Our Ever Evolving Setup

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by merc, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. merc

    merc Songster

    Jun 7, 2012
    Redmond, WA
    My Coop
    2010: When we moved to the woods from the city I begged and begged my husband (B) to let me have chickens. Who doesn't want fresh eggs everyday? Just pick up a few things off Amazon and we're set! Boy was I in for a big surprise!

    2012: He finally gave in and we started out with 3 pullets and a simple rabbit/chicken hutch that I ordered off of Amazon:
    The previous owner of our house left us a dog kennel. B pitched a roof out of some pipe and tarp. Tah-dah! We now had ourselves a proper chicken run!

    2012: When the girls were full grown the ramp hatch was "too scary" and ramp itself ended up being too steep so B upcycled the existing coop. He added a proper roost, pull-out bottom drawers, nesting boxes and a slightly less steeper ramp:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2013: Made coop window covers out of rug runner to help keep the cold out during the winter months:

    I loved my chickens but hated the icky poo smell so close to the house. We relocated the chicken coop + run away from the house and created a little fenced in area for them (chicken yard) to forage since I was also tired of them f-ing up the landscaping and leaving turds everywhere!

    2015: The chickens had no problems whatsoever hopping the little lattice fence so we put up a higher, black plastic mesh fence to keep them contained in the chicken yard. The black plastic mesh fence was a million times more aesthetically pleasing than the lattice fencing and can be hardly seen through the shrubs:

    2015: The nesting box covers finally gave out. I replaced them with weatherproof, see-through acrylic (covered by tar paper since the chickens didn't like all the light):

    2016: We were going through TONS of pine shavings every week. I installed a poop catchment system for the roost that worked out really well. It helped cut down on pine shavings waste!:

    2016: We had a ladder ball game that we hardly used so I upcycled it into a multi-tier chicken roost (which eventually gave out so we had to go back to the single roost with poop catchment system):

    2016: A raccoon started paying visits to the chicken run (dog kennel) and tried to pull a chick out through the chain link so I had to enclose it with metal mesh (on top of chicken wire mesh) to prevent further casualties. I also upcycled the old lattice fencing by installing it onto the chicken run turning it into a little cottage in the woods:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2017: The woodland predators were getting ridiculous! We had owls/hawks reigning down from above, possums/raccoons reaching through, bears/coyotes knocking down the fencing. I was afraid I would have to stop letting the girls free range. I had to reinforce the fence with metal posts and added aviary netting to keep predators coming from above at bay:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    2017: Made a wheatgrass grazing frame out of old wood and mesh we had laying around:

    2017: I upgraded the girls’ roost setup after work today based on a DIY blanket ladder plan I found on the internet. The droppings will hopefully now fall through the mesh tray I built and I’ll actually get to utilize the drawers to collect and dispose of the waste (sans pine shavings).

    I think our chicken coop/run/yard setup is at a good place right now. I don't want to scare anybody off from keeping chickens. It's been super fun and easy, despite all the architectural and logistical hiccups. If your current setup isn't working, find a solution! Poke around in the forums and see what's working for others and give it a try! I am super thankful for all who post their experiences for me to learn from! Thank you!
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
    Quik1th, sylviethecochin and Kate E like this.
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
  3. Quik1th

    Quik1th Songster

    Mar 18, 2018
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Wow! Great work on all of these projects

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