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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 2:32 pm
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Location: Freo, WA
Hi All - just finishing the chook house (see pics below) with a plan to acquire some residents in the next few days.
Also have a section of electric fence (solar) to allow us to let them roam relatively freely once settled.
Planning to get either 3 Australorps or 6 Pekins (or similar breeds depending on availability)
...But we need some advice please...
we are unsure of whether the DIY chook house is big enough for full size breeds or whether we should stick to bantams only?

Hopefully the photo links will work below, but the nestboxes are: 450x350(2) & 275x350(1)
the entry doorway is: 275h x 200w
and the main bamboo roost perch is approx 275 off the floor

Any advice gratefully received! W
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:35 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
Hello and welcome, wombatbreath. What are the dimensions of the actual coop? That will determine the number of chooks you can fit in there, and is there an attached run, and how big is that? Or will they be able to wake up in the morning and go straight out into your electric fenced yard? Also what are the dimensions (diameter) of your perches - they look a little small to me. Chooks need at least 2" flat perch (rounded edges) or a round perch the size of an adults (human) ankle as they don't hold the perch with their claws, but rather rest their feet and breast on it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Location: Freo, WA
Thanks. Chook house is actually 1200 long by about 900 wide by 800 high at the highest (it's half of a re-purposed dining table)
The main roost perch is just a 45mm diameter piece of bamboo - hmm, maybe I need something wider or maybe another immediately adjacent to create a wider spot to squat?
Before the young birds need nestboxes I was going to leave two cut-down broom handles inside to make getting up to the bamboo perch easier...
(same perch width issue for bantams or full size breeds ?)

There isn't any permanent run - just the electric fenced area that the house will be inside approx 7 x 2 metres covered with 150mm deep mulch.

Any more thoughts / suggestions gratefully accepted! W
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:13 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
Ok so the floor area of the house is about 1.08 m2 which is enough house space for 4 chooks, maybe 5 bantams. That is IF they have constant access to the run during daylight hours - sun up to sun down. Bantams DO have similar perch issues to full sized chooks. You could get away with a little smaller but not much as their feet arent that much smaller. Personally I wouldn't use two small diameter poles next to each other though it might work. I dont know, so I wouldnt run the risk of causing foot problems. You will need about 30cm of perch space per chook maybe 20cm for bantams. The nest boxes will be fine. If I had been building Id have just made two bigger nest boxes but for only 4 or 5 chooks you only actually need one, so what you have done with the boxes will be fine.
Nice idea using the table as a base!

Good luck and please ask any more questions that come up.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:23 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Ventilation is something to think about, 3 or 4 chooks create a lot of heat in a small area and on a hot night it could be fatal for them.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:07 pm 
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Location: Freo, WA
Thanks for suggestions - I've added another weathered bamboo stick (approx 60mm dia) adjacent to the other.
If we were going to get full size chooks I think we'd just get three for now - if we enjoy them I'll definitely be building another house, Mrs wb will insist. :laughing

Vent: They will only be inside at night and I was hoping that the combo of mesh openings front and rear and the mesh floor would provide enough ventilation ?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:15 pm 
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Yes the vent/mesh should be fine to provide enough ventilation. Will they be shut in at night? If so how early will you be letting them out in the morning?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:20 pm 
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Location: Freo, WA
We are normally up around 5am (even in winter) so they'll be let out then.
In mid-summer, when it gets light around 4:15, they will probably start complaining - so we may find we'll end up getting up earlier...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:58 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hi wombatbreath and welcome. Great idea using the table base (I've filed that one) :biggrin:

If the table base is a permanent fixture below the house I would enclose it, floor as well, with a heavy mesh (foxes can tear chicken wire) and allow your chooks permanent access to this as a small run. Another perch or a log there will provide vertical space (entertainment and exercise) and food and water can be sheltered underneath. You could extend the roof to shade the whole area. That way, if they needed to be kept in for a couple of days, they would be OK.
What is your planned access for cleaning - hinged roof? Unless the house will be well shaded I would consider an insulating roof (do a search on the forum for safari roof).
Too much time on a wire floor is painful and can lead to foot problems. Consider putting something solid (piece of timber) on some of the floor for them to walk on.
Consider this your mark one chook house.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:54 pm 
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Location: Freo, WA
Picked up 1 Belgian d;Uccle & 5 Pekins today - couple of 5 week olds and the rest 6 or 7 weeks old.
The adventure begins...

The bigger roost and the hinged roof for cleaning access can be seen in these other pics with house in the run...

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