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Thread: Chicken coop and pen

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    Chicken coop and pen

    Already having a nice sized chicken coop but also having a broken down pen I decided it was high time to get ready a batch of spring chicks.
    The coop on the left is 10 ft by 10 ft the pen used to be 10 by 20 but 90° to the coop and almost completely down. I made it 10 by 22 in line with the pen so Icould take advantage of constructing a wind wall to block the North wind
    Chicken coop and pen-20171213_173011.jpgjj.jpg
    The structure is made from solid RR cross ties in the rear and 4x4 posts in the front all posts are at least 3 ft in the ground. The top rails are 2x4's screwed together to make 4x4's All sheet metal is nailed on with 2" galvanized roofing nails in every corrugation
    Chicken coop and pen-20171213_173028.jpgjj.jpg
    I used 3 boards to hold up th etop sheet while I nailed it to the cross tie posts
    Chicken coop and pen-20171214_114429.jpgcc.jpg

    Chicken coop and pen-20171214_125803.jpgcc.jpg
    All around the pen I embedded sheet metal a foot deep in the ground and added 4 strands of barbed wire in the trench
    Chicken coop and pen-20171214_144125.jpgcc.jpg
    The scructure is finished all that i slacking is the door and the wire mesh and of course the chickens.
    Chicken coop and pen-20171214_163806.jpgcc.jpg
    Last edited by Frank S; 12-14-2017 at 11:17 PM.
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    Paul Jones (12-18-2017)

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    nhengineer's Avatar
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    Excellent Frank S,

    I have been planning a similar enclosure (except for my cats) but I couldn't brain-storm how to keep the coyotes from digging under the wire. Thanks for the inspiration. I used to let my cats run free but recently we've been over run with coyotes here in Central New Hampshire so now they stay inside. Although most are OK with that, a few of them still try to get out occasionally. A nice, big pen like yours would be ideal. Thanks.

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    Paul Jones (12-18-2017)

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    Be sure to remember something about coyotes as much as we like to blame them on many of our domesticated animal loss small packs of coyotes are actually beneficial but killing off the larger adults will stem pack growth. When coyotes start to become comfortable around human populations it usually begins with a readily available food source and encroachment by humans into their natural habitat. Urban sprawl has done more to increase the size and numbers of packs than just about anything. If you live in a rule area where your neighbors are spread out say 1/4 to 1/2 mile apart and none allow pet of animal food to be left out at night the population of coyotes will self regulate and they will help to keep the population of smaller predatory and pest animals in check. They are opportunistic hunters as well as being highly omnivorous.
    Generally a 6 ft high fence such as a chain link with a couple strands of barbed wire above it and a couple below will serve to prevent their access.. The main problem with that is cats are climbers and curious
    (( Tips for Coexisting with Coyotes
    Most coyote problems are caused when people feed coyotes or otherwise habituate them to people. Urban communities have inadvertently created an attractive prey base for coyotes by letting domestic cats breed out of control, thus creating feral cat populations. Active spay/neuter programs for cats can help prevent this surplus of unwanted domestic animals.

    Here are some helpful yard and behavior modifications:

    Do not feed coyotes or other wild animals!
    Keep all pets indoors from dusk to dawn when most predation occurs
    Dispose of all food garbage in covered cans and secure the lid with a bungee cord
    Remove sources of water and pet food at night
    Install a 6-foot fence with an overhang to keep coyotes out
    Secure fencing with ground wire so coyotes cannot dig or squeeze under fences
    Install automatic lighting systems around the house
    Remove brush that may shelter coyotes

    The Humane Society of the United States has published the following excellent series of guides for coexisting with coyotes:

    Preventing Coyote Conflicts: How to keep coyotes out of your yard and keep your pets safe
    Solutions for Coyote Conflicts: Why killing doesn't solve conflicts with coyotes
    Coyote Hazing Guidelines: How to haze for effective reshaping of coyote behavior
    A Template Coyote Management & Coexistence Plan
    Do not feed coyotes or other wild animals!
    Keep all pets indoors from dusk to dawn when most predation occurs
    Dispose of all food garbage in covered cans and secure the lid with a bungee cord
    Remove sources of water and pet food at night
    Install a 6-foot fence with an overhang to keep coyotes out
    Secure fencing with ground wire so coyotes cannot dig or squeeze under fences
    Install automatic lighting systems around the house
    Remove brush that may shelter coyotes))
    Source https://www.predatordefense.org/coyotes.htm
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    nhengineer's Avatar
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    Well Frank S., thanks for the primer on coyote control.

    The only thing I dislike about coyotes is their taste for cats. I could never kill any animal unless my life or the life on another human was in question. I'm not really happy with the increase of coyote population but I still would never harm one unless as described above.

    I don't necessarily agree with the The Humane Society of the United States premise either. Not much has changed here where I'm living in that last 35 years. I've lived here on the outskirts of a quite small city since the 70's and our population hasn't changed much at all in that time. The coyote population, on the other hand, has changed significantly. More likely the reason is the absence of their most hated enemy, the grey wolf that had been effectively eliminated from our New Hampshire forests by (so called) 'sportsman hunters' a century ago.

    It has been gradual but, over the last hundred years or so, the coyote population has increased to a point now it is not prudent to wander too far into the woods alone without some kind of personal protection. If we had left natural selection alone, there would be catamount (cougar), wolves, bear, deer, moose and hardly any coyotes at all. Instead there's only one cougar, a hundred or so deer, a few bear, hardly any moose and a shit-load of coyotes.

    That's right Frank S., I'm totally against hunting except if you can provide irrefutable proof that you or your family will starve unless you're allowed to kill wild animals. We have plenty of domesticated animals who are born, bread and specifically raised to feed us. There is no need to hunt wild animals except to satisfy an inexcusable lust for blood.

    I have no doubt that there will be a response or two to my comments above.

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    olderdan (12-19-2017)

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    I have to agree with you about sport hunting If I harvest a wild animal for its meat which is rare, I won;t go out and spend $$$$ for some lease or build some monumental edifice of a hunting platform and purposefully lure them near by introducing an abundant food source which would be artificial to their natural existence. To me that is more akin to shooting fish in a barrel.. This area has a reasonably small feral hog population but many areas not far from where I am have a real problem with feral hogs. The problem about feral hogs started several years ago when hog farming became a big business and went corporate buying up or forcing many of the smaller hog farmers out of business. when that happened many of the hogs escaped into the wild where they flourished. I know this to be fact as I personally witnessed a hog farmer forced out of business. He couldn't sell his hogs at the slaughter houses because a large corporation had bought the slaughter house and would only accept hogs raised on corporately sponsored farms.so he just knocked down the pens and set 500 hogs out to fend for themselves this was back in the early 70's
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    nhengineer's Avatar
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    Yup, I meant to remark on baiting wild animals. You are correct. Just as sporting as shooting fish in a barrel. I witnessed a group of 'sportsmen' shooting a cougar that actually made me cry and I still tear up when I think of it and I can't still talk about the details of it without tearing up. I reported it in writing to NH Fish & Game and did not receive a response. When I inquired I was told that there are no cougars in New Hampshire. That was my only answer and the matter was filed (in a circular file I'm sure). You think NH F&G was in on the hunt? I do.

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    olderdan (12-19-2017)

  11. #7
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    Just like the Mexican Lobo wolf is extinct in Texas. Real funny a rancher lost 30 head of cattle in 1 night about 100 miles from me and following night he managed to kill 2 out of a pack attacking his heard again. These were not the reintroduced grays of up north. They were the much larger almost black wolves from Mexico.
    Well I have the aviary portion of the chicken coop complete now and warming brooder in place for baby chicks ready to place in the coop when the chicks are delivered in mid March.
    Chicken coop and pen-20180205_171350.jpgss.jpg
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    Late to this thread, but about 20 yrs ago we lost many cats at the same time the coyote pop. jumped. We still let our cats out but we get them in for the night every chance we possibly can. Last few days we have spotted a fox seeming to satlk the house around 6:00 am when the cats are let out. We also found out that the stray soon dog we adopted may really be a fox hound, her preference aside from chasing deer if she gets loose, she really got a spanky over the sent of fresh fox. We figured a dog scared of guns, very, and chases deer any chance she gets must have been only worth dropping in the state land to fend for her self.
    Looks like a real good chicken pen. So far we can let ours free range in the pm and shut them up in coops at night. "Home made" eggs are much better than store bought. The chickens have to be fenced out of the garden but so do the deer, hooved rats around here.
    Eric

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    We bought 20 3 day old chicks and 4 guineas and the guy gave us a turkey that had little chance
    this was about a month too early for our spring this years but managed to keep them alive in the coup with heat lamps through several nights of below 25° weather. they are now about 8 weeks old did lose 2 of the chicks and 1 of the guinea figured out how to hang itself. The turkey wouldn't stay near the warmth of the lamps and froze on a night that it got down to 17°
    I figure about another 5 to 6 weeks and the chickens will gradually start paying for their food if no eggs by 24 weeks then it is chicken and dumplings time
    our dog a 35 lb blue healer mix had 8 pups healer mix on healer mix managed to give away 3 will probably have to keep the five.
    For 3 years I had killed at least 5 or 6 rattle snakes by this time of year. This year we haven't even seen but 1 black snake skin and it was a small one
    Our first year here I killed several skunks and raccoons that has diminished last year only 1 skunk not near the house and a porcupine in 1 of my small barns.
    The dog finds them then comes to the door and barks her head off about the only time she barks is when there is some critter she doesn't think belongs.
    The 3 tamed feral cats keep the rat and mice population in check hardly ever see any droppings in any of the small barns now the cats were found by the dog last year hardly old enough to be walking around no sign of the mother cat. One day I heard the dog barking unusual during the day so Grabbed the shot gun only to see her actually heading these kittens to the house 2 males & 2 females 1 male got stung by a green ground hornet and died. SO have 3 now + 2 kittens from 1 of the females the other female has kittens as well but haven't seen them yet The tom will jump up on the tractor with me or the back hoe and ride all day if I would let him but sometimes do.All animals here earn their keep or they don't stay. Probably why I wont own a horse. unless you have a large enough place to need to ride the range or fence row they are more useless than having gold fish.
    Might get a Jack someday if I decide to get some goats. A jack will protect goats from snakes and the stray coyote they can't do much about a pack of 5 of more but my .270 or my .338 will do that. A jack will help keep goats from wandering


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