Building a new run

The place to discuss chicken coops and runs.

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Castara
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Building a new run

Post by Castara » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:39 pm

Hi All ,
I'm a confused newbie, :-)07 trying to work out if its possible to get 3 bantams in my london garden
I'm trying to decide where to build a Run and coop .The best place I can find is a 6ftx6ft area in a south facing corner , with the back being a brick wall of an out building, Its under a big cherry tree and visable from the house But its a paved area! and I'm not sure If I should remove this and replace with earth or just put a good layer of dirt and mayby bark chips down on top of the paving slabs?? I could build a raised area (with railway sleepers)and infill with soil but drainage occurs to me as a problem???
Any thoughts would be great fully received
Thanks Conor :)
David

Re: Building a new run

Post by David » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:33 pm

I have used sleepers as a base for my chicken house/run and infilled them with wood chip.

The wood chips are sold as bedding for horse stables and are clean whitewood chips( not sure if we are allowed to give brand names but it's called easibed) They can be raked over and topped up as a regular maintenance and every 6 months dug out and placed in the compost heap.

Not sure about using bark as it may carry fungus spores, but perhaps somebody more knowledgeable can put you right about that.
Castara
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Re: Building a new run

Post by Castara » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:00 pm

Cheers mate :D
tygrysek75
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Re: Building a new run

Post by tygrysek75 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:54 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.There is a post about all types of the materials to put on the run,feel free to browse,very informative.I would leave the slabs as beter protections against foxes digging.
The older I get the older old is.
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Marigold
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Re: Building a new run

Post by Marigold » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:50 am

As this is quite a small run, it would stay a lot drier if you could roof it, perhaps with clear corrugated sheets. This would keep the birds more comfortable and keep the floor litter dry, so that drainage wouldn't be a problem. If it was kept dry underfoot, and you poo picked daily, it would be fine for 2-3 small bantams, especially if you chose a coop on legs which allowed them to get in underneath it, so you weren't wasting any run space. The slabs will be fine if covered with plenty of bedding, so the surface stays warm on their feet especially in winter when the slabs freeze, but I wouldn't advise adding earth underneath the chippings or whatever you chose, as it will just get scratched up into the chippings and make a mess of them. If you can make a nice dry area, instal a dustbath in one corner instead, and then they can still scratch around in the chippings as well. It sounds a lovely sheltered area, what lucky chickens!
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chrismahon
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Re: Building a new run

Post by chrismahon » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:23 am

Good advice from Marigold. A cover reduces them gettting wet and cold and stopping laying as a result. We have a couple of runs on slabs which overhang the run area. Great for stopping rats getting in and eating food scraps which is a big problem here. The little ones climb up the wire and even get through holes in the top, the big ones dig tunnels into the run. Slabs are then covered with Aubiose -shredded plant stems. The whole lot is swept up every month and put in our Council Compost collection bin.
bantiekeeper
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Re: Building a new run

Post by bantiekeeper » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:02 pm

Agree with Marigold and Chrismahon. A roof will make big difference and help keep the run dry. It makes poo picking easy and if done every day the litter will last for ages and there is little or no smell to annoy any neighbours. Would also suggest it will help if the first 18"-24" round the base of the run was made of wood to prevent draughts which they hate. I have 6 Wyandotte bantam hens. They do not like the wind very much and will only stay out on the allotment for a short time if it is raining. Good luck you will soon be hooked!! :lol:
Castara
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Re: Building a new run

Post by Castara » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:15 pm

Wow , Thanks for all the feed back . Are all chicken people so friendly ? :D Its nice too know I dont have to dig up the paving slabs . I work as a gardener so digging ain't my idea of a leisure activity :roll: .
So Ill make a base from railway sleepers infill with Aubiose/woodchip .I'm thinking of building the run from premade 3 x 6 'Aviary panels' , £10 each on Bird trader http://www.birdtrader.co.uk/aviary_pane ... ert/220109
My plans keep getting bigger :-)05 , I think I could make the run 6 ft x 9 ft x 6ft high , but the premade coops may not fit quite like I want . ie. nest box on the wrong side etc , so I may have to build a custom one to fit exactly , although I do like this one http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/260673962738? ... 510wt_1135 The slide out floor looks good and the whole side opens for cleanig the walls etc but it could be a little bigger , and the run aint worth keeping I think . The corrugated plastic roof idea sounds good If the run is dry I may spend alot of time with them, could be a little home from home :lol:
once again thanks for the advice , I hope you don't mind but Ill be back for more ;)
bantiekeeper
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Re: Building a new run

Post by bantiekeeper » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:59 am

Hi Conor,As you mention diy I have attached some pics of my setup. The whole thing is made from recycled material. The clip on pvc panels keep out driving rain and snow and are all removed on dry sunny days. The run is 2.4m square x 2m high. The only thing I would do differently if starting again would be to have a door opening to clean put the coop rather than a lift up roof.But all in all it works quite well. As the unit is on the allotment I have fitted a automatic pop hole opener and timer. My 6 bantam hens get to free range 2-3 hrs a day. Thought this might give you some ideas for your project. ;)
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Marigold
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Re: Building a new run

Post by Marigold » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:09 am

That looks really excellent, what a lucky flock of chickens you have!
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