Anyone have any experience with building a coop and or enclosed run for a small number of chickens, maybe 6 layers, total? How about any tips on what to watch for once we get the chickens in there?
If you Google for "chicken coop" you will get far more building plans than you could ever implement. A chicken coop consists of an outer wire cage to protect the birds when they are outside the coop. The coop structure itself is raised off the ground, entered by a small ramp and must allow some disassembly for cleaning purposes. I have never raised chickens, so I cannot tell you more about that aspect.
You should consider making the coop a duplex so that one side can be cleaned/disinfected while the birds are in the other side.
I am building one my self and found endless info by doing
a google search. You might also move this thread over to the "Farm Life" forum, as they talk a lot of chickens there.
My brother figured the cost of building one verses buying a wooden shed from lowes and he bought the shed from lowes one which has two doors that open. It was somewhere around $400.00. I helped him put it together. That was several years ago. In the winter time he has a 100' extension chord going inside the shed for one of those lamps for heat. If you buy a shed you need to level an area and build a base for the shed to rest on. I forget but I think we used 2x6's for the base. dave
Check out some of these sites. I found them all helpful.
I've lived on a farm since I was born, and we've had chickens for the past 25 years. Once you get the chickens in the coop you may need to watch out for the smallest/weakest chicken. If you bought them all together and they have been raised together since they were chics it most likely won't be a problem. If they are a "mixed lot" however, they might pick on one of the smaller birds or just each other in general. One hazard is blood-if chickens draw blood (i.e. on a foot or leg) the others are likely to pick it so it keeps bleeding. Getting a rooster drastically helps "rule the roost." As far as dangers: once Google has helped you build the coop make sure to secure the wire/fencing well. Foxes, racoons, coyotes and even fishers love to dine on chickens. They may not be too prominent in your area, but there is still the chance. Hope it helps!
I would also recommend that you use new cages/wire. Diseases are readily spread by buying used equipment. Also, it's a good idea to buy your poultry from a known source. We had good luck with Marty's, a mail-order company, but you can also buy locally. Just make sure you pay attention to where they're coming from if you buy locally. If the place that you buy from is well-maintained and sanitary, you'll have much better success.
I'm sorry, that's murray mcmurry hatchery, not marty's.
A vendor at the farmers' market at which I vend is coming out soon with a book on building chicken coops. It is entitled "Chicken Coops : 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock" by Judy Pangman. I just checked Amazon.com and it can be ordered now and will be shipped when it is released.
How about one like this? Will hold 4 chickens.
Here is a link that might be useful:
Whoa baymee! I like that version of the chicken tractor. Are you a plumber, or did you have a bunch of pipes leftover from a project?
I was leaning in that direction, since I have a big vegetable garden, and I want to move the chickens around without them detroying it.
So then you plan to use the chickens to control garden pests.
I like ducks myself, they can really eradicate a fly population on a farm.
If one could place the coop over some hay bales (insulating the coop floor, then the heat bulb MAY not be necessary.
It was a birthday present for a man to his well known, and un-named, wife. The copper area is detachable. It has more sweat joints than several houses and took about 30 hours to construct the copper cage alone and several hours of that were spent just staring and thinking about how I was going to build each segment of this plumbing nightmare.
It has external doors to access the nesting boxes, shown below.
baymee, that's nicer than some houses I've lived in.
Thanks, it was built to match the house.
A chicken tractor is used to fatten chickens for eating. It is a good way to control bugs. If you really want eggs, you need an eggmobile. That's a portable chicken coop that protects your hens at night but lets them run free during the day.
It would seem to me that the one shown in the link above would do that. Maybe I was wrong when I called it a chicken tractor.
You were right, it is indeed a chicken tractor/egg mobile.
Building it is the easy part.Keeping them from Coyotes Foxes Wiesles Owls hungry dogs is the hard part.If they can not break in the weisle will dig his way in.Right under a foundation to any dirt floor.If its open toped the owl will get in.The Fox is very foxy he will figure out away.