Karen and her family in Maine used our chicken coop plans to put together this Garden Ark for their backyard flock. She made a few modifications to suit her needs — using wider lumber for the skids, adding handles, and securing the bottom for complete predator protection. (more…)
Posts tagged with ‘Predators’
Colin and Faye sent in this inspiring story along with pictures of their beautiful, rustic Garden Coop build and tips for other chicken coop builders in Australia. The rest of this post comes from them. . . .
Our Garden Coop build
We have finished our chicken coop and our six eight-week-old chickens took up residence last Saturday. Thank you for such easy-to-understand plans. For my husband Colin and I, this was our first venture in building anything, and we are very pleased with the outcome. (more…)
Cindy in Rhode Island sent us this picture of her Garden Coop build, all decked out for the holidays. The rest of this post comes directly from her: (more…)
Joy used The Garden Coop plans to build a backyard chicken coop at her Maryland home. She adapted the design by moving the henhouse to the right, moving the ladder entry to the side of the henhouse, adding insulated external nest boxes, and using foam closure strips with the polycarbonate roofing panels (these strips also come in wood). Below are a few of the pictures Joy sent in, along with her notes on how the construction went. The rest of this post comes from her. . . (more…)
This is the third in a four-part series on getting your chickens and coop ready for the winter.
Now we turn to the coop itself. In mild climates, chickens need only basic protection from the elements year round. If your coop keeps your hens dry and away from drafts, chances are you don’t need to make any special changes to it for the winter. If you expect temperatures to dip below freezing for a sustained time, you may want to take some added precautions to winterize your chicken coop: (more…)
Apparently, people, there is a growing problem with urban foxes in the major cities of Australia. I learned about this from a customer who wrote for ways to keep his flock secure from these foxes in a mobile chicken coop like The Garden Ark.
To hear what I proposed pertaining to predator proofing his portable poultry pen, please press play. . .
Or read on. . .
I’ve got a guest article up at The Urban Garden Project offering seven tips for building a garden-friendly backyard chicken coop. Check it out, then click around The Urban Garden Project site for more tips on backyard gardening, square foot gardening, chickens, and more.
Thanks, Ben, for inviting me to post!
I got a nice message the other day from Mike and Dara P. of Portland who built their backyard chicken coop using The Garden Coop plans.
Their coop works beautifully in their city backyard and fits well into their neighborhood. It also makes a great backdrop for their family holiday card!
In the note they sent, they shared tips from their experience building The Garden Coop as well as some of the ways that they customized the design to work for their situation. Here are some excerpts:
Because pests and predators will often try to tunnel under a barrier to get to the chicken goodness on the other side, some coop designs, including The Garden Coop, call for burying the hardware cloth down about a foot or more on all sides. You might think the wire would rust faster down there because of the moisture, yet because it’s exposed to less oxygen in the ground, it actually tends to last even longer. I’ve read of hardware cloth being unearthed intact after 30 years in the ground. So this shouldn’t be a concern.
Fencing of some kind is essential around your coop and/or chicken yard to keep your chickens in and to keep pests and predators out. Pests (mice, rats, snakes, etc.) want your chickens’ dinner. Predators (dogs, raccoons, foxes, hawks, etc.) want your chickens for dinner. There are a several kinds of wire and fencing, and I’ll talk about a handful of them here:
Galvanized hardware cloth. This is the best material for enclosing a chicken coop or enclosed run. In particular, you want 1/2″ galvanized hardware cloth (usually 19 gauge). Smaller openings could be too brittle, and larger openings will not deter against rats or snakes. Hardware cloth comes in 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-foot rolls—with 3′ and 4′ being the most common—and in roll lengths anywhere from 5, 25, 50 to 100 feet. The mesh is made by weaving or welding steel wires together, then hot-dipping it in zinc (galvanizing it) to protect it from rust. It’s a stiff product, but you can bend it by hand, cut it fairly easily with a pair of wire snips, and attach it to your frame or posts with 3/4″ galvanized poultry fencing staples (Avoid using staples from a staple gun. They can rust easily, and if/when they slip out, they will get pecked at.) Once bent into shape, hardware cloth holds its shape well.
Chicken wire. Maybe because of its name, this is what most people think to use first on their coops. It’s made of thin wire woven together to create hexagonal openings. It’s relatively cheap but rusts quickly. And while it will keep your chickens in, it won’t keep the raccoons out. . . . (more…)