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Portable Chicken coup design for Paddock

 
                                    
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Hi Paul,

I was wondering what type of design I should consider when building my mini chicken coop for the paddock. I am going to have around 2-4 Chickens and have a city lot. I am planning on using the same dog fence your friend used for the exterior.

I noticed in your article you say a coop without a bottom, what would be the design considerations I need to be aware of to achieve this and still make the coop desirable for the Chickens?
 
                    
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We just made a rolling chicken coop (for more like 10 laying chickens) and we used 1" wooden slats about 1" apart to create a slatted floor.  We put chicken wire on the underside of the slats so that little varmits can't climb in between the wood.  We expect to scrape off the top of the slats from time to time.  It's a chicken coop after all, there's going to be some amount of chicken poop in it, the idea is to minimize the build up and make cleaning it out easy. 
 
paul wheaton
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I helped somebody in seattle make a portable coop:  she had a lot of concerns about predators, so we tried to make it predator proof.  We put a bottom on it that was a hard, stiff plastic mesh grate.  two feet by four feet.  Wood frame and a very thick cardboard siding.  One end had a wooden wall and gate - complete with what we thought was a quick latch that raccoons would not be able to figure out. 

If you have a way to keep out predators, I think bottomless is best.  If your night-time predator protection is going to be the coop, then the coop needs to be industrial strength.
 
Allan. Sterbinsky
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Location: Tennessee
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Just wanted to let y'all know....  I have an electric net around my backyard "paddock" that houses my chicken tractors.  It has kept out all predators to date.  Yesterday a hawk swooped in and pulled a couple chicks through the poultry wire (actually just the heads).  I leaned a piece of chain link fence all around the tractors, and presto - no more hawk attacks today.  We'll see how that works.  My next tractor will have 1/2 inch hardware cloth around the sides instead of poultry wire.  I don't think a hawk could get through that and I'm sure the chicks can't poke their little heads through the 1/2 inch holes in the hardware cloth.  Let me know if anybody has had similar problems with hawks and what was done about them.  Guess I need to get a dog for the backyard like I had at the farm.  The Great Pyranees (sp?) at the farm sure did a good job keeping predators away from the chicken tractors and animals
 
                                
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Raccoons can rip apart chicken wire.    Half inch is best.
 
                            
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How much of a problem are hawks if chickens have a coop and/or shrubs to run under to hide from them?  I guess I am wondering if I need to have a completely enclosed yard (roof fencing as well).  We have a few well established hawks in our neighborhood.

Also, are raccoons a particular problem for chickens?  We do see the occasional raccoon in the neighborhood as well.

Thanks!
wormlady
 
Jeff Mathias
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Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
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wormlady wrote:
How much of a problem are hawks if chickens have a coop and/or shrubs to run under to hide from them?  I guess I am wondering if I need to have a completely enclosed yard (roof fencing as well).  We have a few well established hawks in our neighborhood.

Also, are raccoons a particular problem for chickens?  We do see the occasional raccoon in the neighborhood as well.

Thanks!
wormlady


Hi again Wormlady,

I mentioned some of this in my reply to your other post. The dense vegetation should discourage the hawks, I have also seen mine run into the coop for protection before our plants really got growing. I went out the other day because one of mine was making a crazy noise I never heard before and right there on the fence was what looked like a golden eagle. I know the raptors know my chickens are there but there is plenty of places for the chickens to hide. It is funny actually the chickens know the raptors are there also but except for the 15 - 20' of open space they have to cross to get to the other side of the yard (which the chicken do move quickly through with an eye on the sky) the chickens don't seem to mind at all. In fact they seem to dislike the low flying airplanes more.

Raccoons are a serious problem - I would definitely consider looking at the stationary coop in the middle of the paddocks system I mention in the other post for this problem. Stationary you can build bear proof if you have to, portable will take more work. Now the hot fence or hot wire idea solves this but I get the feeling that might not fly with the little ones around the school. With good paddock fencing you get a first line of defense for you stationary coop also. Also with raccoons make sure none of your fencing is large enough for a raccoon hand or a chicken head to get through, welded is best.

Not everyone will agree with me on this but if it is one raccoon preferably male; by simply making sure there is enough food around for the raccoon that should shift them off of your chickens. Raccoons are opportunists and will go for the easier or easiest meal if possible. There are also territorial and will work for you to keep other raccoons away.

Jeff


 
                            
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does anyone have experience with the Eglu type design?  It "looks" good in the pics, but I'm not sure I can really tell, since I don't have experience with any kind of coop.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Eglu
 
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