Using a Tree Fort as a Coop?? A Bad Idea??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DFamilyChicks, May 12, 2011.

  1. DFamilyChicks

    DFamilyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    Bellingham, WA
    Hi,

    I'm considering using an abandoned tree fort (only 2 - 3' off of the ground) as a coop for my 6 new chickens. The structure is secure and dry. It has a few windows. It could easily be renovated to include nest boxes, a pop door, and a roost. It's about 25 square ft. I would simply add a run to one side of the coop and move my chickens in.

    My main question is about how to predator-proof the coop and run. The structure is attached to large fir trees (I'm in the Pacific NW). There are other trees near by that would NOT be in the run. I wondering if I need to worry about predators (racoons mostly), climbing nearby trees and dropping into the run? Do they do that? Does the run need to have a roof? Or is a digging entry all I really need to worry about? I live out in the country in NW Washington state, so racoons, and coyotes are the most common predators, I think.

    Thanks for your feedback. I'm a complete newbie at this and have lots of questions. I'm already falling in love with my 6 new chicks and sure don't want to lose them to a pesky predator.

    Thanks,

    Kris
     
  2. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    The tree fort should work fine, as long as you make some modifications. You'll need to put hardware cloth over the windows,on top of the run, and anywhere a predator could possibly get in. Raccoons do climb very well, so any possible point of entry needs to be addressed. It would help to post pictures so we can help you decide how to best go about it. Sounds like a nice project,and your 6 birds will fit nicely in that size space.
     
  3. DFamilyChicks

    DFamilyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    Bellingham, WA
    Thanks! I will post a picture tomorrow....once the sun comes up again.
     
  4. Player Hater

    Player Hater Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2010
    this is gonna be cool [​IMG]
     
  5. DFamilyChicks

    DFamilyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    Bellingham, WA
    Oh yeah...one more concern about using my tree fort. We are on 5 acres, and the tree fort is quite a ways from the house -- about 300 feet. And it is VERY DARK out here at night. Am I running more of a risk of attracting predators with the coop so far from the house?? Would lights make a big difference in keeping predators away?

    I realize it will also be quite a walk to get the eggs and clean the coop every day...but I need the exercise! :)

    Thanks for your help. Again...I'll post pictures of the fort tomorrow. Good night! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. honda_DT

    honda_DT Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2011
    I would for sure recommend a roof to the coop and run for rain and expecailly if the area you are in is known to have raccoons. Also I live just north of you in B.C. and the weather around here gets very hot so the chickens will for sure need some shade at least. And to stop small mice, rats and mostly voles, you should dig a 2' deep vertical hole around the run and slide pieces of plywood in because it stops all digging animals dead in their tracks.
     
  7. DFamilyChicks

    DFamilyChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    Bellingham, WA
    OK. Here are a few pictures of my tree fort. As I explained in my previous posts, I am considering using this as my coop. I have quite a few questions, mostly about keeping out predators (see above posts).

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Kris

    ----------------------------- Pictures --------------------------------------

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  8. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    OH! I am just LOVIN that for a chicken house! make sure your run is wrapped secure on all four sides and top with hardware cloth. Also skirt it with hardware cloth. I would put hardware cloth around the base of the house too.

    What a GREAT start! Your chickens are going to just LOVE all the creepy crawlies and shade there! You are one lucky chicken-keeper!!![​IMG]
     
  9. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    Wow! I think that would make a great chicken coop! [​IMG]
     
  10. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:x2! Raccoons are crafty and will get in any way they can, including by turning handles on a door or lifting up an egg door, so all of those things need to be addressed. The same thing applies to the run- you should cover it with hardware cloth or something that can withstand your snowfall amounts up there.

    Good luck and have fun!
     

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