Thinking about raising some chickens, questions.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Vallen513, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Vallen513

    Vallen513 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    I have been reading and looking through the message board trying to learn as much as I can. Before I dive into it, I wanted get a better idea of how to design my run and coop. I want to do things right the first time.

    First, the coop. I have a storage shed right now, and is the same design as these two, with the double doors:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=9588

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=8490-Hot_Wings_Hotel

    My shed is 12' x 8'. I would like to get some ideas on the best way to convert the shed into a coop. The popdoor needs to come out of the back of the shed. The coop does not need to hold supplies. I have a separate polebarn to hold the pine shavings and everything else. The shed does not have electric. I have a garden hose nearby to wash the coop and water the birds. I also have storm drain I could pipe up to the shed to get rid of waste water. The shed is shaded underneath trees. So getting too hot shouldn't be a problem. Want I am really looking for are good ideas to incorporate in the design that make cleaning and maintenance easier.

    The run area I am going to take some pictures of to give a better idea of what I have to work with. One of the four sides is going to be the side of my polebarn which will be 36' long. The run is going to be 40' x 17'. I would like the birds to be able come and go in and out of the coop and run as they please. I plan to build a completely caged run. I am wondering what to build the top of the run out of. My concern is the predators. If hawks are my only concern, I could use some type of tree netting. The other predators are raccoons or opossums, or some other critter climbing up nearby trees and trying to climb through the top. Do I need to worry about them, or do they only come through the sides/ground? I do need to worry about them, then I'll use metal chicken wire or something on the top.

    Thanks in advance for help and suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  2. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    There is a LOT of information all over this site. Did you browse in the learning center? You can also take a look in each forum category; most have their own FAQ or need-to-know informational post locked so it's the first one listed.

    To answer your questions quickly and simply: most people use some type of netting or tarps over the tops of the runs and the fences are buried 12" under ground then curled out to deter digging predators.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Needs lots more ventilation, that's one of the biggest priorities.

    The other predators are raccoons or opossums, or some other critter climbing up nearby trees and trying to climb through the top. Do I need to worry about them, or do they only come through the sides/ground? I do need to worry about them, then I'll use metal chicken wire or something on the top.

    Netting will only stop flying predators. Raccoons, possums, foxes, and some dogs will happily and easily climb over any fence you build, and rip right through netting. Chickenwire won't work well as a predatorproof top either, as they will go right through it.

    You couuld spend a whole lot of time/money/lumber making a 2x4" welded wire top, properly supported on rafters and posts; or you could run electric around the top and bottom of your run fencing and hope that there's never any predators around when the electricity fails (even battery-operated fences will fail sometimes). The latter is more practical although a little more risky. Not *hugely* risky, though, in many cases.

    Be aware that snow will collapse most netting and any poorly-supported wire mesh run tops.

    Good luck, have fun, welcome to BYC,

    Pat​
     
  4. Vallen513

    Vallen513 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Thanks Pat for the tips. I will probably end up doing welded wire. More expensive, but will give me more peace of mind. Raccoons are my biggest worry. There are plenty of them here. They usually eat out of our trash cans.

    What would you recommend for venting? The roof/shingles come halfway down the sides. Are big square holes better, or use long rectangular holes? Like should I make a big square hole to one side of the coop, or make a short run 10 or 12' long? I would like to put vents on all four sides. The smallest would be on the side of the double doors. I was also thinking of making another inner screen door right behind the wooden door for ventilation. For the windows/vents. I plan on cutting the wood out, framing it, and then using the hardware cloth for protection. It would be nice
     

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