We have 12 pullets. We started with 16 but are down to 12. We are housing them in a stall now but would like to have a hen house or some type of coop. If you were building a hen house or chicken coop how would you design it?
Anyone ever purchased one of the prebuilt chicken coops?
We built ours by our own design, but you can find lots of designs and instructions [plus great information on chickens] for free if you Google: BackYardChickens
We started with a 12X12 dog kennel, tarped over the top. Hubby then put down heavy wire mash, then poured the 12X12 edges of foundation. We made one wall complete, another to the door then half walls on two sides. The open areas are covered with hardware wire. We purchased premade aluminum nest boxes, they are double deckers and take up the back wall in lenght... We have yet to make an enclosed run
12x12 - a wood post every 6 feet framed with 2x4, maybe even something smaller, wrapped in chicken wire.
There are tons of books at libraries with chicken coop designs.
Depends how much room you have and what you want to accomplish. I refuse to have chickens again until I have a portable chicken coop so they can eat the bugs and grass from where-ever I choose. This coop would be a small shelter for them -- say 2' wide x 4' high x ?long (depending on the # of chickens) accessible from the side by a hinged wall or door (hinge on the top) for cleaning and egg collection. The outside run would be 1x1 verticals with slip in horizontals for supports with chicken wire stapled to the INSIDE of the verticals.
I also like a portable coop because my permanent one ended up just being smelly and mucky after a couple of years. Since I was going to have to clean it regularly anyway apparently, I decided it was easier to move the manure-making creatures to where I wanted the compost than to clean the run regularly!
When I had a permanent coop, I had an old goat stall that I used. I punched a 10" x 10" hole in the wall to a run attached to the side of the barn. The hole had a drop style door that I could control by a rope outside of the run. At night I could close the door to keep the wildlife out and my chickens safe.
That system worked until the neighbour's dog came over and ate ALL my chickens!!!!!!
if u don't care about style, just though some tin over a 2x4 frame BUT make sure that u build the right kind of coop for ur kind of weather.
A friend of mine just built a coop out of one of her stalls in the barn. She just cut a hole in the bottom of the stall door so the chickens could come and go into the barn aisle out into the horse lots.
Hers are pretty free from above. Mine are totally inclosed. I'll take some photos and post them here in a bit.
I built a roost for them at night, just out of old left over wood and some dowel rods. I put in a tree branch but they prefer the dowel.
I got my laying boxes at an auction sale, but I've seen people use all sort of things like barrels or boxes stacked up. You need 1 box for every 2 laying hens.If you have 12 pullets you will need 6 boxes. I've gotten fake plastic eggs from different sources over the years but my friend just used plastic easter eggs in different colors. They seem to be working fine.
McMurray hatchery is a great source for stuff including chicks
Eggcartons.com is another of my favorite online sources for egg cartons and just chicky stuff At one time they were the cheapest source for egg cartons
Most farmers markets will not allow you to sell eggs in reused cartons, just an FYI
OK here are some pics. Bear in mind this is all hand made on a very thin shoe sting (no money :lol:)
It started out as just a corner of the barn. I found an old screen door and the rest is just savaged wood and chicken wire.
The outside run is old chain link fence posts that still had the concrete on the bottoms that I got from a friends trash. The inner posts are some chain link some just tree limbs holding up the wire.
Again the boxes I got at an auction sale pretty cheap. I've had as many as 2 dozen chickens living in my coop. I'm now down to 7. I would like to keep about that many since they produce enough to keep me and my neighbor in eggs.
ETA-just in case you wondered...Yes, that is an old plow in the chicken run
Here is a couple of photos of ours, it is still a work in progress... it was not what I would call inexpensive to build, but down the road it can be easily converted into a shed if we wanted. We have electric and plumbing inside.
I don't know if you have predators where you're located, but predators can blow through chicken wire and chain length fencing. This was done by a determined dog.
Trust me I know about stuff getting through the fence, the wall etc. just about anything :lol:
The outside fence on mine is large fence stapled down to railroad ties all the way around the perimeter. I also dug down around the inside walls and buried chicken wire underground below the walls so nothing could dig in underneath.
I wish I could let mine run free but with 6 critter killing dogs its a no go. :-x
Bronco Hollow, you have a chicken palace :-)
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