Starting New, Larger Pen (Almost finished! Progress Pics ADDED)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by speckledhen, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Right now, the pen is in front, uphill from the coop itself. That caused problems with mud and drainage, etc. And they always tilled the dirt and leaves up against the building. The dimensions of the old pen are approx 20 x 22 (original pen was 11x 20, then added a section to it when we added onto the coop to double that space)

    The new pen will be behind the coop, downhill to the perimeter livestock fencing that surrounds about 2 acres of the property. We are raising the height of that back fence (from 4 ft to 7 ft) by hanging welded wire fencing on a multi-strand cable between two trees; it has a turnbuckle in the middle to keep it tight. We finished extending the height of that back approx 50' long section. The sides will be about 27' on one side and over 50' on the other side, and the coop side will be maybe 35 ft long inc the 20' footprint of the coop itself, though we only paced it off, didn't measure exactly.

    Here is the back fence. My property line is on down the embankment to the middle of the dirt road that surrounds my place. I have neighbors with a dog on that side, so we will also add predator proofing to the bottom all around after the actual pen is complete, along with the two gates, one on each side.
    Here is the current pen and then the start of the new one in the next pictures:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the area that will be fenced; now, they can get underneath the coop even when they're not freeranging.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Having seen that part of your proprerty I think this is a great idea.

    Will you be moving the nest boxes so as to have access without having to go into the run?

    My nest box access is inside the run, sometimes I wish it were outside.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Lee, I'm glad you approve! I have several types of nests. The ones in the original 8x8 coop have access doors. There are four nests in the addition, but I have to go inside to access those (however, not many use them-they seem maybe way too big or something). I will be able to get to the three most popular ones without going inside the run, but access to the exterior nestboxes you see in the last picture at the back of the coop and the big ones in the addition will be inside the run. I dont think there's a way to really move without major trouble. I think since they will have a way, way larger space now, I wont let them out of the pen every day like I usually do. This is part of their freerange area anyway. We will then remove the old pens, use the fencing for protecting our apple trees and plant grass in front of the coops again.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Oh, one thing, though--we cant string CDs as easily as we did across the shorter distance between fences in their current pen. There are some large oaks and a small white pine in their new area and they will have some cover from hawks. Will have to think on this issue.
     
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Maybe plant a few mountain laurel's or some other shrubbery to give them a place to hide?
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Outside the pen are several Leyland Cypresses, so maybe I could plant one inside that area, too. They grow very fast if they have enough sun and they are terrific cover.
    They have the entire 20' under the coop, but may have trouble running all the way up the hill while under attack.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  7. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    That looks great I am sure the ladies will be very very happy about having so much space!
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Thanks, Henry. For awhile, they probably wont even realize that they're in a pen, LOL.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I love you setup. I am going to build a new coop and I'm trying to get new ideas. Also, I have learned especially the not to do things from my other coops. I know what you mean about hawks. They can fly right through the trees. Most of my property is pasture but there are trees on the back side of the pasture and I see hawks occasionally on the fence post or just flying across the pasture to the wooded area right through the trees. Our run is covered. When the birds spot a hawk they head for the run. So far I have lost only one bird to a four legged predator. I think it was a dog from the foot prints. I put electric wire around the fence that fences in the area they range in.
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    We may be able to hotwire the fence, but we need to get it strung first. Maybe tomorrow we'll make some progress since it's supposed to be about 60 degrees and sunny.
     

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