Our Mini Chicken Farm

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TheMurrayFarms, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. TheMurrayFarms

    TheMurrayFarms New Egg

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    Aug 10, 2016
    Paige, Texas
    Hello all,

    This is our first post! We are anxious to share what we have built and hope you have some wonderful comments and suggestions for us. We have spent hours scouring through various threads on construction and have built what we feel work best in our area in Paige, Texas.

    Some of the things we have done when building our coop include insulated walls and covered the inside of the walls with OSB, an open soffit design with the openings covered in heavy 14ga 1/2" x 1" galvanized mesh secured with 1 1/4" galvanized 1/4" crown staples. 40 amp 220v electricity is supplied to the coop to run fans and lighting. Our coop is 8x12 with 8x8 sectioned off for the chickens and the remainder used for feed and supply storage. When building the run we felt it was better to way overdo the security features than risk losing all of our young pullets who had already covered the inside of our home with dust! We started the run by drilling holes and setting treated four by four posts about two feet in the ground. After that we ran treated two by sixes along the ground all the way around the run. We followed that with a treated two by four about 3 feet off the ground. For the top we ran a treated two by six with a two by four hog back to make it rigid. We framed the run in such a way it allowed us to secure our wire with long 1 1/4" staples all the way around, and also on top. We used 2x4x 6' tall welded wire from tractor supply. The sides have a layer of 2x4x 4' wire offset to make the holes 1x2" for the first four feet up the walls. We put a single layer of the wire on top for added protection. I forgot to mention that before we started this we laid a 4' run on the ground half in and half out to prevent digging in. After we secured the wire to the outside we formed a 3 1/2" tall curb all the way around the inside and poured it with concrete. Our coop received the same run of wire under it and we went ahead and poured concrete up to the bottom of the wood foundation to prevent any unwanted entrance by predators. We have a HUGE raccoon, opossum, wild hog, and armadillo problem and find it quite satisfying to see where animals try to dig in only to be foiled in their futile attempts.

    Enjoy!

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  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Longville, La
    Have you had a problem with the chickens roosting in the rafters of the coop? It looks pretty high but I was wondering if they had tried sleeping up there. Coop/run looks really well made.
     
  3. TheMurrayFarms

    TheMurrayFarms New Egg

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    Aug 10, 2016
    Paige, Texas
    Thank you! We have not had a problem with them roosting on the rafters. They do not even seem to consider it. I figure that if we did not have enough perch space for each chicken that they would consider the rafters. I think they enjoy the perches though. They are cedar tree saplings that were cut down in the building of the run. The bark and size of the saplings are the perfect texture and size for their little feet to easily hold on to.
     
  4. just13nat

    just13nat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Love how you've incorporated the tree into your run! We are getting ready to extend our run, but there will be a tree in the middle of it, this gives me some ideas, great set-up and welcome!
     
  5. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    I asked because I was thinking of adding a little storage area up high and was worried mine decide to roost in the rafters rather than their regular roosts.
     
  6. TheMurrayFarms

    TheMurrayFarms New Egg

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    Aug 10, 2016
    Paige, Texas
    Thanks! We really love our Oak trees and do not want to take any of them down. Plus, they provide shade for our sweet chickens throughout the day. We did have to wire up the tree at the top to make sure nothing could get in. We used a generic staple gun for this though, instead of the air tool stapler. This was easier on the tree and didn't scar it.
     
  7. kajira

    kajira Overrun With Chickens

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    What part of Texas are you from? Our chickens have a hard time in this heat. What do you do to cool them off? Did you build misters? We use ice blocks that we freeze overnight and put out there in gallon jugs after lunch for them to sit on.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Nice!!

    You'll be glad you did this " I forgot to mention that before we started this we laid a 4' run on the ground half in and half out to prevent digging in."
    That's keep the bird from digging out...tho they might not dig all the way out it can be a pain.


    Would love to see a close up of how you went around the tree....and also more about your little water house.

    @Dmontgomery and @TheMurrayFarms the rafter roosting can be a problem, eventually they all seem to get up into the rafters.
    Often it is best to wire off the 'ceiling' so they can't access the rafters. Storing stuff up there can be good as long as it doesn't block off ventilation.
     
  9. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls I'll be back after Christmas Premium Member Project Manager

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    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!
    Looks great to me. (are you sure the "holes" in the fence are small enough?)
     
  10. TheMurrayFarms

    TheMurrayFarms New Egg

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    Aug 10, 2016
    Paige, Texas

    Thank you kajira. We live in Paige, Texas. We keep water in the 35 gallon food grade barrel inside the cedar plank structure (shown above). This keeps the water from being heated up by the sun as much and keeps algae out of the waterers. That is one way. Another way is Ashley throws them small frozen veggies like peas or diced carrots. The chickens love it and it helps them cool down a bit. We also have multiple water pans throughout the enclosures that they can get in, lay in, cool off their feet, etc. we even went as far as to buy a kiddie pool at Walmart and put it in there with just a couple inches of water so they could bathe or just cool off. This is harder to keep clean as more chickens are able to get in at once. Haha. They enjoy it though.
     

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