post your chicken coop pictures here!

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

  1. Halokirbs

    Halokirbs Out Of The Brooder

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    The coop has nest boxes. They will have free access to the coop and the run during the day. We do not get a lot of rain in SoCal but when it does rain it rains heavy. I am sure I have not thought of everything but I am learning.
     
  2. Kansas

    Kansas New Egg

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    Thanks. That picture is just a corner shot. The chickens are ranging a good distance from the coop during the day. I have water buckets scattered around for them to drink from. I only feed them their commercial feed in the coop. I wanted to build and place a few lean-to's around. It's been getting hot here. I've seen a few designs. How about posting a picture of yours?

    We're not short on predators here.. Fox, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and skunks. I've already disposed of one skunk. As far as raptors are concerned, we have resident Cooper's, redtails, and horned owls. I'm not so worried about the Cooper's hawks with adult chickens, but the redtails and horned owls are another matter. The ground predators concern me.

    Although our chickens have ample space and hiding places, so would a sneaky fox or coyote. I don't know what I'll do if we start having hens getting picked off by a fox or coyote. I have a large wirehaired pointing griffon in a dog run next to the chickens and he has accepted the chickens, but only under supervision. I don't trust him 100% alone with the chickens. He has been trained to hunt with a golden eagle and hawk for falconry, but he respects my trained raptors.

    The problem I'm seeing now is the chickens are ranging further and further away in about three different bands. I'm starting to only turn them loose at about 5 in the afternoon. This gives them a few hours to range before they want to come back to roost. I know predators. They can just show up in the blink of an eye and melt away into the landscape before you can say holy honkers.

    So far, I have an uneasy peace about free ranging our chickens . There are a couple that are stone tame and are more like pets.

    Comments?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  3. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a side alcove like your photo that I had to fence off from chicken access. We had Leghorns that were smarties and almost escaped that way. I saw them eyeing the fence ledge and the jump up so we double fenced off the alcove so they couldn't figure out an escape. Watching our chickens gives us our needs for adjustments.
     
  4. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Overrun With Chickens

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    You have a very large free-range area so that means much more is needed in shelters from aerial attacks. Because of the steps we've taken to shelter our open yard we have seen how self-aware and savvy our hens are at hiding even with a Cooper's Hawk only 5 feet away from them. For some reason the Hawks only prefer easy Chicks, Mourning Doves, Sparrows, and an open area to swoop and will not go after hiding chickens - darnedest thing I've ever seen. H/she knows the hens are hiding but won't go after them. Someone mentioned on a post that Crows do a good job of ganging up on Hawks keeping them away and since we don't see Hawks or Owls very often there must be some truth in it. The Crows and ferral Parrot flocks in the area never bother the hens either.

    We did not build our shelters from new material. What we did after the remodel of our house was to salvage the cut-up boards, closet shelves, plywood pieces, and prop them on top of cinder blocks positioned under each end of the planks and put a rock or brick on top to keep from flipping over in the wind. Nothing fancy but we have 3 of these low-to-the-ground long planks - they look like long backless benches. One of these is a bed headboard we salvaged on neighborhood trash day and propped on top of cinder blocks. We salvage any boards we see and friends know to save them for us.

    We recycled two large covered plastic doghouses and put one at each end of the yard - we once saw 4 hens simultaneously jump into a doghouse when the Cooper's Hawk flew over. One hen never made it into the coop to roost and we came home to find her nestled and sleeping safe inside a doghouse.

    Since we can't afford a Gazebo or Pergola we buried a popup canopy a foot into the soil so it doesn't para-sail away in a wind and have a 2x4 plank anchored through cinderblock holes to use as a perch under the canopy. Nothing fancy but provides the hiding and perching hens love to do when not foraging. I saw an egg farm video - they built very tall perches under shady roof shelters so their free-range field hens could fly up high from ground predators. Jumping dogs, foxes, coyotes couldn't reach them.

    We planted a couple rose bushes too since the hens loved sitting under the old climbing rose tree that died last year. Our girls don't like the open areas of the yard unless there is a bench, Adirondack cedar chair, doghouse, canopy or rosebush nearby to dive under. And these shelters either have to be up against a fence, a building wall, or surrounded by foliage to make the hens feel secure. We are in the process of extending our raised bed garden and after fencing it off we'll put in an arched walking bridge surrounded by large leaf plants in the very center of the remaining open yard for the chickens to dive under. My goal is to provide a lot of non-toxic plants and a lot of shelters. Right now no shelter we have is permanent or pretty but they're functional. Someone uses a wood pile as a shelter but I don't want to attract rodents in my city neighborhood but if positioned far away from housing would be a treasure for hiding hens. It'd be hard for digging critters to move big pieces of firewood to get at hiding chickens LOL.

    I got a lot of these ideas from "Free-Range Chicken Gardens" by Jessi Bloom.

    As for Coyotes, Foxes, Stray Dogs, Weasels, Bobcats, Raccoons, Oppossums, Skunks, Bears, etc - I guess that's the joy of living in a rural area and a rifle sounds like a good friend to have for self-defense. My DD & SIL have a tall wrought iron fence surrounding their property and paver stone walkways on both sides to keep out digging critters. As for Raccoons I have them in my city neighborhood and all my surrounding neighbors have chopped down their trees to protect from branches breaking off in heavy Santa Ana winds - removing the trees has an added benefit of making it harder for Squirrels, Raccoons or Rats to jump from roof to roof or property to property or for Hawks or Owls to hide in.
     
  5. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just wanted to say I have had a bobcat come twice in broad daylight and kill full size chickens, just beware, it happens in a instant. My son and I were just out there and went to the garage for a minute, when we came back out the bobcat had already killed the hen and drug her away. Maybe you could electrify your fence.
     
  6. norcalcoast

    norcalcoast New Egg

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    Getting there! Got the right half of the run almost done. Let the girls out for the first time today. Expanded my dogs yard so they can patrol the coop now at night. 105 lb bernese mountain dog and a catahoula leopard/ pitbull. Watch out foxes your now the prey
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. chickenmad129

    chickenmad129 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is my coop before i had chickens, adorable isn't it!!
     
  8. tridentk9

    tridentk9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First- do we get an after shot? Not sure if it's to see the chicks or to see how they change your yard. Aren't you doing it backwards? I thought it was chickens first, then coop.
     
  9. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Love it[​IMG]The purple roof is too cute...
     
  10. 16 paws

    16 paws Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yea! I hope they chase those fox off for good! Great looking coop and run!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014

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