Not sure our coop/run is right

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mudpie85, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. mudpie85

    mudpie85 New Egg

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    So we are brand new to the whole chicken world but so far it has been fun. We built our first chicken coop/run with the idea it would be a tractor. We have 5 chickens and we think they are about two months old. We have wire at the bottom of our run area just to keep out predators because they are my 3 year old daughters chickens so I am over paranoid about something happening to them and we have two dogs that I don't think would purposely hurt them but they want to play. I have noticed that they seem bored. I have sand in the coop for bedding and I give them some sort of treat everyday but should we take the wire off the bottom of the run area? should i put sand inside the run area? I just want to make sure I am properly taking care of them.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Well, chickens love free ranging but therein lies the danger. Maybe you can do some supervised freeranging. When in the run you can give them things to entertain themselves...watermelon rind is a favorite. I see that you have hardware cloth around the bottom edge of the coop - very wise!
     
  3. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    First off, your coop is adorable! Are you planning to move the coop/run structure or is it stationary?

    If you are going to move it around, the wire bottom is probably OK. Just add a few big tubs of dirt/sand so the chickens have a place to take a dust-bath and scratch around. Chickens love to scratch!

    If it is now a permanent structure, I'd remove the wire from the bottom and wrap the sides of the run up 3 feet and have the hardware cloth going down in a trench 18" or so all the way around to discourage digging. You probably want to give the sides more strength as well, since chickenwire won't keep anything out.

    Once the chickens have destroyed the grass, which they will love doing, you can put in sand or shavings or grass clippings or whatever.

    [​IMG] and the wonderful world of chickens!
     
  4. Muffinburgler

    Muffinburgler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The bottom of the run is a bit of a problem, since it blocks the chickens from doing what they do best, scratching! The chicken wire sides also won't do anything; any predator can rip right through that. Hardwire cloth walls are the safe way to go.
     
  5. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Love your coop! First let me say we are also new to having chickens and built a chicken tractor with 2x4 wire in the bottom. We ended up removing it because the girls couldn't scratch. We have since made it permanent with sand In the bottom. Love this. We also have added a day run off one side of the tractor. Works much better for us. Also I would suggest you add 2x4 wire or cloth wire to your side because chicken wire is not strong enough to keep unwanted creators out. You can put it right over the chicken wire. Thats what we did. Just my thoughts.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Assuming this is a permanent coop/run and not a moveable tractor....

    I'd take the hardware cloth off the bottom and make it into an apron around the outside to deter digging predators.

    Also agree with some 2x4 fencing over the chicken wire to strengthen walls against larger predators.

    Nice coop and run!
     
  7. mudpie85

    mudpie85 New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for your feedback!! Our intentions are for this to be a movable structure. I like the idea of a day run of the side of it! Also as far as tubs for a dust bath how big should they be and is just normal play sand suitable?
     
  8. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a kitty litter box with play sand and DE. They love it. Your daughter will love watching them.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I guess I read that it was supposed to be movable...but it rather large and looks heavy, have you tried moving it yet?
     
  10. mudpie85

    mudpie85 New Egg

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    What is DE? We have moved it once but my husband didn't like the way he put the wheels on so he took them off and is trying something different. We plan to use the ATV to move it about.
     

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