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Please review my sketchup chicken coop

 
Posts: 14
Location: Ridgeway, VA
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Hello friends,

I have decided to increase my laying flock to about 100 birds. I want to build them a really nice safe home. I made a video of my sketchup design. I would really appreciate any feedback on the design and what yall have learned from your experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKphFRHFdzw&feature=plcp

The enclosed portion will be 12ft by 40ft, have enough nexting boxes for 100 chickens, roosting places, and a door for easy sweep out into the compost pile behind the house.

The run will be 88 ft by 40ft. The run will be covered by http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/prod1;ft1_fencing_containment-ft1_bird_fencing;pgtc2638a_TC2646A.html
the lowest 28 inches will be rabbit guard from lowes.

Thanks for your input. I havn't built it yet but very soon construction begins. Once I dig the footers and set the 4x4s it will go quickly.

Scott Vernon
Horsepasture, Virginia
 
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Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Looks like a nice setup.

That roof size will collect 300 gallons for each inch of rain you get.

 
Scott Vernon
Posts: 14
Location: Ridgeway, VA
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Good looking out John with the 300 gallons per inch number. I hear the debate coop or chicken tractor? I think that I am going to have pasture raised meat birds during the spring, summer, and fall until winter comes and heating becomes an issue. Where do you stand on tractor, vs completely free range grass fed, vs coop
 
John Polk
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Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I still have mixed emotions in the tractor/free range/coop debate. A lot of it depends on your end goals.

Since you are going to the expense/labor of doing the bird netting over the top, I presume you have a chicken hawk, or other raptor problem. If that is the case, free ranging would not be the best option.

For the layers, I believe a coop is a good option...with 100-200 hens, it is obvious that eggs is a priority. Combing a pasture every day on an Easter Egg Hunt would get old very quickly. They need a secure place to consistently lay for their, and your, convenience.

Most tractors I have seen are pretty flimsy...or else too heavy to easily move. If they are awkward to move, they will likely end up sitting too long in one spot. The harder they are to move, the easier it is to put it off for another day.

Pastured meat birds still need a place to get out of the noon day sun, and hide from raptors. They don't need a fine palace, but its construction details need to take into account your predator situation.

Good luck with your project(s).

 
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