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new chicken coop build...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by woodsman23, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    The best thing about coops is the chickens don't care what they look like, and you can add on and build whatever you want. They are a fun thing to build with whatever you have.

    Here's my old wood shed built in three 8 foot sections, shingled roof for two rows stacked lengthwise. When I aquired chickens a few years ago, I used one section for their "house". Later I added a second outdoor cage / nesting box. They are free range all day, and only go into the small raised part with nesting box at night. It is fortified and built with 2 X 4's and a racoon proof double latching, gravity, overlaping door system. Light on timer.
    The old truck cap on the ground has chicken wire ends, and is where they hang out on rainy days or when the snow is deep until I get an area cleaned up for them.
    The small coop holds 8 comfortably overnight, since they like to huddle together anyway. The piece of gray Ondura roofing (on the truck cap) is the front cover that we put on at night. It has steps to adjust the height across the front for temperature. The corrugated material allows good ventillation when closed tight, yet stops drafts. a piece of vinyl flooring scrap is the cleanable floor. The floor and roof is insulated.
    No, the satellite dish isn't for the chickens. But I can use it if I'm sent to the center "dog house". That's fully insulated with operable RV windows.

    The closed in middle section with old RV door can be used now for brooding, kittening, baby goats, or piglets until they are big enough to go out.

    The old truck cap on the far left is going to a neighbor when I get it done for his incubators, and hatching equipment. I'm setting the fridge up for a controlled 55 to 60* for storage of hatching eggs, and running water. He hatches 3 to 4 hundred at a time, and sells ducks, quail, pheasant, and any chicken breed you can imagine. He had his own body shop business for years, and his bird hobby has taken now over.He is doing well with it.
    4-23-12 1.JPG Truck Cap screened for chickens.JPG Chicken coop 1.JPG Chicken Coop 2.JPG Nesting Box.JPG

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  2. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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  3. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Sweet!!
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Really, really nice!

    They may end up "bombing" the water dispenser, since it's under the roost. Ours sure would; they don't care where they mess.
  5. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I am installing apoop board under it today this help with that.
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    OK, where are your varmint traps located?

    POPS says two things every chicken keeper must have. Traps and a means of dispatching what is trapped (or otherwise seen) and a chicken menace.
  7. Black Jaque Janaviac

    Black Jaque Janaviac Feeling the Heat

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    Hmmm. Needs a heat source - Does Englander make something 'bout the right size for a chicken coop. Dang if I wouldn't be tempted to buy one!

    Hey I remember seeing an old cast iron child's-sized cookstove in a museum once. Looking it over I could see no reason why it wouldn't be workable - kinda like a primordial Easy-bake.
  8. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    We have one of those little stoves, and I think it could actually work, too.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    They really don't need much in the way of heat, what needs the heat is keeping the water liquid.

    Keep the girls dry and out of the drafts, they'll do just fine.

    I got a thermostatically controller waterer heater. Works great. I use that with a 5 gallon waterer.
  10. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Like the whole set up. The wife nags me every time I mention wanting to get chickens again. She doesn't want me starting anymore projects until I get her projects completed. Some I am just not too motivated to do!
    How about that plug dangling out of the coup. That set up with the extension cord on the ground could be an issue. Just say'in.
  11. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Our hens have no heat at all, and they do fine. The water will freeze overnight, but we swap the waterer with a fresh one each morning, which stays liquid all day.
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That is one way to do it I have two coops one with an auto heater and one without, I prefer the one with. When things get to the point they will all fit in one coup guess which one it will be?

    Basically once fully feathered they need no heaters just a lot of food.
  13. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Our silly hens often molt in cold weather. Bad timing, but they have survived okay. A most important thing is to have them out of the wind, as with any animal (or person). Our coop is fairly airtight, and the sun warms it during the day.
    During the winter, our egg production drops to zero, due to cold and lack of light, but that's okay. Our pole barn is a tinderbox, so I'm not at all anxious to run lights or heaters out there. The girls are mainly pets (not mine…), so as long as they are healthy, she's happy.
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    My gold comets seem to molt all of the time, their output drops but they keep on laying, Funny watching a bunch of half naked birds and then pincushions on legs running around squawking whenever anything gets close to them. My White Rock and Black Jersey Giant both stop laying do the molt and start back up, they are three now, the Giant is a really laid back bird. She also never gets her tail feathers back, had a run in with a dog when three months old. My chickens survived and so did the dog, its owners now know enough to keep it home.
  15. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, a half-naked bird is a comical sight! I need to find a use for the feathers they drop. Some of them are quite pretty, especially the red ones. Maybe some kid could use them to make an Indian headdress..hehe.
    Also on the sill is a stuffed toy rooster, with an empty eggshell underneath it. Only one person has noticed the anomaly of an egg-laying rooster.
  16. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    the cord is a temp thing runing 12/2 under ground this week for lighting and a water heater for the winter.
  17. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Very good. Should have known that with all that other planning you would have that issue protected! GFP right!
    When I did have hens, I fed them the laying mesh and lots of the bread from the bread distribution store that sold out dated / overstocked bread and desserts as animal feed. That stuff was wicked cheap (and some of it wasn't half bad!)
    Where I failed was in that, "a little is good, a lot is better" when I went to auction and brought home ducks, chickens, you name it, and then tried meat birds. Went ok until it came to the chopping block. Wife wouldn't touch the meat. Didn't have issues when it was a few laying hens.
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    save$, I'll bet your wife has no trouble with the meat birds at the supermarket.

    The first flock we raised was dual purpose and 80% was processed by us. The ones we mostly have now really aren't worth processing, they are definitely egg machines, so we now have 14 birds with a forever home.
  19. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    You know how it goes, out of sight, out of mind. (esp. the out of mind part!) We have a lot of fish and foul on our menue, very little red meat. So many recalls and horror stories with red meat. Never knowingly eat imported meats. composite meats are also off the list. There are a few local butcher shops and a good one at the local IGA that we can get meats we trust from.
    About the only thing those old laying hens are good for is the soup pot. If you can let them out of their cage, they are good at cleaing up ticks from the yard. I don't know from experience , but I have been told that they lay for couple of years. Then at age 3, it is mostly over. <>
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Maybe I'll raise a new small flock next spring. I expect to loose a few during this next year.
  21. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Ours will never see the soup pot. They're her pets. We give them a proper burial - but no marker. Ours are getting elderly, time for a few new ones.
    She's talking goats, now, miniatures. I hope they're at least good for fertilizer. Anyone know if goat turds make good fertilizer?
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well the stuff I got from next door worked fine, it was goat, donkey, horse, and pony poopy.
  23. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    My folks had a couple pygmy goats a while back.

    They eat everything they can and destroy anything they come in contact with.
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Gee goats eat just about anything not nailed down or behind good stout fencing, those pygmy goats were just being (sorta like) goats.
  25. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Goats! Don't let them near anythig you value. If you get a goat, consider one for milking. You can make some quality cheese. You can be sure any goat you get will end up a pet so dairy will be the most you can get from them.

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