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BowlofPetunias

Newbie planning a new coop & run - advise please!

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Hi everyone,

We recently cleared a space in the back corner of our garden and I thought after looking at it, we might have created the ideal space to put a chicken coop and run... 

I'd really value your help and ideas of how to go about the next bit of choosing equipment and groundwork so install it all.

Firstly here's a link to a Google Photo's album that shows the plot (I'll try to attach to the forum post too but I never seem to have much luck with photos and forums)

The area measures 4.1 meters long (between the hedges is the long side) and 1.7 to 1.8m at a push wide (fence to kids climbing frame / slide is the width side).

So... what would you do?  I'd like 2 chickens max I think - no science behind that number, except having 1 sounds lonely and more than 2 seems like a lot for someone who's never kept chickens before.

After reading this Omlet article, I had thought to:

  • Dig a 4m long trench 5cm or so deep and lay concrete flags in the trench to form a base to help prevent a mud-bath forming in the winter months
  • Lay wood-chip on top of the flags
  • Pop an Eglu Go with either 2 or 3 meter run on top of the woodchip
  • Screw down the side skirt of the Eglu Go if the skirt is over the soil, or weigh down the skirt with bricks etc to stop foxes getting in.
  • Either using log roll or some other kind of edging around the run to stop the wood-chips being flicked out of the run.

Does that sound like a good idea, or does anyone have any alternatives?

If the chickens were to only live in the run, would the Go 2m / 3m be sufficient space for them?

Thank you in advance for your help and ideas!

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Looks a nice sheltered spot,with the wooden fence to provide protection. If I were you I would consider a walk in run using wiremeld to stop rodents getting in. Look at the Flyte so Fancy website for ideas, they are pricey . If you are handy you can copy layout so suit you space or get someone to make it. WIR is much easier to get in and clean and you can make lots of perches etc.

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Thanks! just looked on their website and I see what you mean they're quite expensive - as much as the Eglu Go and run combined.  Given that I'm new to it all, I think I'd like to keep the budget down until I know I've got the hang of it all.

 

 

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Hello!

Welcome to the forums. :)

My two pence would be:

  1. If budget allows, buy or build a walk in run, as they're a lot easier to clean (and look nicer IMHO). Make sure it has welded mesh, though - foxes can chew right through chicken wire.
  2. Personally, I'd keep 3 chickens. If you have 2 and one dies, the other one will be lonely, and introducing another single hen might be problematic for both of them.
  3. Make sure they have enough floor space for at least 1 square metre per hen - which it sounds like they will have.
  4. If you're going to buy a tarp to use as the cover, invest in a really heavy duty one straight off the bat. You'll save a fortune in the long run and a good gust of wind will rip the cheap ones to shreds!!
  5. I'd lay down patio slabs as a base as it'll make it slightly easier to clean too... though I know there are mixed opinions on that!

Other than that, I would say it's just a case of mucking in and getting down to it. :)

And post pictures once it's up and running. ;)

Andy

 

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Thanks Andy!  I've been googling around for walk in runs since Grandmashazzie posted and I've found this, I've emailed the company to ask how much their 6ft x 6ft x 6ft model would be we kickboard and fox-proof wire.

I've also just found this on Amazon which is quite well priced too, but I'd prefer one with kickboard round the outside as it'll save me a job.

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1 hour ago, BowlofPetunias said:

Thanks Andy!  I've been googling around for walk in runs since Grandmashazzie posted and I've found this, I've emailed the company to ask how much their 6ft x 6ft x 6ft model would be we kickboard and fox-proof wire.

I've also just found this on Amazon which is quite well priced too, but I'd prefer one with kickboard round the outside as it'll save me a job.

When we have our new enclosure built I'm making sure we have a kick-board. 

It's hard to tell from those pictures, but they both look a bit like the wire might be a bit flimsy. Ideally, the wire should be something a little bit more heavy duty like these: https://www.ultimate-one.co.uk/galvanised-wire-mesh-weld-mesh-panels-c-89_81

Another point I should probably have made about the patio slabs: if you use them, make sure they overlap with the base of the enclosure slightly. Foxes dig up close to whatever they want to get under, so if they start digging and feel solid stone, they'll give up pretty quickly. If it's just earth, they'll be under it fairly quickly!

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I agree about the WIR.  Then for a coop, look for a preloved Eglu Classic without the run, put on a table inside.  Or if you’ve space look at a Mk 1 cube.  Could be inside or outside.   For a tarp, I get the clear ones from Tarpaflex.  

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Just to say that you will soon suffer from Morehens disease once your first hens arrive.

There is no cure....

Can't wait to see photos when it is all done.

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