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Our coop is almost finished...any thing we forgot?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by karri25, May 8, 2007.

  1. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
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    We have planted tons of vines on the east facing side to protect from the sun. For now we are putting up a large board so they can hide in it's shade. We are going to add one window on the south side to help keep up a breeze and to keep it dry. There is a two inch gap under the eave of the roof also for ventilation. Of course we still have to make the door..we hate the idea of it since we are terrible carpenters:)
    WE still also have to build the nest boxes. Other than all of that, how does it look? I believe the run is 25 ft long X 25 ft wide with the exception of where the coop is. Is that enough room? Also, will they turn it into a dirt yard?? I currently have 14 birds and plan to expand to around 25-30.
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I worry about the chicken wire used....many predators can simply make the holes bigger and go right in especially raccoons...skunks seems like I've read that alot.
     
  3. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too was worried about predators but:

    1) our neighborhood is almost completely deviod of trees and natural woody areas as it was all cut down. I have never seen either of the species you mentioned. I have seen one possum two streets over and THAT REALLY worries me!

    2) we have also since layed down landscape timbers around the edging of the bottom and thouroughly doused the outside of the pen with cayenne pepper and chilli pepper. I am hoping that will deter dogs and such!

    Is it still a concern? I am hoping that predators will be thus easily deterred but I am a newby and don't know. If you think they will get by our feeble attempts at safety still than I can certainly put on another layer of wire. Do you think my girls will be safe then?
     
  4. Corey NC

    Corey NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I think you will be alright it looks pretty sturdy though I would suggest getting a have-a-heart trap on hand. Do you have anything on the top? Some possums and raccons would climb over the fense and not to mention preadators from above.

    Do you have any pics from the inside?
    How many chickens are you planning to keep in there?
     
  5. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am still new and learning myself, but I've seen a lot of posts on here stating chicken wire should only be used for the top. We all take chances with our own set-ups is my personal opinion. Some people on here would not leave anything to chance and others would. That is what makes this site so neat is that it can be of help to a variety of people no matter where they fall in the spectrum. I'm sure you'll get more responses from more experienced people. In the meantime...go to the index and look through the past posts under coop design and construction. There are several posts with members varied opinions as to type of fencing to use for what! Good luck!
     
  6. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    THanks for all of the advice! I am the type that wants my chicken coop completely enclosed with a net over it and nothing left to chance. However, my husband used to live on a farm and it seems like he is mad that they can't sleep in trees in our back pasture (which we don't have BTW). So, we are having to compromise:) He has absolutely put hi sfoot down to covering it:-( THey will be put up at night and shut securely in their house. Will the coons and possums get them in their house? We have 14 but we will have 25-30. The inside isn't as nice as I would like it but they seem to like it ok. We are putting moth balls under it and around it to keep mice away. I just really hope they will be ok! My main concern where we live is all of the dogs that run loose. I already chased two down the street shooting them in the behind with a bb gun b/c they tried getting to them once before the coop was built. I was mad!!!!!
     
  7. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll get a laugh out of this thread then:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=5035

    But seriously...read the previous posts on fencing and chicken wire...that will help you decide as well. Definately locking them up at night is a big plus!!! Are they going to be out in the fenced in area each day without anyone home?? That may be another thing to consider.
     
  8. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Hi I can only add to the worrry over the chicken wire. When we first started out in chickens we built a coop and yard with chicken wire. It was fine for a year or more then suddenly a mother possum came along and got our chickens She simply stretched the holes in the wire and came in This was in broad day light . She killed all but three of our chickens and wounded our RIR rooster. He recovered and we started from stratch again. This time we have one inch wire and a metal coop with a plywood floor nothing can get in there. I don't understand how they can call that wire chicken wire it certainly can't keep anything out of the yard. Sorry if I burst your bubble but I just want to warn you I hate to see anyone else go through what we did. Micki
     
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Just a note: the place where the chickens sleep and nest is called the house. The fenced playground area is the run. And together they are called the coop. [​IMG]

    I see you are rather close to your neighbors. This brings up two thoughts.
    ONE: Have you checked to make sure your coop is far enough away from the property line to meet any building codes in your area? I know someone who had to completely tear down and rebuild a hen house with cement floor and fence posts cemented in the ground because she didn't check with her local building codes first. (Just trying to save you some heartache and additional costs here.)

    TWO: Have you thought about putting some privacy fencing on the side that faces your neighbor's property? This might help prevent some stress your birds may face if there happens to be unruly children, dogs, cats in the neighborhood. My nearest neighbor is a mile away, so it isn't an issue for me. But I have noticed that most hens squawk very loudly when they are disturbed. And once one of them starts squawking, they all join in. The disturbance could be the lawn tractor or the rototiller or geese flying overhead. The loud squawking may not be appreciated by your neighbors, so I think a privacy-type fence would block some of the things that might disturb the birds. A free dozen of eggs will help smooth any ruffled neighbors but won't solve all your problems.

    As you probably found when you were working with it, chicken wire is very flimsy and flexible. A determined predator can and will push against the chicken wire and fence posts. Since the wire is flexible, it will bend against the predator's weight. As a precaution, I would put up a second fence with smaller holes and made of stronger material; hardware cloth or ag wire fencing are good. Are your fence posts cemented in the ground? This will help make the entire fence stronger.

    You don't say the dimensions of the house. Standard sized birds do best with 4' per bird and bantams can have less space. I have standards and am not sure of the bantam numbers. For the 30 standard sized birds you said you want to have, the house should be 120 sq feet (10 x 12). It is better to build it to the size you want to have, unless you plan to build a new house or an addition to the original for additional flock members. Remember birds that have more space while confined indoors have less health issues, less pecking and less possible cannibalism.

    The 25 x 25 run includes the house, so is really a smaller area than that. I don't have a fenced run. But one of my friends used to have a run like yours that ended up a complete mud area. So she moved her chickens to another part of her property. In her new chicken area, she first dug up the sod, put down a base of pea gravel and then covered the gravel with the sod to help with drainage issues. The rain and snow drained better and the grass didn't get as muddy in the new area. She also plants grass in wood boxes and lays it like sod over any areas in the run that do get damaged. Her new area is almost 2 years old and still looks pretty good.

    Shade in the run is a good idea. You can put a tarp across the top of some of the run. You can use a piece of plywood on sawhorses, or an old table. You could even use some old beach umbrellas. A covered area will also give your birds a place to hide from flying predators.

    The thing I have found about predators is that once they see or hear or smell that you have chickens, they WILL find you, as you have found with those dogs. Get down on the ground and look at your coop from their level. Push on the fence, check for spots that can be dug into and under. The only way to keep a digging predator out is to dig a trench and lay heavy duty hardware cloth or sheet metal about 6" deep. Good luck with the mothballs! (They didn't work for us. :| )

    Will you just have the large door for the chickens to enter and exit or will you be installing a pop door for them?

    Remember that the cayenne pepper and chilli pepper will need reapplied every time it rains.

    Locking the flock up at night is a good thing. You'll sleep better for it, if nothing else. [​IMG]

    I think you are off to a good start. Don't forget to post pics when you've got it done and your birds!

    regards,
    keljonma

    if edited, probably for typos...
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
  10. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, just had to chime in...I recently had a dog (or dogs-possibly coyotes) tear through 2x4 cage wire to get my chickens. This stuff is way stronger (or should be) than chicken wire. I have since added chain link to my fencing and have had no breaches. So, aside from racoons, opossums, hawks and such, consider neighborhood dogs a MAJOR threat. I would also be wary of neighborhood cats, as they can easily scale the fence, as well as fit though the coop door.

    Chicken wire is for keeping birds in, not keeping predators out.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2007

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