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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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:thanks: Thanks everyone for your help!

@Claudicles - raising the whole thing would be ideal. However it is a bit big for that, my husband and I are not very handy and we're also trying to save as much $$ as possible.

Any platform would have to be very solid to carry that much sand.

@Onyx - we're not very handy and I would worry that a 2 brick deep base would be too unstable as they are irregular bricks from demolishing a wall.

I think we'll just do one layer of bricks & gravel and run 1-2 lengths of Ag pipe diagonally across the slab, pile bricks & gravel around them, level it out, weed mat, replace aviary and then sand.

** update** - we've found a good home for our 3 girls. :chicks: So we're going to rehome them to take the "pressure" off so we can fix the aviary. :nail:

We figure, of we're spending this much time and $$ on having chickens we may as well invest in some good pure breds in the new year that will live longer, lay longer and be better pets generally.

So mission #1 is fix the aviary, then find the perfect breed! :roll: :facepalm:

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:wee One VERY patient husband, two beautiful little girls, 2 lovely beagle cross dogs, two adorable bantam crosses: Dora and Diva, a Wyandotte X called Dot and RIR cross called Daisy ** If you think my hands are full - you should see my heart!**


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Great Game
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Another option for you is to have raised floor and use straw or sugar cane mulch as litter. Both fairly cheap and you can use it as mulch on your garden.
Two of my coops are garden sheds and all I did was put painted exterior plywood on top of bricks and use straw as litter. Atfer 13 years it's a bit dirtier, but as sound as when I first put it in.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Rice hulls are also lighter than sand and slower to rot down than straw. Snoskred had a terrible drainage problem and build a raised run. I just can't remember the litter combination she used..... off to search

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8004373

Check out the last couple of pages. It is zeolite and rice hulls.

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3 labradors, 2 moggies, 23 fish tanks, 2 ponds and 25 chooks.... this weeks tally


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:27 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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:thanks:

claudicles - couldn't find that info on rice hulls. :( Plus, what would we do with all the sand we already bought?

**musing** - hubby just got a shipment that came on 3 wooden pallets. They are not very quality wood, but all the same is there some way that we could be using them to help solve our current problem?

Bear in mind, hubby and I are not handy...

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:wee One VERY patient husband, two beautiful little girls, 2 lovely beagle cross dogs, two adorable bantam crosses: Dora and Diva, a Wyandotte X called Dot and RIR cross called Daisy ** If you think my hands are full - you should see my heart!**


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:09 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Sydneychick, as Onyx suggested, if you post a photo of your set up people might find it easier to help.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:21 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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claudicles wrote:
Sydneychick, as Onyx suggested, if you post a photo of your set up people might find it easier to help.


Ok - finally figured out how to do this from my iPhone... :thumbs:

Image
As you can see, since our entire land is a slope, the lawn on the left-hand side of the aviary is about 10-15cm higher than the concrete slab.

Image
This photo shows the "gully" that was carved through the sand by rainwater rushing through the aviary.

Image
This photo shows the "exit point" of the water ( and sand!) at the back right corner.

Image
This photo shows my fairly useless French drain - note how the Ag pipe rises upwards on the left, because we ran into a gas pipe and more concrete.

** might be interesting to note that the shed to the right of the aviary has a floor composed of a single layer of brick pavers - and it is always dry as a bone no matter how much rain we get.

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:wee One VERY patient husband, two beautiful little girls, 2 lovely beagle cross dogs, two adorable bantam crosses: Dora and Diva, a Wyandotte X called Dot and RIR cross called Daisy ** If you think my hands are full - you should see my heart!**


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:29 am 
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Gallant Game
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Can I ask where you got the aviary from and how much it cost?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:13 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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@Melinda_B - it was $750 delivered off eBay. :shock: I know we could have built something better for far less money. But the stress of trying to do that was creating a lot of marital tension so we decided to bite tge bullet. :facepalm:

My hubby doesn't even like cleaning the gutters or mowing. It's like squeezing blood from a stone. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:15 pm 
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Gallant Game
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SydneyChick wrote:
@Melinda_B - it was $750 delivered off eBay. :shock: I know we could have built something better for far less money. But the stress of trying to do that was creating a lot of marital tension so we decided to bite tge bullet. :facepalm:

My hubby doesn't even like cleaning the gutters or mowing. It's like squeezing blood from a stone. ;)

Hey, my husband IS very handy - but getting him to do something like this is hard! Then again, if I asked him to teach me how to do it, he'd probably love it! LOL!

$750 isn't that much for something like that, IMO. Especially as it looks to be fox proof when on concrete.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Golden Pekin
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I think you are going to have to raise that up. My suggestion would be to make a border out of treated pine sleepers (the same footprint as your coop) and then fill it with gravel. In the pic below you can see an example, except it's filled with finer gravel. I'd go for something with ag pipe incorporated in it. If you don't raise it up you will continue to have water problems, since the slab is lower than the surrounds.

Image

The alternative it raising it up on legs, and adding a waterproof floor.

Or giving up on the slab and moving the coop to higher ground.

Or building a concrete dyke around it.

Or a much bigger trench with proper drainage e.g. Reln storm drain. But you have pipes in the way. Hmmmmm.

If I lived in Sydney I'd help you do it. I used to live in Asquith (parents are still there).

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:15 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Oakleigh Sth, Melbourne
I can identify fully with your description of your husband's lack of interest in handyman stuff. Mine is exactly the same, he even has a catchphrase ... "Just get a man in" he tells me, whenever I need something done. (To be fair, he works very hard and very long hours during the week).

I paid double what you paid for my setup (including concrete slab floor poured), so $750 isn't bad. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:17 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Michelle - that was the cheapest price on the internet, and comes with a 20yr warranty. So it is good value. :thumbs: Just had to ditch my plan of convincing my hubby chickens were cheap pets/free eggs!! :roll: :oops:

:thanks: Thanks Rach for the offer lol! More hands make light work definitely!

We have had the idea of laying down Ag pipe on top of the slab in the direction of the water flow, then laying old bricks around it, filling in the gaps with blue stone gravel.

Then pop the Aviary on top of the bricks, lay down weed mat inside then river sand.

This should fix it, right? Any improvements on this plan would be welcome. (But please bear in mind we are NOT handy :nail: and we're also trying to save $$$ where possible)

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:wee One VERY patient husband, two beautiful little girls, 2 lovely beagle cross dogs, two adorable bantam crosses: Dora and Diva, a Wyandotte X called Dot and RIR cross called Daisy ** If you think my hands are full - you should see my heart!**


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:37 am 
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Golden Pekin
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I think that your plan sounds feasible. :) I would definitely give that a try. But even better than weed mat over the bricks would be some old lino, vinyl or rubber matting. The chooks won't scratch through that and it'll keep the sand from falling through. It's also a lot more rigid than weed mat. I'd have the lino/vinyl running up the walls about half a foot too, if you can manage that.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:50 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Looking at that the key will be elevation. How you achieve it will be up to you. Bricks may be slightly unstable if they are irregularly shaped, but because they are, by definition, modular, they are easier to work with without special tools or skills. I would be mortering them with large drainage gaps. You don't need a professional job and can buy premixed, just add water, mortar. You'll just need a whellbarrow, a chunk of flat timber to use as a mortarboard, a trowel, a string line and a spirit level. I'm sure youtube will yeild lots of how to videos. Even i have done a short brick wall so it can't be that hard. Sleepers are certainly an alternative. They do rot eventually though so if you have the bricks on hand, that would be a good method.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
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Because of the location of the Aviary, Ag pipe in a French drain is fairly useless as it has nowhere to dump water.

However, I was walking around the aviary today and I was thinking if I made the trench at the front of the Aviary wider and deeper, it could hold and absorb more water run off.

So a big trench simply filled with gravel and then I would lay the sod back on top so the trench is covered with grass....

Maybe lay some agricultural cloth down so that the soil under the Sid doesn't simply wash away?

I believe the main drainage problem in our yard is that once you dig past the top soil, the underlying soil is very clay-like. So water doesn't absorb quickly enough...

What do you guys think?

The bigger trench of course, would be used in conjunction with elevating the Aviary on a subfloor of bricks and gravel...

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:wee One VERY patient husband, two beautiful little girls, 2 lovely beagle cross dogs, two adorable bantam crosses: Dora and Diva, a Wyandotte X called Dot and RIR cross called Daisy ** If you think my hands are full - you should see my heart!**


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