Our Mobile Coops

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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby chrismahon » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:21 pm

Pictures are in short supply Lynette. Dordogneshire is somewhere I just want to forget.
Last edited by chrismahon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby Icemaiden » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:51 pm

Whereabouts did you say you're hoping to move to Chris?
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby chrismahon » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:09 pm

I have just assembled this coop for the fourth time now and it seems to be standing up fairly well. The initial assembly in England, re-assembly in the dark and damp of Dordogneshire, re-assembly in Gascony and re-assembly again after a long overdue creosoting which was necessary because of red mite. Problem with new timber is it is quite damp and doesn't absorb much creosote. A new coop really needs re-doing after 6 months and then every year. Definitely not left two years.

An onduline roof here would melt -even the roofing felt blisters. I have seen coops for sale here with metal roofs. The extremes of humidity are a severe test of any wooden assembly, particularly softwood. The cladding shrinks to such an extent that the tongues nearly slip out of the grooves. Even the extra ventilation is inadequate and close able vents are essential with gale force winds regularly carrying torrential rain at 45 degrees. The Wilkos hinges have rusted a bit. Some of the cladding has split slightly. The exterior ply glue has parted in places. But most annoying is the heads of the wicks Zinc coated nails are rusting -so much for their quality.

I counted the number of separate pieces of timber used to make this coop. Excluding the steps to the pop-hole it comes to 333, which explains why it took me so long to make. I doubt I will be building another one for a while and when I do, the design will need a few alterations to further increase the ventilation in Summer -like weld mesh internal side doors perhaps? Coops have to be very carefully placed to keep the nest boxes in the shade and cool, so perhaps a double skinned lid might be an idea?
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby KittyKat » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:20 pm

Those are some wonderful coops Chris! It's inspiring me to build our own next time :) What size are your perches and why did you go for that size?
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby chrismahon » Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:54 am

The perches are 89mm x 35mm KittyKat, although the 3 extra coops I built to take to France use 65mm x 35mm. The reason they are set with the wide part flat is because I observed the birds perching at night and they like to rest their chest onto their feet. The wide perch makes it all much more comfortable, especially during a long cold Winter night. The whole point of perches is to get the birds off the floor so their poo falls away. They are actually too high for very heavy birds (Orpingtons) at 18" off the floor and there is a risk of bumble foot. The new coop perches are set at just 9".

The new 'breeder' coops as we call them, because they are sized to take three hens and a cockerel which is a breeding set, are not mobile as such. They are built around frames with 4 very solid legs which set the whole thing 450mm off the ground (very important here with mice and snakes). To move them we have a carrying frame which locates underneath with handles either end. The whole lot is simply lifted and carried to a new location. They work quite well. I took some photos during construction but still haven't got round to posting them here- only two years on!
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby KittyKat » Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:57 pm

Hi Chris, what causes the risk of bumblefoot?

The only one of my coops which came with perches had quite small ones, but I use a well dried Leylandii trunk which is about 3-5cm in diameter, which the birds seem to like. I'm currently thinking of adding a second perch, but I don't have any more Leylandii trunks left which are that sort of size so will need to get a baton of some sort instead.
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby rick » Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:20 pm

I happened to read this morning (Storey's Guide) that it starts with a small cut from a very rough perch or jumping down onto something sharp, I guess like sharp gravel or thorns.
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby chrismahon » Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:37 pm

It can also occur due to impact onto a firm surface from a height which causes a swelling, bursts and gets infected Rick. So 18" is advised to be a perch maximum and in my experience that is still too high for large piggy fat birds like our Orpingtons. All perches should be smooth and any corners rounded off. I bought CLS (no idea what it stands for) planking which comes with 3mm radius corners.

Great choice of book Rick. That's my in-flight reading usually.
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby KittyKat » Fri Oct 24, 2014 4:50 pm

Got it. I'm going to get cheap joist hangers to sit the perches in, have you guys ever used those before? This is what I'll go for: http://www.screwfix.com/p/sabrefix-mini ... 65mm/48896
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Re: Our Mobile Coops

Postby chrismahon » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:03 am

I have seen those used KittyKat and they are a really good idea. I got rather fixated with wood and consequently everything that could be wood was. But I think in future I will try to use alternative materials in the construction. Over here all the Brico's (DIY building) shops have a huge range of aluminium and steel sections plus aluminium decking plate which I think would make a much better floor than painted plywood. It would need some reinforcement sections riveted in place underneath. But the end result would be lighter. The same could be used for the pop-hole and vents with aluminium runners instead of wood.
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