problems with open design?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by intowin, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. intowin

    intowin Out Of The Brooder

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    I am in Florida and am considering a preditor proof pen for 8 chickens that has no coop, only nesting boxes and roosting bars. I like this plan as I can get in with them, but I want them to feel safe. I live in the country and we do have some racoons. Do you think this concept is doable or would they be better in an enclosed coop?

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  2. Tumbling K

    Tumbling K Overrun With Chickens

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    I plan on doing something similar, except, I will have an enclosed roost area. I also have a windbreak for them, on those cold windy days.

    otherwise for our (I'm in south Texas) climates, I think it's a great idea.
     
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Even in a covered pen in Florida they will need a place to get out of blowing winds and rain. I think that if you created an area where they could roost at night that offered protection on three sides (in the direction your prevailing winds come from) within a larger, covered structure like the picture you've shown that your birds would be fine.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    What wire are you using, especially at the ends of the roosts? Raccoons have been known to reach through openings in wire and eat a chicken in parts. So you probably need a small mesh wire for any that roost at the end of the roost.

    The roost looks low compared to the height of the nests. You want the roosts higher than the nests. They tend to sleep on the highest thing available and they poop a lot. You don’t want poopy nests.

    I’d suggest adding a wind break in the corner where your worst weather comes from. That’s just to give them a bit of shelter in a thunderstorm. It doesn’t have to go all the way down or all the way up, just create and area they can get some shelter from extreme winds and heavy rain blowing in sideways.

    There is a reason to go higher and lower with that windbreak, however. Where you are cold is not a problem, but heat is. They need shade. Your roof helps but a lot of sun and rain comes in from the side. I’d look to give them more shade.
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and you would need to use 1/2 inch hardware cloth and install an apron around the bottom of the whole thing to keep out the predators.
     
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  6. intowin

    intowin Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the help so far. Yes I am adding an apron at the bottom and using 1/2 welded wire. My main concern was if it needed an enclosed coop. I know most people go that style just was not sure as to the reason. If they can feel safe at night in open air, I would rather go this route. Def good idea on wind breakers though.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Chickens will often sleep in trees by choice. They are kind of hidden up there among the limbs but still pretty open. I’d expect them to be pretty comfortable in a fairly open place, but still prefer a windbreak just for those extreme times.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  8. intowin

    intowin Out Of The Brooder

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    what gauge 1/2" welded mesh are you guys using?
     
  9. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do able yes. I agree with the windbreak. I used a piece of steel roofing on the back side of the run. Then 1/2" welded wire fabric fasten on with fender washers and screws. Wire apron flared out around the bottom to stop predators from digging under. Add yes I have wire fabric under the fiberglass roof panels too.

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  10. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    19 gauge.
     

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