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Building a chicken coop

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Dave H View Drop Down
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Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Location: Central IL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Building a chicken coop
    Posted: 22 May 2022 at 9:39am
Looking to raising a few layers next spring, so I am initially circling options on coop construction.  I have picked out plans.  It will be kinda typical with the run at ground level with raised roosting  and laying enclosure.

Varmints in the area so I got to get it down to weasel proof.  Now thinking of 4X4 on ground floored with treated decking boards.  Zero experience.  Any no nos or better ideas on the floor level.  I would have some flexibility in being able to move it and save trenching and burying a varmint barrier if I went with dirt floor.  Confused
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steve(ill) View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote steve(ill) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 9:49am
I made a frame out of PT 2 x 4 that is 8 ft x 8 ft... 2x4 on 16 inch centers... then laid 2 sheets of  3/4 inch plywood on top and screwed it down..  I took several 4 inch tall cement blocks and lay on the ground ( every 4 ft) and leveled so that the 2x4 fame lays on top of them.. I put a couple anchors into the ground to keep it from blowing away.... After building the "barn" on top, they put 1/2 inch mesh wire up 6 inches on the wall, down to the ground, and flair out a foot from the building and laying on the ground... Covered that with a couple inches of dirt... that keeps the critters out from under the barn.
Like them all, but love the "B"s.
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Dave H View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 10:36am
Couple of good ideas Steve on keeping it off the ground for ventilation and keeping the critters from getting underneath right up front. 
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NDBirdman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDBirdman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 12:50pm
I dug an 18" trench, burried the run fencing in trench and up to top of rail going around it.  Then at 6 and 14 inches up all way around installed an electric wire.  For the coup, the floor is built with 4x4 for outer frame, using 2X4 for rest of flooring.  a sheet of treated plywood for floor.  Have not, in 12 yrs had a critter dig/gnaw through the coup floor.  At night when the doors are shut, nothing (but mice) can get in, mouse traps get those.  I tend to not trust the varmints and check/refresh the water/feed after closing time to ensure no critters made their way in before doors closed.  I have had mink sneak in/hide before, destroying complete flocks at night.  That's the reason I personally check every night.  Have also had a husky destroy flocks but that's another story for another day.


Edited by NDBirdman - 22 May 2022 at 12:59pm
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NDBirdman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NDBirdman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 12:55pm
Originally posted by Dave H Dave H wrote:

Looking to raising a few layers next spring,


When do you expect eggs?  If you are wanting them next spring, hatch/buy your chicks Sept, you will then have eggs next spring.  My experience, I start getting eggs around 5/6 months, full laying around 8 months depending on breed.  Once the pullets are fully feathered, they won't need heat, just heated founts on frigid days.  Build coup soon, worry about fencing in a run next spring, unless your able to free-range.  My current coup is a box store yard barn, cheap/easy.


Edited by NDBirdman - 22 May 2022 at 12:58pm
1955 WD45 S#205467, 190XT #6652 DXT
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exSW View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote exSW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 1:15pm
Build a simple "chicken tractor" type shelter and surround it with "electronet".
Learning AC...slowly
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NEVER green View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NEVER green Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 1:15pm
 

   I purchased a storage shed for my daughters chickens, when her and the chickens leave the nest, I then have a storage shed!

  Layed tarp on the floor and part way up the wall, chicken heaven.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote iowallis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2022 at 8:08pm
Make sure your chicken coop has 2 doors, if you have 4 doors it is a chicken sedan.
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Walker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Walker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2022 at 7:05pm
2 doors would make it a Yugo, 4 doors make it a Wego.
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DaveKamp View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveKamp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2022 at 11:36pm
Hmmm... it looks like this thread has gone to the birds... you guys crack me up- both those posts were rotten! LOL

So, you'll find that a 'temporary' henhouse, regardless of 'how' you do it, will still have strategic weaknesses.  Not saying 'permanent' ones don't, but it's much easier to 'harden' one with a 'permanent' attitude.

I trenched down about a foot, and put hardware cloth vertically, then folded it horizontally so that it extended out about 18" from the vertical.  When I installed the wire mesh down the SIDES, I brought it to ground, then 90 degrees out to the mesh that was down and over.  Any varmint that tries to dig in at ANY point, will get VERY frustrated.  The mesh goes all the way up to the soffits, and I even put the folded mesh across the soil at the openable end-door, so that they get vexed there, too.

To defend against tree-scaling critters, I put a steel roof on it... they climb the tree overhanging, jump onto the roof, and find themselves sliding all the way down, off the end, and into the flowerbed.  My wife does NOT like things that jump into her flowerbed, so when she sees it, she puts out the live trap, and once said critter has been trapped, she has me make it a 'dead' trap...

My henhouse has basically four stages of protection between outside and the nest boxes and roost... that means, although the pen is well armored, even if they got IN, they STILL cannot get into the roosting, as they'd have to pass through the automatic door, OR try to chew through the stainless-steel floor and walls... it's like a citadel... once they're all the way inside, sun goes down, door closes, and nothing comes in or goes out.

The tricky part, is raptors.  Once you harden everything against walking/climbing bandits (raccoons, skunks, oppossums, etc), and running/digging bandits (foxes, coyotes, dogs), then you have snakes, and raptors.  Snakes coming in during the open-door times is a difficult thing to stop, save for the buried mesh... it's pretty effective at stopping the types of snakes that'd come in and steal eggs.  Fortunately, I've never had snakes kill the birds, but I suspect that someone, somewhere, probably has problems with birds killed by snakes...  but raptors... eagles, hawks, owls... it takes street-smarts (your chickens' smarts, that is) and overhead cover... if your chickens are free-ranging, or working an open-top garden, they NEED to have overhead obstructions, and the ability to see and hear the skyward attack.

Friend of mine had a GREAT solution for his garden- he put poles at the corners, stretched strings of lights like it was a patio.  The strings of obstructions made flight-attacks complicated.  He also took chicken-wire, and formed it into 'tubes from his chickens' favorite foraging areas, into his hen-pen...  when they sensed an attack, the birds would run into the tube, which was naturally very good defense againds avian and canine attacks.  Simply having good cover obstructions helps... they have someplace to run IN, any attack gets tangled or dead-ended.


Ten Amendments, Ten Commandments, and one Golden Rule solve most every problem. Citrus hand-cleaner with Pumice does the rest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaybmiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2022 at 6:47am
If (IF ! ) I was to have chickens, the coop would be in the middle of their 'ranging run' or whatever you call the pen where they can roam. They'd have access to ONE side each year, that way the other can recover and regrow ,ready for the next season.
Instead of having hens though I do a neighbour favours and get a dozen eggs a week !
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Alberta Phil View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alberta Phil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2022 at 10:58am
I don't have time for chickens, but have an arrangement like Jay.  Help out the neighbors with welding repairs etc and get all the eggs I could ever use!
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shameless dude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shameless dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2022 at 1:49am
last one i made for my Mom...made it a skid type so it could be moved, built the walls up 5 ft all around and put a swing door in the front, then i had an old pickup topper i mounted on top of the walls. had crank out windows for ventilation and glass windows so you could see inside without having to go inside. could add a nesting box on the outside wall for quik egg grabs. it lasted about 20 years for her! no critters ever got inside. could easily bolt wheels on the skids. it had a plywood floor that the walls were attached to. was also real easy to clean out. 
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