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majorbloodnock

Hen keeping setups in context

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I remember there used to be a sticky on the forum for seeing photos of people's walk in runs, but that sticky, whilst still around, is now hard to find with many broken links and lots of comments diluting the pictorial content. I am in the latter stages of building a walk in run, and being able to see others' setups is invaluable for incorporating the best ideas.

My request, therefore, is that a new sticky be set up, but with a slightly different remit. Ideally, the only posts should either contain photos or should reply with specific additional information. I also realise that, now Omlet sell walk in runs themselves, that a library of home-made runs might be a conflict of interest on their forum, so I'd suggest the point of the sticky should be a pictorial library of Omlet products in their real world contexts, particularly where novel ideas have been used to fit the Omlet products particularly well in to a situation.

What do you reckon, Omlet? Would that be possible? Would that even be wanted by more than just me?

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Posted (edited)

If you’re on FB, look up the Omlet Chicken Keeping Community.  This is full of WIR etc.  Much better admin support from Omlet on there.   If you joined, you might recognise a few of us.....

I spend quite a bit of time referring people over here as there is so much expertise on the Forum.  

Edited by Patricia W

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9 minutes ago, Patricia W said:

If you’re on FB, look up the Omlet Chicken Keeping Community.  This is full of WIR etc.  Much better admin support from Omlet on there.   If you joined, you might recognise a few of us.....

I spend quite a bit of time referring people over here as there is so much expertise on the Forum.  

I keep asking to join this page but haven’t been accepted 😢

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3 minutes ago, eggysoldiers said:

I keep asking to join this page but haven’t been accepted 😢

Same here, rather frustrating.

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That’s interesting!  There have been a couple of other complaints about this on the FB site.  Emailing  Omlet seems to be the way in.  Possible, they’re falling down on this bit of admin with Covid.  

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I did wonder where my post had gone.  Just opened this up and here it is again:

I think it would be helpful because a lot of new people would like to see.  Plus a lot of the old photographs were done via Photobucket which went silly, so there were a lot of squares where photos used to be.  Pity because some were really brilliant - ingenious even.  I have a big metal frame with an apex.  OK except the sides are about a yard or so high and I have scalped myself many a time.  When we get the barn then the chickens will go in there and the metal frame is ideal for the ducks.  But it would be lovely to see home made efforts - Mr Mostin is a dab hand at that!

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I came along today specifically to try and find the pics of the WIR setups as I’m thinking of changing mine around a bit. I’ve requested to join the Facebook page but not been accepted yet which is a shame. Maybe we could start the thread again?

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OK, well in that case we might as well use this thread since it's available.

I've posted my setup in another thread already, but to summarise, it's 4.5m along the longest edges, and gives about 16 sqare metres - ample for the eight hens we have. The Cube is inside rather than being an external annex, but the doors are wide enough to take the Cube out periodically for a proper clean, avoiding the inevitable mudbath of cleaning in situ.

The floor is as nature intended, and the tarpaulin roof keeps a large part of it dry, allowing the girls somewhere to retreat when it rains. It's in this covered area that the food is kept, and that's in a treadle feeder so we can avoid "rat bait" scattered all over the floor. I have, however, put three boxed spring traps at strategic points to deal with any rats should they decide to come in anyway.

There is a mesh skirt stapled to the run, which extends horizontally about 3-4 feet under the turf in order to deter digging under the sides of the run. There is, as you can see, a run of polywire at a number of levels which has been electrified, and so far despite us living in an area regularly frequented by foxes we have seen no evidence of anything trying to get into the run.

Apart from the majority of the mesh, the tarpaulin and the electric fence kit, the run has been made out of recycled materials. Once lockdown eases and building supplies prices come down a bit, I'll be removing the tarpaulin and replacing with some corrugated roofing sheets - at least some of which will be transparent.

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Hello Major B,  We moved to a small holding a year ago leaving our WIR behind and I also remembered the sticky and couldn't find it, as we also were looking for ideas.  Over the last few months we have built two runs in an L shape as we want to breed chickens for meat as well as eggs, and the latest pullets will go out into the second run from the hatching nursery (an extra bit on a garden shed we had designed and made and we built.  I will go out and photograph it this afternoon for you.  I have to restrain my husband's DIY as he tends to over-engineer things 🙄  Subsequently it has been built with huge timber posts and could withhold a raging bull.

One thing I would mention for your roof is that we used bitumen corrugated robin panels which if you don't use enough cross members (we didn't on the longest stretch of roof) it tends to be very flexible and bows allowing rain to collect.  Trying to gently push the sagged areas to get rid of the standing water actually distorted the corrugations.  We have managed to fit in some more cross members but as it is now distorted hubby is thinking of removing it and putting OSB board and felting instead.

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On 6/16/2020 at 8:47 PM, eggysoldiers said:

I keep asking to join this page but haven’t been accepted 😢

 

On 6/16/2020 at 8:51 PM, Cat tails said:

Same here, rather frustrating.

me three

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6 hours ago, chickenNutter said:

Hello Major B,  We moved to a small holding a year ago leaving our WIR behind and I also remembered the sticky and couldn't find it, as we also were looking for ideas.  Over the last few months we have built two runs in an L shape as we want to breed chickens for meat as well as eggs, and the latest pullets will go out into the second run from the hatching nursery (an extra bit on a garden shed we had designed and made and we built.  I will go out and photograph it this afternoon for you.  I have to restrain my husband's DIY as he tends to over-engineer things 🙄  Subsequently it has been built with huge timber posts and could withhold a raging bull.

One thing I would mention for your roof is that we used bitumen corrugated robin panels which if you don't use enough cross members (we didn't on the longest stretch of roof) it tends to be very flexible and bows allowing rain to collect.  Trying to gently push the sagged areas to get rid of the standing water actually distorted the corrugations.  We have managed to fit in some more cross members but as it is now distorted hubby is thinking of removing it and putting OSB board and felting instead.

Thanks for that. Yes, I've had experience with corrugated roofing sheets before, but the roof to my WIR has enough cross members for it to be fine if I go down that route. I'd prefer not to felt it since it'll end up too dark inside IMHO, hence my preference for transparent sheets if possible.

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Posted (edited)

Mark 1 Cube attached to a 4m (May be 3m in the photo’s- I extended) lo-rise WIR. Omlet say you can’t do it but there it is.

79351D3D-EFC1-4803-97C6-0104B8F19A18.jpeg

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E86393D0-7E1D-4CA8-A17F-0F79E212DAE8.jpeg

46D4B6E4-488F-4759-A8AC-441F10C62937.jpegJust noticed the interloper in the last photo 🤣

Edited by mullethunter
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You've got several swings, MH; presumably that's because they're so popular one wouldn't be enough? I've thought about putting a swing in, but currently our girls only sporadically use the static perch we have.

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Wow some great set ups there! Mine is small but I do have the eglu inside on a table (currently rethinking this as I now have small bantams who are struggling a bit with the angle of the ramp). I’ll put some more pics when I do the changes inside. Just bought a plastic sandpit thing for them to have as a dust bath instead of the current wooden section inside too (they’re so spoilt!)

 

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@Hayleybug, all that mass of climber (Clematis? Jasmine? Honeysuckle?) looks as if the WIR should be really dark. Interesting, then, to see in that last photo that the sun manages to bypass most of it leaving the hens with plenty of light. Clever siting and a great use of space.

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2 hours ago, majorbloodnock said:

@Hayleybug, all that mass of climber (Clematis? Jasmine? Honeysuckle?) looks as if the WIR should be really dark. Interesting, then, to see in that last photo that the sun manages to bypass most of it leaving the hens with plenty of light. Clever siting and a great use of space.

A couple of climbing roses and a clematis- I wanted to put them on there to help keep out excess rain and wind. It does need trimming back though and at the front I might need to move that one as they like to look out of the front and there’s minimal places to look out when it’s in full leaf and flower! 

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13 hours ago, majorbloodnock said:

You've got several swings, MH; presumably that's because they're so popular one wouldn't be enough?

No only one swing - everything else is a static perch. And the swing is no longer there - because it was NEVER used 😂 They use the perches all the time though.

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This enclosure was finished yesterday, as far as possible. There are more overhead lines to add from the centre to the corners, plus electric lines around the outside, but the ground is too hard for the posts at the moment. Yes, the sky really is that blue; no pollution here. The hens arrived last week, saved from the abattoir but somewhat traumatised after being grabbed by their legs from the perch at night and then stuffed into a plastic box. Today the run was left open but they haven't explored outside yet.

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The little shed outside is for feed and the energiser. The corner posts are straight, so the camera has distorted them slightly. Each is 2.2 metres high and 20cm diameter supported with 2m posts and tensile wire to ground stakes. Problem here is the ground moves with rain and drought. 220 m2 area with a perimeter of 60 metres so the 6 hens can't complain of being cramped. Might be divided in the future for a second flock.

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The shelter is a substitute for a bush, is covered with bamboo which allows the heat to escape and is anchored down because of the high winds. The run is also covered with bamboo over a tarp. This is a difficult place to put chickens but the Cou-Nu, having less feathering, should be able to cope in Summer and in Wiinter we'll have to add some windbreak material around the outside of the enclosure. The coop is an old shed and is a generous size for the 6 hens who can chose from three nest boxes; probably the same one!

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That looks like something I would have Beantree.  Makes me nostalgic for my birds!  

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Just looks so beautiful and so much space and sky.

I always envy how much sky people have.

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Woooow, well I was thinking when I built my coop and run my eggs should be worth about £20 each but the amount of money some of the members have spent there guess must be in the thousands. Peter 

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3 hours ago, Peter said:

Woooow, well I was thinking when I built my coop and run my eggs should be worth about £20 each but the amount of money some of the members have spent there guess must be in the thousands. Peter 

Never add up what you've spent on chickens - especially if you add on vet fees 😮

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When we first got ours HRH made a spread sheet for me to record everything - well that lasted almost 2 years - I hate keeping a diary and logging stuff on a computer that I really did not enjoy and I said ENOUGH!  Well a little louder than that!  We did get it down to £2 per egg, so that wasn't too bad.  I dread to think what it is now.  And you know what?  He told me I ought to start logging everything down again.  I will do a log for worming, treatments and other things that must be recorded but really - recording eggs is over the top!

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