Our Hen Houses/ Coops

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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby Pete and Mandy » 19 Mar 2014, 23:24

The girls home from home .New roof this summer ready for winter.
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby Pete and Mandy » 19 Mar 2014, 23:34

Front view of run
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby slowfood » 23 Mar 2014, 19:59

Hello all,

I'll post pics of my run soon. All of the above are great inspiration.

I've noticed a couple of people asking what they should put down, ie wood shavings/straw. For the past three years I have used wood shavings as I read on here about the dust caused by straw causing breathing problems. It has it's drawbacks, as soon as it gets wet, it's mulch!

Just started to use a local firm called Smilers farm and they use crushed bamboo. It makes a lot of sense to me it has made my coops a lot easier to manage and stays fairly dry. The girls seem to love it (and eat it which worried me for the first couple of days as they ate quite big bits) I know it won't compost down as quickly,but,I sieve anyway.

£10 for a huge bale. Seems like a good thing, does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks

Brad
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby MamaOwl » 24 Mar 2014, 09:49

Hello Brad *waves from Southend*

Do you know if Smilers deliver? We are carless at the moment and I'm not sure my mate would appreciate a messy bale of bamboo in his motor!
Mum to 5, (youngish lol) grandmother to 2.
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby laallee » 16 Feb 2015, 02:20

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Hi to all, hope this picture is successfully loaded. This is our new coop set up for our chickens arriving mid April . Three Burford browns and three Cotswold legbars, thank you for all the advice we have picked up from the posts.
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby phoebe » 16 Feb 2015, 11:58

Hi
The coop looks very pretty, but needs a few modifications before your chicken arrive as it appears to have no ventilation or nesting boxes. It is also too small for 6 chicken as the run area needs to be at least 12 square metres for 6 chicken. At a pinch your setup could house 3/4 bantams. One solution would be to build a large walk in run out of weldmesh dug into the ground to stop foxes digging underneath. This will get muddy, but you could pave it or put down a membrane with some sort of absorbent material. It will get less muddy if it has a roof. Another idea would be to use an electric poultry fence. I have two 5’ x 5’ chicken houses in a 50 metre electric fence run and this is ideal for my 8 chicken. I do not shut the pop holes at night and have never lost any chicken to a fox. This idea would probably help with your ventilation problem because you could leave the pop hole open, however, you would still need to make some modifications to the ridge. You could also move the whole setup to a fresh part of the garden when necessary so that the old run area could recover. I move my chicken setup every three or four weeks.

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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby ladyplumber » 16 Feb 2015, 13:46

It is indeed a lovely little coop, and may be ventilated at either end gable - we can't see from this angle.

I agree that the run area is too small - restricted space per bird can easily lead to feather-pecking and other nasty habits that are hard to break once started. Better to alter their roaming space now if you can to prevent future problems, but well done on their house, that'll be fine for now, so long as there are vents in place.

Don't worry .....we've all had teething troubles when starting out :roll: :thumbright:
1 BlackRock 2 Speckledys 1 Black Brahma 3 Light Sussex 1 Auracana 1 (noisy) Silver Laced Wyandotte 4 Marans x Cream Legbar
4 Barnvelder x Cream Legbar 1 Blue Splash Orpington 2 Chocolate Orpington 5 Gold Laced Orpington

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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby laallee » 16 Feb 2015, 19:07

thank you for the tips,
the coop is vented from the ridge and the eaves so it should be fine. the chicks will have the back garden (approx. 50sq mt) to have a scrat around.
I am a bit concerned about the room inside the actual coo. it measures 4x3ft internally with internal (2) nest boxes which to me look a bit cheapo! not that I am an expert,,,
ill try and post a picture of the inside again. for some reason I was not allowed earlier today
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby laallee » 16 Feb 2015, 19:50

The roosting bars are about three inches high. The nest box is made up of 2 areas. Separated by the upright section of plywood shown, exact same opposite side.
Any thoughts, tips are appreciated.
Thank you
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby phoebe » 16 Feb 2015, 22:30

The perches need to be a lot higher than the nesting boxes or your hens will roost (and poo) in the boxes instead of on the perches. Is there anyway of raising the perches? The chicken will need enough headroom once the perches are raised. An electric poultry fence would add extra security to your garden and give you peace of mind when you are out as your chicken will not be happy staying in a run of that size for any length of time. A bit of modification to the house and extra run space is all you need to keep your chicken happy. Good luck with your new venture.

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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby laallee » 16 Feb 2015, 23:33

Thanks phoebe, I can easily raise the height of the perch, do you think the nest boxes look ok. I am a little bit loathe to making adjustments to the coop so early on as I'd like to think the coop suppliers would have the knowledge/feedback to provide something fit for purpose.
I might give the chickens a bit of time before I get the hammer and saw out!
I do plan on letting the chickens free range around our reasonably enclosed garden all day/everyday.
Thank you once again.
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby laffinfowl » 17 Feb 2015, 00:08

The perch does need raising alright but if the birds are going to be out of the run nearly all day long then it should be fine,just make sure you keep them confined to it for a few days when you first get them so they know where base is at,if buying them at pol then a few dummy eggs in the nest boxes will encourage them to lay there,good luck,burfords are supposed to be great layers of lovely eggs.

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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby phoebe » 17 Feb 2015, 00:20

I can't really see the nesting box. If it is behind the dowling it will not stand out once you have put bedding in the coop and I imagine the hens will just lay anywhere on the floor of the coop as there is no defined box. Hen house suppliers nearly always over estimate the number of chicken that will fit into their houses and I believe a lot of designers have never kept chicken as they don't seem to have any knowledge of chicken behaviour. A lot of designers place the perches on the same level as the nesting boxes which means messy nesting boxes as the chicken roost in the nesting box rather than on the perch. I have two wooden chicken houses that I bought from a sawmill. These house are of a traditional design with high perches and external nesting boxes. The chicken houses cost me £140 each including delivery and are now almost 4 years old. The wood needs yearly treatment to keep red mite at bay and I also use diatomaceous earth each time I clean out. If I knew what I know now I would have bought Green Frog or Solway plastic chicken houses because there would have been less maintenance.

If you are going to free range your chicken in your garden as long as you have an electric fence run your chicken should be safe from foxes. A fox could easily climb your fences and they will strike day or night. They don't just take one they kill the whole flock.

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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby laallee » 17 Feb 2015, 17:58

sorted, higher perch and bigger/wider/higher sides to nesting boxes! now we just need the birds,,
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Re: Our Hen Houses/ Coops

Postby phoebe » 17 Feb 2015, 18:56

You are very well organised. I hope the 2 month wait for your hens is not too much of a drag.

I know I could not wait that long for my chicken once I had bought the house and set up the run. I am lucky that there is a poultry breeding business in the next village and I could just turn up and pick which ever breed I wanted from their point of lay hybrid varieties. I started with 2 Rhode Rocks, a Cuckoo Maran, a White Leghorn, an Amber Rock, a Light Sussex, a Silver Sussex and a Blue Maran. I still have the Silver Sussex, but have over the years hatched out a variety of pure breeds from eggs I have bought on Ebay and at present, as well as the Silver Sussex hybrid have a Jersey Giant, an Ixworth, 2 Araucanas, a Buff Sussex, a French Copper Black Maran (it was supposed to be a French Copper Blue Maran) and a Splash Maran (it was supposed to be a French Wheaten Maran). I also have 4 French Copper Blue Maran cockerels for the table.

One year I hatched out some ducks because we live by a river, we shut them in at night, however, they were gradually disappearing during the daytime and we think they were either being taken by a mink on the river or a fox in the orchard. I gave away the remaining 2 to a friend who kept a couple of ducks in a more secure garden. I also hatch a few turkeys for Christmas. As you can see this is a hobby that grows!

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