Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jkm, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. jkm

    jkm Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Forest Grove
    I live outside Portland Or, this year I will be renovating, so it was not time for a fixed coop. I liked the idea of starting with a tractor until my plans are fixed. I will go to the Portland Tour of Coops in July.
    It rains a lot here, and the wind is blowing more, so a fixed coop is in the future.
    I am a dog trainer and have lots of dog gear!
    I am tired of looking at "backyard"coops with twenty chicks!
    I have three girls, March 1 hatch. We have had a cold, windy, wet , wet spring.
    They spent twenty days in the house, in a wire dog crate under a heat lamp getting socialized to dogs, cats and vacum cleaners.
    The next 14 days the wire crate in the garage at night, and in a wire dog pen during th day if the temp was above 50 degrees, and they had their heat lamp. and staw, and wel l shielded by plastic tarp.
    It has been miserable weather for chicks.

    I have used a deep straw in the pen out side the door, which is covered.
    This pic is their summer quarters, ugly but portable.
    XL dog crate, upside down on dog wheels/cart. ( tied with bungeess.)
    Wire Dog exercise pen, clipped to plastic netting, platic netting for top, plastic tarp for rain cover, shade cloth for cover.. metal bar for perch.

    Easy to move!!!, UGLY !!!

    yes, I have moved them back and forth from night exercise pen with heat lamp to this day pen for one week, expect to do it for one more week. temps up to 63 today! but he nights are close to 40 or less.
    When they stay out in the crate this summer, I will lock the door at night, the mesh is too fine for raccoons.
    The silly things run in the crate for naps in the straw all day long. So they like their dog crate.
    This is a simple, inexpensive backyard set up, it will not work where there is a lot of rain in the winter. So I will be upgrading by August.
    I hope to inspire folks with a simple tale of easy housing,
    I will most likely never post a pic again after workingwith the trash site photo bucket, what a piece of spam collection!!! be warned its a spam seller!!!![​IMG]

  2. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    I don't think it's ugly at all! It's practical! The McGyver of tractors!
    Out of curiosity, why are you using the dog crate upside down? I would have used it right side up so that the chickens would have been protected from wind and elements instead of having the open sides right next to them.
    Your birds look happy! [​IMG]
  3. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Ingenuity at it's finest![​IMG]

    And may I say your yard looks beautiful- all nice and green. Wow.
  4. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Wow your grass IS green! I was raking up the poor, dead stuff on our lawn today.. LOL at least no snow. Do you fertilize at all?

    I don't think it's ugly either! And it does look very practical. My husband made me promise today NOT to post pics of ours on here [​IMG] since we bought it from someone and have been 'modifying' it.. it's a bit of a hodgepodge. (ok, the only truly ugly part is that the run was only 4ft high, and he made it 6ft because I complained.. so the top "ribs" are brand-new wood, while the bottom is old and seasoned. He did a great job though!).

    Yours looks very lightweight and easy to move, too. Great job!
  5. maggiePI

    maggiePI In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2007
    S. Oregon
    Thanks for the pic [​IMG] I started out with something like this and my 5 hens all still have a XL dog crate as their outside quarters in their run. We just built a small lean-to shed to slide it into. They all lay their eggs in one nest during the day and spend their nights secure from predators because we relined it with hardware cloth all around. I love the idea of people discovering we don't have to do these big projects to have chickens! Bravo!
    Suzanna at the other end of the state - hi neighbor [​IMG]
  6. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I don't think it's ugly either, wait til you see mine. Hey, your chickens aren't complaining are they? They look real happy munching on your nice green grass!
  7. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Great set-up. Aren't those x-pens wonderful? I have found so many uses for them. Cute girls [​IMG]
  8. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi JKM-
    We are considering chickens in our tiny yard... a question for you (or anyone who uses a tractor type portable coop)... how often do you move the run and is the yard OK to walk on (re: manure) afterwards? Smelly?
  9. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
  10. jkm

    jkm Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Forest Grove
    thanks for all the support and kind words.
    First , the crate is up side down so I could slide a roost in on the wires above the straw. I also slide a pvc piece in the dog xpen for a day roost.

    two, they poop and eat a lot! so I moved it twice yesterday, am getting better at sliding it around fast.

    three I am mostly organic, we seeded the yard over with fine fescue and clover, white clover, the girls are freaking over the clover! they love it. and cut it short!!!
    I fed all the grass with homemade dairy compost tea about three weeks ago.

    the weather is warmer today, girls are 7-8 weeks old, so tonights the night to sleep in the crate, not in the sheltered pen with a heat lamp. baby hood is over!

    I am getting more serious about a home pen, these girls love to eat, and I love my garden.

    cheers for backyard chicks

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