Pastured Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NMacInnis, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. NMacInnis

    NMacInnis New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Hi there,

    I'm wondering if anyone can offer some advice on building a pastured chicken coop. I'm looking to do something this spring that would some what resemble Joel Salatins coops but I'm pretty sure they won't be predator proof in my part of the world (Nova Scotia). We have coyotes, bears, weasels, skunks and raccoons.

    I plan on building two or three small chicken tractor, something like this one:

    http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl...&ndsp=16&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:82&tx=211&ty=38

    I'm going to put these in a fenced in area of about half an acre, which I think will be enough (maybe not?).

    The fence will keep the bears out, but I'm worried smaller predators like weasels will be able to slide underneath the pens and get at my birds. What can I do to prevent this? Would a floor of chicken wire provide enough protection and still allow them to properly forage on the grass?

    I've raised meat birds the last three summers, and had great success however I can only legally sell pastured birds without a large quota in my area. I'm looking into reinvesting whatever profit I can back into the farm.

    Thank you
     
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    What I use is a hoop house on a sled with no predator controls. For the predators, I use Premier Poultry electric fencing, and of course I have a few dogs around. I love my electric portable fencing.
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    I put extra wire skirting around the permiter of the run. Then burry it. This way the preditor can't dig under the run! Its easy and inexpensive. Just staple the skirting to the bottom of the run then bury it with dirt. Hope this helps.
     
  4. NMacInnis

    NMacInnis New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2013
    Ok so an electric fence for the perimeter should keep most predators away (bears, coyotes, raccoons), and if i put a skirt around the chicken coop it may be enough to stop anything from getting at them.

    One problem for me might be the fact I was hoping that I could have portable coops, maybe this is the same as chicken tractors? either way Im still a little concern about the birds safety. I've had weasels chew through quarter inch chip board last year and cost me quite a few quail.
     
  5. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know nothing about bear. Electric might just tick them off lol! But.... with the electric, weasels and anything else CAN get through, but once they taste the electric, they usually go to more safe hunting. If you want to be portable, then the poultry netting should be sufficient. I raised 500 meaties over the summer with no issues other than until about 5 weeks the chicks can still get out.

    We have no bear but we have dogs, cats, coon, possum, coyote etc...

    Can't say enough about having an outside dog too.
     
  6. NMacInnis

    NMacInnis New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2013
    loanwizard,

    thanks for the input. I guess what you said about having a dog outside helps has pointed out another problem. My chickens will be raised on a old farm property our family bought four years ago, Im hoping to start building a house there this summer. In the mean time I live about 15 minutes away, we do have a hunting camp on the property but its not a home.

    I'm sure I'll find a way to make it work. Thanks everyone for the help so far!
     

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