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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:46 pm 
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We've been talking about improving some of our current pens for a while - well I have mainly, but the recent vet bills seemed to have kicked things off finally. We need runs that are completely fox-proof, crow-proof, snake-proof and don't have drainage problems when the summer rain starts. (Hard to imagine rain just at the moment.) We are also looking into electric fencing (thanks for the suggestions Mike) as a first line of defence.

Firstly, we temporarily moved the chickens to another run. Then we pulled down two pens that were just six foot chicken wire fences. We removed an old greenhouse that was being used as a coop. We raked up the litter and now have an area ready to go. We have booked a bobcat for Thursday to come and do some levelling and remove a couple of stumps and a couple of little trees. To give you an idea of size, that little shed is six metres from front to back. We plan to build four covered runs that are about two metres wide and about 6 metres long coming towards the camera.
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This is the view from the other end. There's a bit of a slope that's been a problem with water run-off during summer rain, so we're planning to put drains in before we start.
Ready Freddy - the hungry chicken-loving cattle dog lives on the other side of that left-hand side fence.
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Some basic planning and materials prep was under way today. I managed to find 30 sheets of colorbond in a salvage yard for $300 which I thought was pretty good. We were also given some pipe by a kind BYP member which was cut to set lengths today. The plan is to have covered roosts at the weather end (back fence end), completely covered runs, and deep litter. We plan to concrete the floor of the enclosed coop end to help reduce the parasites and allow us to keep it cleaner.
The fella in the hat is my dad - 74 and loves nothing better than a day on the power tools! We can't keep him away when something like this is going on.
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It's only the beginning and there's not a lot to see yet. I'll update this as we go.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:45 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Look forward to seeing the finished pens. Good luck with it. Keep us updated!

Michelle

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Nice find with the colourbond :thumbs: Great to see ya dad at it too :nail: looks like a nice site for the pens, I have to deal with sloping ground here too it's a pain sometimes, I am slowly learning about drainage :hmmm: , happy building.

Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:36 pm 
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Fantastic! Love a coop reno, and this looks to be a reno on a grand scale. You deserve the Taj Mahal of coops too.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:41 pm 
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Update: Yesterday the bobcat guy came and pulled out the stumps and did a bit of leveling for us. We decided to terrace each pen slightly. He also dug the holes with a post hole digger for us - the clay is rock hard here at the moment.
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Then today we put concrete in the holes and put the poles in.
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I was concerned about size, but now I can see that the runs are quite big.
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Next we're working on the side panels, but as today is the last day of our holidays it may have to wait for a weekend.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:23 pm 
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It's coming along nicely.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:30 pm 
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I will keep an eye out for the next instalment - so much for having holidays! :biggrin:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:42 pm 
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Someone has messaged and asked about the cost of the bobcat, so I'll put my response here in case others are curious.

He had a bobcat and an excavator. It was $100 an hour plus gst, with a one hour minumum plus one hour travel. We paid for one and a half hours so with gst it was slightly under $250.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Looking terrific.

I'd say that that was $250 very well spent.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:54 pm 
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Hey Cathy, thought it would have been alot higher for that amount of work.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:49 pm 
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As the new electric fence is all finished and working (some funny moments with the poodle :lol: and one of the roosters testing it out. :lol: ), we were able to spend the day working on this pen upgrade project which has been left for a few weeks.

You can see that we've put up the sheet metal on the coop end of the runs. The outside long runs are 7m X 2m, and the covered ends are 2.4 X 2.

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Then we've put a dividing sheet over the front of the coop end for extra protection:
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Now we're working on concreting the floor inside the bays. Today we did one. We used a trailerload of bluemetal and four bags of cement. That did one of the four bays. It cost us $90. So we'll have to do that another 3 times.
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There's still a lot of work to go. We are planning to cover the entire roof area that doesn't have metal over it with waterproof shadecloth so the runs stay dry. We have the birds temporarily housed in unsatisfactory conditions at the moment so the pressure is on to get it finished. We're getting away with it at the moment as there's no rain, but as soon as some big summer storms come through we're going to have a problem. We'll have to work quickly on this one.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:54 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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I have never seen waterproof shadecloth.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:00 am 
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You can get it at Bunnings. I thought I had one piece fastened down really well but it ripped loose in a storm, so you need really good fastening. It is really tough though and doesn't seem to deteriorate much over time. It is reasonably expensive though.

NellyG

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:03 am 
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I'd say about 1 1/2 times the cost. Depending on the type, it's about $350 to do our whole roof - approx 8m X 7.5m. We're trying to buy a whole roll from a wholesaler as we need a lot of it.

It is just a woven shadecloth, which has then been coated with another protective layer of polyethylene to make it waterproof.

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Last edited by Chicken07 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:07 am 
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I have used laserlite on my pens. Can't remember the cost though but probably similar.

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