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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenlover237, Nov 10, 2011.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !! I may use this idea !!
- I am fearful of the gap at the top especially. Ever seen an ermine? We saw one by the house Fall of '12, cute little bugger, white with black tipped tail and nose. About the size of a rat and it would have no problem walking through that gap. Might be best to screw in 1x3's on the inside (assuming door swings out) so the door closes with no gaps anywhere. They may even be able to get through the "waves" in the roof panel.
- And not sure about the hooks, are they "safety hooks" (the ones with a spring latch)? MIGHT be enough to keep a coon out but while I know people that have trouble figuring out the spring latch part (REALLY!!) but I am not sure I would trust a hungry raccoon. I used this http://images.lowes.com/product/converted/038902/038902030832lg.jpg barrel bolt from Lowes. You can put a carabiner or lock through the hole when the bolt is in the closed position.
Creeping thyme, Mother of Thyme, wooly thyme, all grow well. Some are better than others with regard to occasional foot traffic but I don't recall which! I have NO idea what a chicken would do with it since I have none where the chickens are.
Sage also grows well and is a woody plant so the chickens might not bother it at all. Plant an herb garden and see what they don't eat, you get that for your kitchen I know that people say hostas and chickens don't mix because they are toxic but I have a bunch of hosta varieties and the chickens don't mess with them at all. In fact, one of their favorite shade spots is by the steps to the deck. There is a lilac on either side of the steps and hostas, ferns, some kind of variegated ground cover with purple flowers and other plants (don't know what they are). They have 'weeded' everything out except those plants and a couple of weedy things (including stinging nettle which *I* weed out). I'm lucky they go back to the coop to lay because those hostas are big enough to hide a fair size nest.
Where abouts are you in VT?
Geez, ya can't take a guy's tractor away! I bet he could fashion some sort of fold away step on the 'cab' floor.
The plates on those posts need to be driven down into the ground at least a foot.
I've read that some peoples chickens have been scared to death, literally, by dogs that couldn't get into their run. Glad your neighbor was there to chase them away before that happened.
Never thought I would say this, but that ramp is "shallower" than it needs to be I'm still all for a "jump off" perch or two rather than ramps. Less poop to clean up.
HI Bruce....... .I don't know what you mean by shallower than it needs to be? The ramp in about 14 inches wide and I figured that to be actually too wide. We are not really happy with the ramp as it is but the friend of ours who built it did it hastily as he had to leave town for 3 months and he didn't want to leave us with a coop and no ramp for the chickens to use. My girls are young, only 7 weeks old and they do poop on the ramp but it hoses right off. My hose spigot is only a couple feet from the run so I have nice water access. And I use and to cover the floor of the run so if it gets a little wet, it dries quickly.
Shallow meaning "not steep". You will see many coops here with ramps that are more like ladders in slope and chickens don't have hands to grab and climb with . Being too steep is a problem, they can't use it. Shallow isn't a problem other than it is more area to collect unwanted poop. It does look to be built of plywood, maybe 3/4"? It will sag given the length, though that is not a real problem. But it doesn't have to start at the bottom of the door, you could connect it 'level' with the bottom of the coop which I am guessing is about 36" and you could cut off the bottom, probably up to the 4th cleat. But ... how are the birds doing with it now? Sliding at all? If you do make it steeper, the cleats should be modified, centered about 3" apart. And they don't need to (probably shouldn't) be so wide (top to bottom of the cleat, not the 14" width which is actually length in this case ). The birds want to grasp them like you would a ladder rung. If they are wide, the birds have to either try to grip ON the surface, which is not easy or reach to the top of the cleat so they can hook a toe nail or two on it.
14" wide is fine, sometimes some will want to go up when others want to go down; two way traffic is hard on a narrow ramp. They probably use the entire length now since they are young. When they get older, they will likely hop or fly to and from some point higher up rather than walk the entire distance. A grown large fowl can hop up a foot with their wings down. 2 feet up isn't even work, a hop and one flap of the wings. Add a second flap for 3', 2 extra for 4'. They have wings, they might as well exercise them once in a while because they sure don't use them often to make horizontal distance no matter how much of a hurry they are in.
Planted this "chicken garden" along the run to tempt my chicks away from the perennial gardens. Plants were selected based on suggestions from the website "Tilly's Nest". If nothing else, I know they'll dust bathe in the mulch!
Bruce....I see what you mean. The chicks are doing fine with it but yes it probably will sag in the center at some point in time, even though it does have a brace underneath.. Anchoring it at the bottom of the coop is good idea! Thanks for the help.
Question. When I click on pictures to make th larger, my screen pulls up like number 1 pic of 2000 plus pics. How do you start with the latest pics? I don't have time to scroll through 2000 pictures.
Unfortunately it's not until we have chickens that the predators we never knew were in our neighborhood start breaking into our yards! So sorry for your loss but truly hope our experiences are heeded by the newbie chickeneers reading these posts!
What mulch? You won't even have dirt left as they dig holes to China to take their dust-baths!!!!! LOL Seriously - chickens dig deeply.
If you want excellent suggestions about safe vs toxic plants get a paperback copy of Free-Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom at Barnes and Noble or download to your Nook for half the price. The book also covers a lot of chicken behavior that helped me plan a lot of shelters for our free-range girls.