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Building my coop and getting ready for chickens Options
#1 Posted : Tuesday, March 09, 2004 6:53:55 AM
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why not consider a stationary pen and just open it up during the afternoon and let them run. In the evening they will return to the coop and roost.
#2 Posted : Tuesday, March 09, 2004 9:15:19 AM
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That''s my plan (except for the stationary coop)
Am planning to let them run around, my only problem is hawks, eagles, owls, and anything else that might eat them.
There isn''t any real cover anymore as a forest fire went through in 2000 and the trees are dead. So I am going to have to provide shade and some sort of cover for them to root around under.
(probably blue canvases until I can grow some type of fast growing plants - corn, sunflowers, etc.)
If the preditor problem is too great, or if I want to go to town and still let them out (without worry) I need to have an area I can contain them in.

I want the coop to be portable as I am not sure exactly where I''m going to permanently park it (if I do leave it in one spot forever).
Plus it may help in cleaning - move it off the mess.
And most important I am about 1\2 way done building it already.
#3 Posted : Tuesday, March 09, 2004 1:48:23 PM
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Been working on my coop as well. My goal is to use as much recycled material as possible. So far the only thing I''ve purchased are nails and two treated 4x6''s for runners underneath it. That way when you want to move it, you just drag it with the tractor.
All the wood has come from a barn that had fallen down locally, except fopr some 2x4''s that came from a shipping crate. The framing timbers are (true dimension) 2x6''s. The siding and flooring are random width 1x pine. I''ll be putting on board and batten siding. I''ll post pics on the pic site later today.
#4 Posted : Tuesday, March 09, 2004 10:32:14 PM
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I raised 20 ducks last year and they were pretty much free range. Never had any trouble with hawks or owls, but one of my dogs were a different story. I am lucky in that I don''t have problems with neighbor dogs. Do you know how to solve the problem of a chicken/duck killing dog? You catch him after he''s killed one and tie it around his neck. Something about the shame of wearing his kill, or maybe the feeling that the thing he killed has came back and got him around the throat make them not kill again. I used it to break one of the dogs I had 4 years ago, but I''ve got a new one and he has, I think killed two. I have to get the duck before it disappears before I can use this trick. Not so easy, but it will be done.
#5 Posted : Wednesday, March 10, 2004 1:03:58 AM
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Got my pics posted on the pic site...
#6 Posted : Wednesday, March 10, 2004 9:57:23 AM
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Looks nice Charlie,
Going to be much easier to get around in then mine too. (Mine is 4 ft. tall, and slanted)
Just about finished mine this afternoon, but the rain slowed me down.
Oh well, got some other things done, and marked all my remaining pieces to cut.
Tomorrow all I have left is cutting the roof supports and a few pieces for the door. Then I can finish putting it together.

Did the majority of mine from free "waste" wood.
Had finished buying most of the lumber I needed, and as I was loading it the lumber guy said "If you need any small pieces I have a pile of boards you can have, if someone doesn''t take them I''m going to burn them."
They were what he called "bunk boards", they are the pieces of 2x4 that come between the stacks of lumber.
Most were under 4 ft. and some have a shallow channel carved down the middle, but most are fairly good pieces of lumber.
I actually used more of it then the lumber I purchased. I also went to another lumber co. bought some nails, and asked them if I could raid their bunk boards - they said "yes".
Wish I known of them earlier, as I still have almost all of the lumber that I purchased and since I didn''t use it I now have to store it (not to mention the money spent on it).

#7 Posted : Wednesday, March 10, 2004 12:40:01 PM
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There''s a ton of source for free wood out there. You can also get bunk boards from steel vendors, pipe suppliers....anyplace that gets long stuff in by trailer. I''ve pulled some nice shipping crates out of a dumpster from a new retail store. I don''t know what came in ''em, but they were made out of 10'' 2x4''s.
My shed had to do dual purpose. I need a storage space for a few weeks while we redo our basement, then it will become a chicken coop.
Made it tall enough in the front to get around in, but you have to duck and the center rafter in the back. Wish I had made the front about 4" higher though, so we had more pitch on the roof. But, here in VA, I don''t think snow load will be much of an issue.

Have you checked out the coops on backyardchickens.com?
#8 Posted : Wednesday, March 10, 2004 12:40:01 PM
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Got quite a bit done on my chicken coop today, as it was a nice day.
Must have been in the 60's at least as I was in my shirt sleeves and feeling fine.
(could have been 50's though, as after winter anything above 40 feels like summer).

Am building a simple summer coop, and will make additions to it as needed.
I posted rough drawing of my coop plans before, and am going to draw a more detailed sketch and post it later tonight. (sketching will help me to see if I am forgetting something)

Ordered some drinking nipples and square pipe from FarmTek and am going to try setting up a gravity fed water supply with my water tank outside the coop.
If this works out it will make watering easier and more healthy for the chickens.

Will post drawing of this too.

Already built my feeder, but think I might build a smaller open trough feeder for oyster shell and treats.

Haven't yet decided on how I am going to build my pen except that it is going to be portable and sectional - might go with schedule 40 pvc and chicken wire, but am more likely to go with 2x2's as I already have some.
Not a great hurry on the pen as I plan to free range if possible.

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