I don't want to find out the hard/sad way.

    I can't find the 4-way (non x-style) fittings anyway so I may have to scratch the plans and try to build something on my own any way.... [​IMG]
  6. tbridegroom

    tbridegroom Out Of The Brooder

    Look into a hoop coop made out of cattle panels
  7. cajun Rabbit

    cajun Rabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 18, 2011
    Well, now I wish I had asked BEFORE I spent nearly 400 bucks on pvc [​IMG]

    and what does "DH" stand for???
  8. suzyQlou

    suzyQlou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Dillsburg, PA
    My Coop
    I had to buy the 4-way connectors online. They sell them for use in green houses. Sorry, I don't have the exact link for you. I know I looked at greenhouse megastore, but I don't remember if that was the place I used in the end. The prices for the connectors weren't outrageous, but adding shipping made it feel pricey, especially if you're trying to cut down on cost by using the pvc.

    I did what you're talking about with the hardware cloth on the bottom, and chicken wire on the top. I was warned against it, and I know that I am taking a risk. I really think the risk is minimal in my suburban neighborhood. If I were worried about daytime predators, I probably wouldn't let my children out to free range in the backyard as they do.

    I think that plan looks like a cool daytime tractor. I like to tinker with pvc because I'm not much of a carpenter. it's lightweight and easy. I think I'd want something a little more secure looking for the night, though.

    You can take a peak at my pvc run if you want. It's not much to look at, but it's on my BYC page
  9. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Quote:Dear Husband
  10. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    I am working on a pvc green house. I could not see spending 1.92 for a cross fitting, so I am using a ton of T's at .21 each and skipping the crosses. Just means altering a few things and off-setting joints

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