Starting my coop/run.

Elwar

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 4, 2009
83
3
41
Hudson, FL
Ok, my wife just went out of town for about a week. Her birthday is next week so I figured I'd surprise her with some chickens for her birthday. (I kinda told her that I'd build her a bird feeder for her birthday, but it's going to be a bit bigger than that.)

I plan on buying 2-3 chicks with the ability to grow to 6 if we catch the chicken fever.

Being in southwest Florida I'll be building for heat and predators.

For my runner I'm building a 4'x8'x3'H tractor runner. I'm considering using aluminum square tubes for the shell (http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100337876) with hardware cloth wrapped around it. I'll set a sort of foundation with hardware cloth dug down and latches to secure it. I'll set a seperate area within the runner with food and water that can be closed off while I move the runner around the yard.

For the coop it'll be raised 4'X4' with three sides all hardware cloth with one of those being able to open for cleaning. The third side will have the two nesting boxes and coop door with the nesting boxes being exterior so that they can be accessed from outside. I'll have a 12" box on the bottom for a deep litter method with a vinyl floor that can be pulled out to clean and poured into our compost bin.

I did read that the nesting box should be 18" to 24" up? Why is this? As it is the nesting box will be almost 5' up from the ground, makes it kinda hard to get the eggs out if it's too high.

Is this an ok setup? I think I'll start with the runner tonight.
 
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LizzyJo

Songster
10 Years
Jan 27, 2009
293
3
131
Aptos CA
Sounds good and what a great surprise!

The nest boxes don't have to be way high. There are threads on here you can search for nest boxes.

Good luck with your project.
 

Elwar

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 4, 2009
83
3
41
Hudson, FL
Ok, I have some pictures of my run. I decided against the aluminum tubes because I couldn't find any simple corner and T connectors, plus they were pretty expensive. So I went with some 1"X1" wood beams.

I started on the hardware cloth and I need to know...is there an easier way to nail in the heavy duty staples other than using a hammer? I started hitting the first one and it's about half way in and I was pounding on it for about 2 minutes. Is there a heavy duty staple gun?

https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=33375
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,311
14,734
727
Southeast Louisiana
I usually attach the hardware cloth by nailing or screwing a strip of wood over it. With 1" x 1"'s, I'd pre-drill the holes and use screws to keep from splitting the wood.

The main reason the nest boxes are recommended to be up is to help keep the nests cleaner. They don't have to be up. Since you are in South Florida, cold is not a big concern of yours. I made the bottoms of my nests out of hardware cloth to help keep them a little cleaner. It might also help in your situation to help keep the chickens cooler with air flow, but you still need nesting material which will block most of the air flow.
 

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