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Will a concrete run (use to be dog pen) work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Roxannemc, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,671
    62
    226
    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    Hi I need help...
    I live in the country and have over 8 acres and no resrtictions for building coops runs etc..I have never had a farm animal only dogs and cats. so am clueless
    I have 8 chicks right now ...hope to get 2 more... so 10 chickens Want to build a coop and run...Here is what i have to start with.;
    ...
    THE RUN
    A chain linked dog run that hasnt been used in years.
    Even has an igloo dog house in it in fact 2 but for monetary reasons will just fence over the top 1/2 of it . about 6 feet across by 15 or 18 ft.long BUT my problem... the floor is concrete...
    .
    Can Hens walk on concrete? Do i need to add straw or ??? on it ?
    I thought i might enlarge the pen by putting a 10 x 10 area outside on the grass too.plus intent to free range them on the property a lot.

    THE COOP ITSELF.
    I intend on putting a hen door in the metal building side into the run.. and have the coop inside the building with human doors inside the building to open into the coop to get eggs or clean.
    I have a few old windows might put one or 2 in the metal wall for light and air from outside
    The inside is 1/2 done too as there is a large 3 ft x 8 ft shelf that is about 5 feet off the ground on posts like a tall table... Electric plugs in there too for a light bulb or heat lamp or fan Just need to add side walls,bars for roosting. and shelf to put nesting boxes on.

    More questions.
    How high should the roosting bars be?
    Does the coop area need to be insulated b/.c its a metal building that isnt insulated?Or shold it be wood lined?
    How warm should they be in winter? A heating lamp or a light bulb in cold winter or would that keep them awake and stressed?

    The "shelf" or roof of the coming coop is old luan doors that sit about 2 " from the actually wall. Will this be good enough ventilation in there(its about 15 ft high in the building itself and about 30 x 40 ') for the coop to vent into.The buildings not air tight , has holes where the corragated roof fits on. or do they need actual outside vents?
    NOT vented into another closed in area like that .?

    The actual floor in the building which will be below the coop shelf is concrete. The coop area can be 3 ft wide because the garage door slides back right next to it. Cant build farther out.Coup build farther across

    Hope someone can answer thses questions before i start this project.

    Also anyone have dimensions on a portable run an easy light one?
     
  2. inputoutput

    inputoutput Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2011
    Cumberland, MD
    My 2 cents...

    Concrete: Make sure you have easy access with a hose, inside and out. Concrete is a pain to clean. It is probably not the best for their feets and downright bad for Duck feet. But you work with what you've got! In the Winter I mostly let the bedding and poop accumulate a solid layer inside the coop to keep the cold from coming up from the ground too much. I also elevate the food and water. In the Spring / Summer I am cleaning it out every 2-3 weeks.

    Shelves: My chickens love sleeping on shelves. They don't have to be very high, the inside of my coop is maybe 9 feet high so the shelves are about 5 ft so I can reach them. I put them up so I can actually remove and hose off the wooden boards. Just don't put the food anywhere near the sleeping shelves ;)

    Nesting: I have a hutch (kinda like a rabbit hutch with a ramp and a top you can lift) that all the girls go into to lay. Its just one big open thing. They deal with it. Sometimes go 2 at a time, sometimes 1 if the one in there is grumpy.

    Dog Pen: If you are using a wire pen made for dogs make sure you heavily reinforce it both on the top (we wove layers of plastic mesh and wire and ran pipe across the top) as well as any gaps in the sides. Dog pens often have gaps around the doors, ect that could let raccoons squeeze in. Does the pen itself rest on (or is embedded in) the concrete or is it on the ground? Can anything dig under it? We buried ours a bit. Money was an issue for us too but don't forget sites like Craigslist and Freecycle, and reuse centers in your area!

    Metal coop: I would be more concerned with heat than cold from what you describe.... We built a wood coop but I have windows that are glass panes that can be removed in the Summer. We cut a "doggy door" for the coop to the pen that I can close and bolt from the inside. It sounds like its got good ventilation but if you use that building for other things... Think about the smell.

    Heat: I live in Western MD and I don't provide any heat source. But I only have "cold hardy" breeds. I guess I just don't believe in the necessity of it. This mild Winter my ladies never stopped laying except for a molt.

    Here is an old pic of the coop when it was mostly done... Primer'd and with the pen out the back. I have 6 hens and a rooster. I wish I didn't have the rooster ;)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,671
    62
    226
    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    Thanks for all the info.Like your pen ..and run.Just what i need but as you say do with what you can.
    WE dont use the shed for much. park the lawn tractor or the car occasionally and just junk storage and tools

    Yes the post are in the concrete but will need some chicken wire tied on the bottom of the fencing and concrete blocks etc set on the wire
    The fencing hits the concrete but idont know if a raccoon can pull it up enough to get in.Pretty thick The areas between the fencing and post are maybe 2 inches
    I dont think they can get in but who knows.
    And We do have a hose that reaches into the pens.
    Maybe i can put pea gravel on the concrete.is that any better?Dirt would be best but hate to ruin the concrete like that.I actuall ycoudl put a fan intthe window where its cool mostly at night here...well 60-70's (dont know about this year as its 80's already...Should be 60 high now) but maybe the draft of a fan isnt good.
    Can they stay in the run if i put roosts up in the hot summer out there or isnt it safe or advised to be outside at night.
    Yeah i dont want a rooster but i am wanting to get 2 Golden lace Brahmas as they are beautiful but seems they are all straigt run. I will probably end up with 2 roosters no hens!!
    the stink yeah.... a good point ...would be nice to have walls that you could take down to clean.I had some paneling I used from Lowes that maybe is used for bathrooms i used for the floor of my Mastiff puppy box.Twice!!
    Its pretty water proof for sure if you ever saw 11 four weeks old mastiff puppys go.
    Beat some chickens all over the place AND it was on my pergo bedroom floor!!!!!
    Its thin too
    Wonder how that would be as walls.maybe not floor too slick. but if it could be removed..and cleaned outside????Am i dreaming?
    Anyway Here is my set up, the dog runs and shed.Plenty room for a pen on the grass added to the concrete run. You can see the gaps inthe fence by the poles too.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you go with the concrete floor, yes, cover it with something or use a good sealer on it. It will absorb poo and odor... which is a real PITA to get rid of.
     

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