Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Chicken Retirement Coop

As I need my movable coop for the new batch of ex battery hens I needed somewhere else for my three surviving ex battery hens from last year to live. This is what I've come up with:
Earlier in the year a customer gave me a coop with some wire panelling, so long as I took it all down and removed it for her. Seemed like a good deal as the panelling is really good quality and has already come in handy. The only down side was the fact I had to dig out the wire all round the pen that was nailed onto it, this took a bit of time but with a mattock it wasn't too bad of a job.
 The coop on the other hand was a bit pants.
The pen I took down
 The coop is an off the shelf mass produced thing, with the thinnest possible wood and far too many places for mites and other bugs to hide. The only reason it had lasted as long as it had was because it was under cover the whole time.
The coop - Cheap and poorly designed
 The first thing I did was to loose the nest box off the side. It was so weak and leaky I don't think it would have held the straw for bedding let alone a chicken. I then stripped off the roof which was two layers of timber nailed together - a perfect hiding place for red mites.
I then set about making it useful, but without spending a penny (except a few screws). I raised it up so rats and mice can't nest under it, using some wood from the floor we ripped out. Added a perch inside and sectioned off a small area for a nest box. The removable "easy clean" floor got fixed in place, because sliding it out made the whole thing want to fall apart. And finally I added some bitumen roofing and a side panel made out of scraps. I used toggles here to save having to buy any hinges
After I'd done a bit of work to it! Still looks rough but at least now it should work a little better.
In the end it's about right for three hens (possibly a couple more) and it now sits in the back garden. It was never my intention to have free ranging hens, or any in the garden, but these three hens seem to spend most of their time around the house so we decided why fight it!
Anyone else been making good with old chicken pens?

11 comments:

  1. We've been trying to make good with a new one!!

    It's basically a good design but there are some bits that just don't work for us, including fixed perches and the slide out floor under them. If I had three hands and arms long enough to hold open a flap and slide out an eight foot long bit of flooring it would be fine ... but I don't!!

    We'll get there .... eventually :-)

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    1. Thats the trouble. I think they're designed well on paper but not by people who have to use them. I've been building my own for years and everytime I change the design to make it more user friendly (for me!). One day I'll get to the perfect chicken coop.

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  2. I have my coop up off of the ground, my old one was low and mice got under it as well as other animals that tried to tear through the floor to get the birds. I think it keeps the dampness under control as well. The hens like to get under the coop and take dust baths when it is wet out. You were lucky to get the old coop.

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    Replies
    1. Having it off the gorund is the most important thing I think! Ours like to get under our coops and shelter under the rain. Also I think its natural for them to want to go up to roast at night so it works well

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  3. Four of my coops are inhabited by OAPS
    THE NUMBER WILL GROW I am sure
    Happy new year me old son

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    Replies
    1. I'll try to keep my numbers down. But these are the little girls favorites!

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  4. On my list for 2014: one muther of a chicken run all enclosed with chicken wire in which I can raise guinea fowl as well plus another enclosure for geese. It will mean digging another pond but I like ponds!

    Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

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    1. Sounds good! I'm looking forward to hearing how many people you have to bribe to get the materials to build it! I'd love a pond but I'll wait until the girls can swim first!

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  5. Looks like a good fit. Hope you have a wonderful new year!

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    Replies
    1. Cheers Gorges Hope yours was good as well (ours involved staying in and watching a film once the girls were asleep - my perfect evening in!)

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