Run sorted out but coop is still being decided on

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PaulaSB12, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to the legacy my mother has left my sister and myself I have finally chosen the chicken run for the future allotment chickens its this

    http://www.aviaries4u.co.uk/chicken_runs.htm

    Its going to have a Translucent roof on it and is going to be 16.4 * 16.4 in size. STill mulling over which coop to get but as its going to be put in at the middle of august I have a bit of time.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I took this from your link.

    Our runs are made using high quality 45mm x 45mm Grade A pale green regulated pressure treated timbers. . The run has a 15 cm substrate board at the base to prevent any of the debris coming out into you garden. The normal wire I use for these runs is 1" x 1" 19 gauge welded mesh. The mesh is held onto the timber frame by using 20mm staples which are put into the frame under compressed air. The door of the runs are hung using three gate hinges and the door is secured by a barrel bolt. A translucent roof is also a good idea for these runs as they allow the light in but repel the harmful UV rays.

    I don't know which overall size you are getting, but all this sounds reasonable with one exception. I believe maybe you live in the UK and your predators can be different than ours, but I would not depend on a barrel bolt to keep it secure. I recommend a hasp and something like a carabiner or snap lock to keep it secured. I don't think you have the equivalent of our raccoons, but you do have foxes. And I am less likely to make a mistake when locking up with a carabiner or snap lock than a barrel bolt.

    I'm not a huge fan of coops and runs you "mail order". I find they are generally pretty expensive for what you get, though they can be conveneint. You might check around for a handyman or carpenter and possibly get something like this built much less expensively and it can look as attractive. That's if you don't wish to build it yourself, which seems to be the case. But realistically, this should work fine for you.
     
  3. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love the look of that run. I wish their was something like that available near me as the one I built myself is nowhere near as attractive. I think I'd want a coop that is a little bigger than either of theirs. having said that my girls have access to a coop which is roughly that size and a run about the same and do fine. The advantage of a fully enclosed run is of course the permanent access they have to it.
     
  4. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any fox that digs under is going to get a nasty surprise, there will be an underground fence of welded mesh all round the edge of the run so all they will see is metal no way in. It is going to be 16.4 ft by 16.4 ft in size. As for getting someone local I tried that and was quoted £200 less for a 3 metre by 5 metre 1 metre high pen so this one is bigger and better. The coop isn't going to be one of the egloo ones I want more hens than is good to keep in one of these and am still looking at the coop. The reason I want a solid roof run is because I have noticed that the chickens on the allotment, in the winter, many of them are walking on very nasty looking mud I know I can't keep the ground completly dry but keeping the rain off will help somewhat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You provided a bit of new information. I had envisioned something much smaller. If it is going to be that size, I'd suggest looking at height. You want to be able to walk inside it. Trust me on that. I bounce up and down when I walk. You don't want it just barely taller than you. You want some head clearance.

    I like the size of that run, but a 16.4 foot span is a long way to span. You either need some really heavy lumber to support that span or you need some supports in the middle. 45 mm (2") squared lumber will not do it. With a solid roof, you need to consider snow, ice, and wind load. Even with a wire roof you need to consider snow and ice load. I made my run 12' wide, but I had the lumber available after a wind storm took out a shed roof. I don't know what standard lengths your standard building material comes in, I'd guess around 8', but if you are buying material, you might consider that standard width as your maximum width. Just build it longer.

    You might discuss this with the company that supplies those runs. They may not want to stick with the 45 mm lumber if they know the size you envision.

    Another thing. I'd suggest you look at aprons for protection from digging predators instead of burying wire straight down. Attach a boundary of wire fencing around your run or coop and run, depending on your final layout, but lay that wire horizonbtal instead of burying it straight down. The idea is that a digging predator starts digging at the fence line and hits the wire. It does not know to back up. You don't absolutely have to bury it at all, but many people skin the grass back, lay the wire, and put the turf back. This gets it totally out of sight and away from lawn mowers and weed eaters. About a half meter width of fencing is plenty and this is a lot easier than burying the wire, especially if you have rocky ground. I personally think it is more effective too, but that is just an opinion.
     
  6. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its going to be 6 ft tall (you know its really hard to type with a tabby on your lap but if i try and put her down its claw in the boob time) and I am only 5ft 4. Like the idea of a digging skirt though.
     
  7. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 60 cm wire skirt around mine. I mowed, laid it over the mown grass and left it. It didn't take too long until the grass grew through and not only can you not see it but I can still mow over the mesh. It is much easier than digging. I've had foxes try to dig under my tractors until they hit the wire mesh floor, but never the run.

    BTW, roofing sounds like a good idea. We have had unseasonal rain and my run in a cesspool. It rarely gets this wet so i am going to tough it out and not change anything major but I'm guessing you get a fair amount of rain compared to me so a roof is a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  8. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have looked at the neighbouring runs over the last 4 years and every year they get turned into horroble muddly pens with not happy hens so mine are having a roof to keep the rain out, it will also stop people dumping strange chickens into the run which has been known to happen.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You might find this article helpful with a muddy run. The best time to fix the problem is when you are initially building the run.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    There are two basic ideas in fixing or preventing muddy runs. Keep water from going in to start with and allow what water goes in there to drain away.

    Position your coop and run where water does not run into it. Don't put it in a low spot. Slope your coop and run roofs so water is directed away from the run, not into it. Use berms or swales to direct rainwater runoff away from the run, not into it. Position your run where any water that does get into it can drain, either by building it on a slope or on a high spot. You might need to build up the soil under it so it is higher than the surroundings and the water can drain. Sand really works well if you need to raise the elevation a bit, but you probably need something around the bottom of your run to keep the sand contained.

    If the weather sets in wet, you are going to find it really hard to keep a run truly dry. Rainwater blows in from the side. The chickens will dig holes to take dust baths, which can turn into mud puddles. Don't expect perfect results, but you can do a lot to mimnimize the problem. The larger the run, the harder that is.
     
  10. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My brother in law just threw everything up in air. He mentioned and was correct that I only need 4 chickens. The main reason for putting them on the allotment was the fact that my mother who lived with me didn't like chickens. Now its just me I can get something like this

    http://www.smithssectionalbuildings.co.uk/products/dell_chicken-house-and-run.php

    It can go on the concrete patio which has the advantage of being safe from anything burrowing under and then most of the days when I am at home they can free range in the garden plus the money saved means I can afford the cat run I have wanted for a year as my tabby cat Queenie really wants to go out but gets really scared and a nice 3metre by 3 metre cat pen will give her some part of being outside while keeping safe. It will also be better for the chickens as instead of having 5 metre by 5 metre they will have a whole garden to roam in (I work 185 days a year) but I will be able to feed them and let them into the pen when I am on day shift as it will be at my home and let them back in when I get home. They will have much more freedem than on the allotment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

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