Trying to get an idea in my head to make sense :S

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RandyDR, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. RandyDR

    RandyDR Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2011
    Delta, Colorado
    Hello!

    So I'm clearing out a bit of my property that has over the last few years while I was here, there, and everywhere grew up on me. There are tons of wild plum tree things, ( there so thorny! ) That have grown up and since I'm clearing it all out by hand, hatchet, and anything else I can find ( It's going to take me a while, depending on the weather [​IMG] ). I'm trying to figure out the best way to put the coop and run there. The coop is going to be 8x12 to 12x12 or something around that, I'll decide when I get closer to getting it all cleared out. I want to do this right the first time to the best of my abilities. So I need to know if it's best to have the coop, inside the run, or outside the run and connected to the run. And if it being this large would still be best 14 inches to 24 inches off the ground, or on the ground. There are a ton of predators around since I'm out in the countryside. We have everything from raccoon's and possums and hawks to foxes and coyotes. There is also a decent population of bigger snakes around. I live in KENTUCKY [​IMG] lol The run is going to be a minimum of 20x40, so I thought it would be best for the coop to be on the outside of the run, and connected somehow, and I'd like it off the ground so mice and snakes have a harder time creeping under it plus it would have the extra protection from the run being rapped up in more welded wire and hardware cloth. As I can't entirely allow them to Free Range, due to predators everywhere and a small but well traveled road. I think I'm just freaking out a bit about the entire situation, but I'd like to start working it over in my head while I'm clearing it all out to decide on the best option for there safety.

    Thanks for any help you have on my brain crazy restless self!

    P.S. I technically have no poultry right now as my grandmother took over the ones I had at her farm when I started traveling a few years ago, so I am content with starting my own new little flock so I don't have to steal any of hers [​IMG] So yes this little project of mine will take a while, but I'm not going to rush since I'd rather have it done right the first time than walk out one day and find out I missed something that got them all killed. [​IMG]
     
  2. djennings

    djennings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sabine Pass, TX.
    I believe my coop is about 24 inches of the ground. Coop is totally inclosed with 2 big windows. I did my run with 2 x 4 along bottom, after I dug a trench so that the wire and tin could go in the ground some. I have 3 foot by 8 foot sheets of tin ran along the bottom, to me I figured if predator can't see inside so much, the better off the chickens are, plus if they try to dig under, they will cut thierselves on the tin. The whole run is in wire also.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  3. Annabella

    Annabella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2010
    If you had your coop within the run and up off the ground, the chickens would keep it clean underneath (keeping away the mice)??
    Just a thought..[​IMG]
     
  4. Papa Rooster

    Papa Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok this is gonna take some time for me to gather all the info ive gotten into 1 text.


    #1:Chicken coop idea 2 get predators out.

    double lace the bottem with a 2nd layer of chicken wire. dig about a half foot to 1 full foot in groun and place chicken wire so they cant dig under it. I have some real heavy tarp that i put up about 3 feet up the fence because a animal wont jump and bite because it will rip its teeth out so that keep out most animals. do not build with a branch over your chicken coop. racoons will get on top of you coop and claw out the wire from the top so put about a half foot of tarp/extra wire at the top. i have heard that you could put up christmas light(mostly red ones) to keep out foxes and owls and most other predators.

    #2:snakes.

    Snakes can be benaficial to your coop. it will get rid of mice and rats wich will cause many diseases and eat all ofyour chicken feed. bad thing is they will eat eggs and chickens. you can kill them or let a broody hen deal with it. unless its poisenous then kill it as you see it.

    #3:yard problems.

    If you have tricky grass/bushes/weeds then cut them down and build your coop over it. fresh chicken crap will kill anything.

    #4: good things bout chickens.

    Besides the usuall stuff(eggs, friendship, meat) you can use them for lots of other things. rooster can be alarm clocks and will watch over the hens(not all but those he likes most) unless you have only a few chickens. as i said b4 fresh chicken crap will kill anything because of the high acid levels or something. but if you let it compost(i only let it dry for about a month) then it will grow every kind of plant you want it is amazing fertilizer. bad thing about that though is it will grow every kind of plant they have eaten from b4 that crap came out.

    #5: free ranging.

    Free ranging can be great for every type of chicken. if your chicken has a problem with its food nutrients it will regulate themselves outside. to keep them safe i watch them or take a few steps to keep them safe. i trap regurally and kill whatever i catch from foxes to coyotes to chicken hawks. then i will leave a radio on full blast to fake out other predators.(chickens eventually get used to it)

    #6:feeding.

    the most important thing for a chicken to survive is water! Clean water everyday or they will get sick/drhyrated and will die. i know nothing about %s of feed i give all my chickens from 1 day old to death. i let mine free range and they will fix anything wrong themselves.

    Hope this has been helpfull but if its not i dont care. Ive done this way all the time ive had chickens and ive only lost about 9 because of hawks and foxes. I hope you do get you stuff all taken care of because having chicken will change you life.
     
  5. RandyDR

    RandyDR Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2011
    Delta, Colorado
    I think what I'll do is build it inside the run and off the ground by about 2 feet, even if it is a big coop I still think that's probably what's best, and will not take away any space since it's off the ground. I'm already going to be putting hardware cloth 1 foot deep around the entire run so that should help with diggers. I'll also put welded wire or something over the top as this is going to be an entirely closed off run. I can't start building until I clear off these wild plum tree's ( hundreds of them :\\ ) but it gives me the basics of what I plan to do. Thanks for the advice [​IMG]
     
  6. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    First, hello from a fellow kentuckian! I built the coop about two feet off the ground (highway rock supports, don't know if they do that everywhere, but this part of ky highways stays cleaned because we all use highway rock instead of using fieldstone). My coop is attached to a mower shed so we have the run off to one side of it and they aren't able to get under there, its way too possible for any of the wildlife around to live under there. The dementions are 6w x 7 l x 7.5 h, or something very like that. I could give you exact measurements in inches, but really.

    On another side, are wild dogs and coyotes bad for you this year?
     
  7. RandyDR

    RandyDR Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2011
    Delta, Colorado
    We don't really have any wild dogs around here. I rarely see coyotes but during the colder months of the year I hear them most every night. It's mostly foxes ( seen more this year than the last 10 ) and raccoon's that are really everywhere around here. And this year there has been a big snake problem. At my grandmothers she was letting a broody sit and during the last few days before they were suppose to hatch, a few big corn snakes came in and gobbled up them eggs, 2 got caught in the netting trying to get out and 1 was still in the nest when she came in to check for eggs that morning >.> Only 1 egg remained, and miraculously it hatched the next day. Unfortunately, it lived maybe 4 days, before it disappeared, not sure what got it [​IMG] She entirely free ranges her poultry though. She has a coop she locks them up in at night but daytime they roam.

    Which is why at my places I'm going to build this coop and run for my own. And build it with as much predator proof as I can. They might not get to have total freedom to go wherever they want, but they'll have a big enough area for the amount I'll have to live a happy little life.
     
  8. nickie

    nickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    north central KY
    Hardware cloth and more hardware cloth. My husband and I were standing one in one out of the coop shining flashlights to see if were were getting any light coming through anywhere during basic construction of exterior and then again after insulation and interior walls. What can I sat, Im paranoid, but nothing is getting in.
     
  9. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2011
    When we started we were planning on putting the coop in a similar type spot. After 3 days of trying to get the weeds low enough to even measure which part we wanted to put the coop and how hard the ground was to dig the wire into it, we decided to move the coop up closer to the house where it was already clear. Originally we were going to put the coop inside the fenced in part when we planned out back, but changed it to underneath the coop and coming out from one side. That way we can clean it out and get eggs, etc without having to open up the fence every day.

    Also that is a huge coop. Have you considered at all building 2 smaller ones? I'm new so I don't really know anything and not sure how that would add into your costs, but just an idea. Ours is 4x8 and raised up 2 feet off the ground.
     
  10. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I think I would build in amongst the plum trees instead of killing or cutting them all down. I think the chickens would love the plums plus give shade and protection if the need arises. Never know when a hawk might come and you don't see those killers. The advise from papa was some good stuff.
     

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