Please critique: The Fortress of Chickentude

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stargeer2, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    I'm the same way, I only kill when necessary to protect my wife or pets and yes my chickens are my pets and very spoiled for sure. And I'll kill to protect my neighbors chickens, she is a real trooper and works a lot so I look out over at her place.

    JT
     
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  2. TooCheep

    TooCheep Songster

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    Security-wise, I think you are fine. Do have some other thoughts:
    • Your chickens do have a little shade in the coop area, but you might want to tie a tarp over part of the top or use something else for shade during the summer particularly.
    • I couldn't see the coop area proper very well, but I didn't see much ventilation at all. You might want to expand on that and use some of that hardware cloth or louvers to protect the holes from predators.
    • Chickens are notorious for making a mess of food and water containers that are one the ground. You might want to look into PVC and/or hanging feeders/waterers. They make a lot less mess and are less attractive to invaders.
     
  3. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

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    I am a big believer in hardware cloth. Everywhere. Snakes and rats and mice and baby raccoons can climb and can get through 1x2 wire. They can get through 1x1. They can dig through it.
    1/2 inch hardware cloth is your friend.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    They can reach thru but they can't get thru...so it would be fine on the roof of run.

    But your coop is not big enough for your 8 birds?
     
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  5. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

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    They can rip through chicken wirecan't they? And there's still the other critters that don't need to rip through chicken wire.
    Ooh...8 birds? I missed that part. Agreed!
     
  6. Stargeer2

    Stargeer2 Chirping

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    My apologies, I meant the open areas in the coop are excessively hardware cloth. The roost is wood. I'm told the coop was designed to house 12 birds. I have 7 in there currently, and am planning an expansion in the next year or two.. it's allegedly big enough, but I feel like they need more room.
     
  7. TooCheep

    TooCheep Songster

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    Unfortunately, commercial coops are notorious for overestimating chicken capacity. Mine is rated for 8 chickens, but is slightly crowded for my 3! The usual numbers quoted are 4sqft/full sized chicken in the coop and 10sqft/bird in the run.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Yes, the prefab coop manufacturers grossly overestimate the population capacity of the coops...unless you want to keep your birds in factory farm type spacing, most of us here do not want to do that. It's a rude and heartbreaking awakening that many newbie chickeneers are faced with. You are going to need more coop space before winter, not "in the next year or two".

    Let's have a basic chicken housing vocabulary lesson,
    good to know for clearer conversation going forward.
    On the prefab coop/run combo you have here, the gray part is the 'coop'(where they sleep and lay eggs and shelter from harsh weather), the meshed part is the 'run' (where they hang out during the day). The chain link enclosure you added could also be called a 'run' or a 'pen'. A 'roost' is the piece of wood that they actually stand/sit on to sleep at night inside the 'coop'.

    The coop part needs to be big enough for them to spend 24/7 in, both during the night and in the event of inclement weather (like when the feet of snow you get there during the winter is howling down from the lake). The 4/10 rule of thumb that @TooCheep mentioned above is a bare minimum depending on climate and how sheltered the run(s) are.

    Best bet might be to turn that coop/run combo into all 'coop' by adding solid walls all around and putting in a roost the entire length of it. Ideally you get a bigger building for a coop and save the little coop/run as an isolation/growout/brooding coop.

    upload_2019-7-17_6-41-29.png
     
  9. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

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    X2! That's exactly what I did with my prefab! Very similar to yours. Heres how I did it. Maybe it will give you some ideas to start with.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/altering-my-terrible-ts-coop.1267790/#post-20364469

    Now I'm almost finished doing what I should have done in the beginning, building a proper coop. Of course when I started with chickens I had no idea how to do it right. Many of us started out this way. The trick is to learn from mistakes and move quickly to fix them.
     
  10. Stargeer2

    Stargeer2 Chirping

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    I may have to do that then. I don't want my birds crowded! The coop is probably about 20 square ft so just shy of what I need.. with about 10 linear ft of roost. However after my flock got attacked, the 3 survivors have been hanging out in the rafters of the coop, which I guess kind of gives them another 4-5 ft of roost? Either way, I have the wood to make those changes, and I do indeed plan on using the prefab to grow out new chicks in the future. I want my birds as comfortable as possible, so I'll do what I can! Thank you
     

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