post your chicken coop pictures here!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenlover237, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Chicken Obsessed

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    Depends on the size of the run [​IMG]

    This is "Backyard Chickens" but a city backyard typically has a lot less space than a suburban back yard and both generally pale in comparison to a country back yard. More space allows for bigger runs. My girls free range during the day if we are home (yes chancy and I did lose one in April). I'd probably need a building permit if I were to build a run with a roof that would be large enough that the space difference didn't send them up the wall!

    Broken windows?? That sure wasn't possums, coons or foxes.

    I got mine from Amazon because they:
    - sold it in longer rolls
    - were cheaper
    - had FREE shipping.

    Not sure that all applies now, it was 2 years ago and I know the price went up about 25% some months later. But I do like the idea of fewer longer rolls, less piecing together and less waste when the roll ALMOST makes it to the next attachment point.

    Yep, and all the dead coons, foxes, coyotes and possums on the road are an indication that they ARE around. Still, I don't know if a raccoon would climb a run fence during the day to drop down on the birds. They might, like I said, I don't know [​IMG] If they did, they couldn't get back out, but your birds wold still be dead. Guess we need some "real life stories" related to coons and daytime attacks.

    It would be nice if we had a "sticky" post at the beginning of the thread with the basics because more often than not, a new person (WELCOME!) posts their project and it looks like they thought about it, worked hard and it has chicken wire for "security".

    Chickens need:
    - Water
    - heated if the temps are cold enough to freeze it. Cooled with ice blocks when the temps push 100F. Keep it in the shade.
    - Quality feed. The classic picture is "grandma" scattering corn for the chickens. Corn is NOT a quality feed, not for people and not for chickens. Scratch grains should be no more than 10% of their diet. Less is fine, it is a treat, not food.
    - Chickens do not see well in the dark and will stay on the roost at night (even to the point of laying an egg if their body is so inclined, make sure the floor below is soft enough) so it is not mandatory that food and water are available then.
    - Oyster shell/other calcium (layers only) once they are almost old enough to lay. They will instinctively decide when and how much.
    - Grit if they eat ANYTHING other than commercial feed and that includes kitchen scraps and everything they find to eat when they are not in the coop. Not needed if they are out and about and can find their own small bits of rock. They figure out timing and quantity on this as well.

    In the coop:
    - Minimum of 2 sq ft per bird (Large Fowl) on the floor, 4 or more is better. 2 square feet is an area about 17" by 17". A standing large fowl will occupy a space of ~6" x 18". Think about how comfortable you would be spending your life standing with people 2' from you in all directions.

    - Roosts
    -
    Minimum 12" linear space per large fowl. More than adequate in the winter when they pack together. Probably too little in the hot summer when they want air space.
    - Chickens are walking birds, not perching birds. 2x4 on the flat or 3" round fence rail. You make be able to get away with smaller for bantams and young large fowl but for LF, why make something that has to be redone in a few months?
    - Chickens like to roost as high as they can get. Put the roosts up, making sure they have ~18" minimum clearance to the ceiling. Put in an intermediate "access" bar if necessary.
    - Nests for layers ~12" x12", not a problem if they are bigger. Not needed until the birds are ~16 weeks or older. Must be lower than the roost. If higher, the birds will sleep in them (see the prior point) and chickens poop even when they are "in bed" . Nest boxes can be up off the ground. 18" will return floor space to the birds. Provide a perching rail if the nests are more than about 12" off the ground, 2x2 is fine, at least 6" in front of the nests (assuming there is more than one) so the birds can decide which nest to use.

    - Ventilation!!! Ammonia buildup (from the chickens' own poop) will kill them. Humidity build up will lead to respiratory problems (and frostbite in colder areas).

    - No drafts!!! Chickens have natural down coats that keep them warm in almost any temperature (MUCH below zero F) and become compromised when blown open. Chickens do NOT need winter heat in most climates. They will likely avoid it if possible.

    - Latches should be "lockable" barrel bolts, hasps, etc. Raccoons specifically are pretty dexterous with their front paws. You don't necessarily need a lock, a carabiner works well.

    NOTE:
    - Chicken wire is good ONLY for keeping chickens in/out of an area and only if the fence is high enough. Most any large fowl can get over a 4' fence though they prefer to land on top then go over. Running a wire above the top of the fence can discourage them. Chicken wire is WORTHLESS as security from predators. ANY predator from a small ermine to a mountain lion can get through it.

    - All openings in the coop other than the chicken door should be covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. If you are concerned with larger predators like wolves, ALSO use 2x4 welded wire. 1/4" hardware cloth might sound safer because of the smaller holes but no predator will fit through a 1/2" hole and 1/4" hardware cloth is made of lighter wire and thus has less strength.

    - All wire should be attached with one of the following:
    - Poultry (fence) staples. These look like a U with very sharp ends. Regular staple gun staples will not hold other than for initial positioning. Staples are the cheapest of the 3 attachment methods.
    - Screws through fender washers (or flattened metal bottle caps)
    - Wood battens screwed over the wire with the screws going through the holes in the wire.

    - The bottom two feet of the run fence should be covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. This keeps predators like raccoons from reaching through and grabbing a chicken that is against the fence.

    - Protection from digging predators is a must. Wire buried down a few inches and out 18" to 24" will generally suffice. This can be 1/2" hardware cloth or larger spaced welded wire fencing, the latter being cheaper and heavier gauge wire. The intent is to make sure the digger can't actually make a hole it can get through. Weasels may tunnel from farther away and can certainly get through a 2x4 wire fence but are not likely a threat except at night when the birds should be locked in the coop anyway. Make it a habit to check your perimeter for signs of digging.

    What kind of door? A lot of people use a guillotine style door with a rope they can extend to the outside specifically so they can open and close it without going in the coop.

    Love the glass panels down low. add 4 more and you have a draft free run for the winter [​IMG]

    Bruce
     
    2 people like this.
  2. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Clearly you aren't committed enough to your chickens. Of course you should immediately file for a building permit for a 2000 square foot covered run. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hey Bruce, I've been looking around for a while to find the best price on hardwire cloth. Here's the cheapest I've found so far.
    30" x 50' for $58 at Ace Hardware. Order and pick up at the store. I'll be ordering this next week. [​IMG]
     
  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I bought a 1m*25m roll (about 40"*80') for 75€ (incl. VAT 24%). The next week another store had the same stuff on sale for 50€ [​IMG]
     
  5. Erics Signs

    Erics Signs Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]



    Here is the coop I built last year. It has worked out great. I have two nesting boxes on each side. There are three perches up high for them to roost at night. I also have a place to hang their drinker and feeder.
    With the two doors I can reach all around inside to clean or catch crazy wild chickens!.
    It is also modular, I made it in three sections so it would be easy to move and clean.
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Huh??? How do you know that they aren't 'committed enough to their chickens' ????????? [​IMG]
     
  7. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    This is the problem with written communication - tone is easily lost. I was hoping that my whimsical use of a smiley at the end would show that I was joking, but perhaps I should have been clearer.
     
    3 people like this.
  8. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 23, 2013
    Portland/Vancouver area
    I think everybody realized it was a joke when you told him to do a 2000 sq ft run. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    I should hope so - the cost for materials would run in the "Let's take out a fourth mortgage on the house" range.

    *Edit* Although, us chicken people aren't always what one might call sane [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
  10. Springermom

    Springermom Out Of The Brooder

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    We used a 10x12 shed kit from 84 Lumber and added the overhangs. The attached coop is from the Purina web site and was simple to make. I use the shed for gardening and to store chicken supplies so the girls don't get the run of it. The deck and picket fence was my husband's idea. Funny, he wasn't real hot on getting chickens but I now see him slip out and feed them raisins with one or two chickens cuddling on his lap. LOL!

    Good luck with your new coop!
     

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