Under The Fig Tree (picture and question) newbee


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 31, 2010
I've been snooping around the site for a while - getting ideas - building my coop and run here in urban Houston, TX. The grandkids helped my wife pick out six, assorted chicks in late march thinking they might not all survive but they did. Now we have one starting to crow and an overcrowding situation in a space designed for three or four. I built it mostly from scrap and recycled materials. The roof is from our old back door awning and the coop is from our old fence, all donated by hurricane Ike. Here’s a picture.

One puzzling question;
In trying to predict rooster count, do hens sometimes “chest but” and fly at one another, or is that behavior strictly “male”?

I'm new, too, but yes, my hens chest-bump eachother and fluff out their neck feathers. The leghorn is especially fond of doing this to the Prodcution Red doesn't seem that intersted, but I have seen her do it once or twice. Even the girls have to establish a pecking order.
My head hen does it- and they all did it when younger, establishing pecking order. Your set up is very nice!
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You can always rehome two or three birds...or you can expand your run a bit to accomodate the birds you didn't plan for. Since you're in Texas, you can probably get by with a smaller than recommended shelter, since you guys don't get too cold in winter (or at least I don't think you do). Expanding the run is the easiest part anyway...
Thanks, I'll take some pictures tonight. I'd like to know what types they are too. The feed store was little help.
If I re-home any, it will be to the barbecue.
How does warm weather allow for a smaller coup?
What's wrong with "chicken wire" for chickens?
Just talking Texan.
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Well...in year-round warm weather areas the chickens are really only inside for laying and sleeping. In cold winter areas, the birds actually hang out inside the housing, so more elbow room is needed.
Chicken wire does a great job of containing chickens, keeping them inside of an area or out of an area. But it's pretty much useless at keeping dogs, racoons, foxes, etc. out. So anything that wants a chicken dinner badly enough is going to get it if chicken wire is the primary obstacle.
Just talkin' Hoosier talk...
If your coop gets afternoon sun, you may find that roof turns the coop into an oven. I have the same kind of roof for my winter coop, and it hit 117 degrees inside the coop a few days ago with one whole wall left open for ventilation, and that was with the ambient temp in the low 90's.

Today I put a piece of radiant foil insulation I had left over from insulating the coop on top of the white polycarbonate roof. That's keeping the inside temps down to only a few degrees higher than the outdoor temperatures. Whew! I only use this coop to house one of my hens with her chicks at night, but I don't want to wait until 10 p.m. for it to cool down enough inside the coop to lock them up inside.

Your chickens will be better protected with hardware cloth. I plan to have it up at least 2' on my run. I'm in zone 7b (western edge of Central Texas) where we get colder than you do in Houston, but I expect my chickens will use the run every day and have considered putting roosts for them in the run since it will be much cooler during the summer. We are hitting the 100's this weekend. Our run will have a roof to protect the chickens from the hawks that roost in our neighborhood.

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