Saturday, May 29, 2010

The new coop installed

We picked up the new coop and run in Pacifica on Thursday. It was listed on Craigslist with a title of "ZenHenPen". It cost $525, and the builder told us that he has sold 40 since January. I thought that was quite a lot! It seems that this hobby is gaining speed.

The ZenHenPen is often delivered to the Bay Area, but has gone as far south as San Luis Obispo! Anyway, we installed it today. But first we had to take it apart a little bit to get it thru the gate and into the backyard:

4 screws had to be removed so the coop could be detached from the run. I just love the barn roof style.

Here is the run, showing where the coop will be re-installed.

There is a plexiglass window on one side.

A sliding door with a latch.

This is the ramp that leads up to the coop door, which can be locked.

The vented panel can be removed for easy cleaning. There are 2 wooden bars for roosting inside the coop.

This picture shows the external nesting box, which also has a removable panel. See how I placed wood all around the outside of the coop? Do you think this will stop predators from digging? Many of you suggested I staple either hardware cloth or chicken wire to the bottom. Does this prevent the chickens from being able to scratch?

All that playing made us sleepy!


Stefaneener said...

The wire is to go outside the coop. You'd staple on the inside (so it couldn't be pulled off outside), then run it under the walls to the outside, down a ditch, and out a few inches. I wish I could draw it. Imagine a raccoon trying to dig in -- what would stop that?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Stefaneer, burying some wire hardware cloth or chicken wire around the external perimeter of the wire pen would make it more secure.

I am also wondering about the latches on the clean out and nesting box doors. If they are simply wooden tags that can be turned to allow the doors to drop open, that is an entry point for raccoons. We had a coon get in our coop by opening the door at night :-(

I also strongly encourage storing all feed in a tightly-lidded metal garbage can to discourage raccoons, rats and mice. I would also sweep up any spilled feed outside the run.

Otherwise, looking good! You'll love having your own hens - I can't imagine life without them now.

Anonymous said...

Actually, thinking more about this, heavy concrete pavers might be enough to keep them from digging under, if the pavers were placed directly against the wood. They would have to be big and heavy, though, heavier than just bricks.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

When we attach wire to the bottom of our coop runs, we then put either coarse play sand and/or soil in the run over the wire (essentially burying the wire). This permits the chickens to still scratch around while they're inside the run. There's a pic of our sand-filled run here, you can't see the wire as it's under the sand:

I agree, those wooden tag latches would concern me. I'd replace them with either spring latches, bolts or the tab latches you can slip a padlock through. Raccoons are very dexterous!

Jackie said...

Thanks, Stefaneer. I see what you are describing and it sounds secure, but I'm just not excited about digging :)

Henbogle, thanks for the advice. I think I'll put the pavers around the edges of the run. They are very heavy. Good point about keeping their food secure!

CVF, thanks for the link to pictures of your coop. You've done a great job documenting the lives of your chickens! I'll add some more sturdy locks to the coop and nest box...probably like the sliding bolt ones that I saw on your coop. Thanks!