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Setting up chicken coop, not sure how??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Runfox, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Runfox

    Runfox In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Hey all, I have 5 4week old Rhode Island Red female chickens. I have them is a small cage indoors right now. It's time to move them outdoors. I have a 10x10 fenced dog enclosure I want to use for their run. We have this fenced kennel on the cement slab patio in our back yard, right outside or french doors. My wife wants me to make a small chicken coop in the kennel and leave it on the cement .
    I would put the kennel on the grass in the yard, but I have a sprinkler system in the yard and don't think I want the sprinklers going on in the morning, spraying water on the kennel and chicken coop.
    So my question is, would it work to have the chickens in a small coop in the 10x10 fenced kennel on the cement slab? My wife says leave the bottom of the coop open with wire so the chicken poo falls though.I'm thinking with the bottom open, it will be very cold this winter , even here in central florida. W do get cold spells in the 30's. Even with say a light bulb for heat, I think the floor should be solid. I was thinking the chicken run in the kennel should have something on the floor,wood pellets or sand , but it will be a mess on a patio slab. Would the chickens be ok scratching around on the cement floor? My wife says it will be easy to hose the cement off as we do when we have dogs in it. I'm not sure that will be good for young chickens scratching around on a cement slab.

    MY plan was to put the kennel outside our fenced yard, outside of the sprinkler system, make a chicken coop next to it, and fence the whole thing in for protection. I would add a gate in the chain link fence to walk to the chicken coop, and then we could let the chickens in and out of the back yard to roam, then put them back in their coop at night. I would put the fence around the chicken coop about 12" in the ground to prevent digging under and use my fence charger and put a wire around the outside base to prevent fence climbers. We live on 5 acres in the woods and I know when the chickens go outside, we will attack the raccoons, foxes, bobcats, coyotes and everything else. So the perimeter fence will have to be sturdy to keep the predators away from the chicken run or coop.

    So can they be on the cement slab for now? That's my question.

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I wouldn't keep chickens on a bare concrete floor. I'd be worried that the rough surface could promote bumblefoot. Plus, chickens love to scratch, and there'd be nothing for them to scratch in a bare concrete run.

    However, plenty of people have concrete floors in their coops that they cover with some kind of substrate like shavings, straw, pellets, sand, gravel, etc. You could put boards up around the side of your kennel to keep whatever substrate you pick enclosed. I have sand in my run and I love it...makes it very easy to clean up by simply using a kitty litter scoop.

    Rhode Island Reds are known to be cold hardy. I wouldn't be worrying about it getting too cold in Central Florida for this breed of chicken. You do want to build your coop so that it is well ventilated, but so that cold air is not blowing across your chickens on their roost (drafts). Actually, you probably need to be thinking about how you're going to be keeping them cool enough in the summer (think about shade and removable side panels...in hot weather, drafts are good).
  3. Runfox

    Runfox In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Thanks Elmo, I talked with my wife, she wanted to do something temporary for a few months , on the cement patio, then make the finale coop later. I said while I have the week off, I would rather make the final coop now, so she finally agreed. I will build a real coop outside our fence and put down dirt floor I think. For protection it will have a fence around it. It should work well.
  4. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Be sure to electrify fence. Coons are really good climbers and may account for more poultry losses than any pred in Eastern US. Best bet is to take the few minutes it takes each day to close up coop and open in AM. You need to gather eggs and do a visual check anyway daily.

    Bare cement no good for either adult birds or chicks. Litter is needed. Do be aware that you will have a lot of humidity in the coop with a dirt floor. Top vents galore for sure. Damp air in coop is a big NO-NO. [​IMG]
  5. Runfox

    Runfox In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Thanks for for the help all. My plan is to put 10x10 dog fence /kennel outside our fenced yard , close to dog kennel, on grass. Put gate in fence by chicken coop, build chicken coop next to 10x10 fence for their run. Put up a fence around chicken coop/run. Light on dog kennel will light up back yard, if predators come at night, hoping dogs see or hear them and bark to alert or chase them off. The fence around chicken coop/run will be 12" in ground to prevent digging, and I'll place electric fence wire along ground and another wire near top of fence. So any predator should not be able to dig under fence and if they get close to try they should get a nice electrifying jolt. or If I get a jumper or climber the top wire should zap them too. That's my main defense.

    So Ill have a fence around chicken coop /run with a gate to our back yard where we can let chickens into yard to scratch around when we are home, then put them back in coop/run when we are done. I will put sand in run area. Should all be good. Ill have water and power at coop so I can put a light bulb in coop if it gets too cold.I have an auto dog water bowl for their water .
  6. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Songster

    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    Living in North Texas and being more concerned with the heat and humidiy we raised our coop and put in an expanded metal floor. We get what ever breeze we are lucky to have in the summer then in the winter we close off the sides with bales of hay. The expanded metal floor works great for cleaning and is small enough and smooth hat their feet don't get hurt. I have pictures on my page.

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