1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Temporary Coop HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MrsBrooke, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    267
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    DH and I have three chickens coming this weekend from a breeder. We are in the process of building their permanent coop, but circumstances are causing us to get them a week or two early, and the coop is still incomplete.

    We have a chain-link dog run that the previous owner of our property built. It's made of metal pipe, 4x4 lawn timbers, chain-link fence, and has a corrugated metal roof over 3/4 of it. Enclosed entirely by chain-link fencing, sides and roof. It buts up to the privacy fence. Part of it sits on a concrete foundation. It's probably about 8' x 32' ? Maybe?

    The whole thing is plenty big for three chickens, following the 4/10sqft rule per bird in the coop/run respectively.

    Our entire yard has a 6' privacy fence around it, but we see our neighbors' cats lurking along the back of our property all the time.

    How can I make this semi-chicken friendly?

    [​IMG]


    Here is a picture (the thing in question is badly outlined in red). You may need to squint.

    We live in Texas and the nights here won't get below 80 degrees, probably, so cold isn't a factor. It'll be hot during the day, but that is a very shady part of the yard over there, and the birds are coming from central Texas, so they will be used to the heat. It could rain... is that a worry? Will a tarp help?

    Our birds are coming from a breeder and cost a pretty penny. We haven't seen a raccoon in the yard, but I'd bet they'd show up for a buffet. I'd be so very upset to find one headless before we even begin!!! [​IMG]

    PLEASE, HELP!!!
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    625
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Boy, that's quite a list of questions you've got, but understandable for sure. Since you live where you live and raccoons are part of the predator list for you, me personally? I wouldn't use anything short of 1/2" hardware cloth...everywhere! Raccoons (and others) will tear through chicken wire like it was butter, and there go your chickens.

    On the one end of your setup (I think you said approx 8' x 32') I would put up at least two more walled sides and a roof, mainly for rain and keeping winds off them. Since you have neighborhood cats running around you will need to put a roof over your whole setup or again, the birds will be history.

    So sorry you guys have to slap something together so quickly...yikes!! Best of luck to you and post pics when you can! [​IMG]
     
  3. oldfaintinggoat

    oldfaintinggoat New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 4, 2014
    take the box the chickens arrive in and put an opening in one side. place dry bedding inside (drying out your lawn clippings can be used too)placing it inside the dog run on a few cinder blocks will keep it elevated and dry during rain. take a few dry tree branches and place the ends through the chain link fencing in the corners. chickens love flying short distances and will roost on the branches to rest and feel safe. after about 2 weeks you can let them "free range" by running around the yard. they will not go too far from the coop. at dusk, talk to them as you walk with your arms outstretched towards the coop. they will head home where you can secure them for the night. if you don't have a watering device, you can use a large dog bowl, or create a watering container with a 2 liter bottle facing upside down in the bowl. the farther away from the bowl it is the deeper the water will be. I have 7 chickens and have had them for about 2 months now. I love it!
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    267
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    The coop/run we are building will be encased in .5" hardware cloth. Unfortunately, we don't have that option for the temporary coop... The chain-link that is already there will have to do, unless we put a tarp up or something. It's already got a metal roof, and the part that isn't covered does have chain-link. No part is "open" to the public, so to speak.

    We will look into putting up walls, at the very least, for a wind break and to keep driving rain off them.


    Quote:
    So your chickens exist in an open-air chain-link coop/run thing?

    The chickens will be transported via large dog crate (we will be picking them up and driving them home), so we could use that up on a platform for the "nest box" with the bedding in it.

    That's a really good idea about letting them roost in the branches stuck through the chain-link and the water set-up, too! We were hoping to get a chicken nipple water thing set up, but we will have to hold off on that for the main coop/run.

    The good news is, at least we will have a set up to allow us to quarantine any new birds after they are moved to their permanent coop!

    Thank y'all for the advice! :D

    - MrsB
     
  5. oldfaintinggoat

    oldfaintinggoat New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 4, 2014
    as far as your dog goes, if he gets along with the chickens he will start acting as their rooster. keeping an eye out for danger and warning them by barking. the chickens will then run for their coop.
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    267
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    We're getting two hens and a roo. No worries there. :) They were raised together and will stay together. We're hoping to get some pretty babies of show-quality from this trio.

    The dogs will need to be trained. I would trust the black one (he's a two-year-old Aussie) once he gets over the "newness" of chickens... But the blue merle is a six-month-old and I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him, but he wouldn't be able to get through the fence. The dogs stay outside all day but come inside at night. It's the nighttime predators we don't even know are there that we're worried about.

    I am beside myself over this.

    - MrsB
     
  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

    5,291
    625
    318
    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Okay...so we have a potential dog problem then. To not only protect your flock from dogs but other predators as well, I would highly suggest that you "apron" your wire down-and-out 12-14"...something like these example pics:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This will deter all the diggers including dogs, raccoons, weasel, fox, coyote, etc.
     
  8. oldfaintinggoat

    oldfaintinggoat New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 4, 2014
    yes, my coop is screened in. during the colder weather I enclose it with plastic sheeting, and have a heat lamp available for use. then remove the sheeting when it gets warmer again.
     
  9. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    267
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Part of the floor of the run is cement. We will skirt the part that isn't. Thanks!


    That is good to know. I didn't know if it would bother the birds to be exposed like that.

    Thanks for your advice. :)
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,635
    5,389
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Might want to leave the dog crate in the enclosure for night time roosting, maybe even lock them in there to keep them away from the chain link walls to avoid reach thru's.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by