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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:24 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:43 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Gowrie, Canberra ACT
I've recently moved house and have hubby's blessing to get chooks again as long as I "do it properly" (that is housing is built professionally, not cobbled together from scraps by me).

After researching am considering a metal coop such as https://www.bunnings.com.au/qiq-fix-1-5 ... f_p3440104 to house either 3 standard or 4-6 bantam hens (wyandottes if I can get them).

I'd build on an enclosed run, as chook poop around the house is frowned on - girls could only free-range if and when I'm prepared to clean up after them. I also plan to try deep litter method in the hen house, on either pavers or dirt floor.

My question is what adaptions might be needed to a basic metal coop like the one linked above to make it work well for us, and how easy is it to adapt?

Ideally I'd like an externally accessed nesting box so kids don't tramp poop around after collecting eggs. I'd also like an access hatch so I can easily chuck fresh greens and food scraps in again without stepping in poop. And I'd need a small door/hatch for them to access the run. How easy is it to make these sorts of changes without affecting the structural integrity of the shed?

Any other tips/advice?

I'm in suburban Canberra.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:47 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:02 pm
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
That would make a great coop. You would need to add a run for them too. Adding an expernal nest box would be easy enough for someone with metal working skills and tools (I'd be prepared to do it myself if it was mine, but it really depends on your skill level. Not as easy to adapt as a timber coop, but overall a better option I think. yOu can buy metal coops with external boxes already in situ (though they'd be pricier that that one. Really if I was buying it I would go for internal nest boxes unless you or your husband are competant working with metal. But it wont affect the integrety of the shed if you do cut into it as long as your additions and how you attach them are sturdy enough.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:52 am 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:08 pm
Posts: 542
Location: Qld
I have one of these sheds and they are great....however....the metal isn't really thick and the structure relies on the three sides being solid.
If you wanted to cut holes in the sides they would have to be supported in some way, say with a wooden surround etc.

I have it mounted on a concrete slab elevated about 4cm off the concrete by metal brackets so that I can hose the shed out several times a year. I have removable wooden pieces of timber between the shed bottom and the concrete to keep snakes out. I put Proteq on the floor and change it regularly. That way I never get a build up of faeces in the shed so it doesn't smell, it doesn't house bugs, doesn't attract rats and it stays really clean.

Chickens appreciate it not having to inhale the build up of ammonia from the faeces and therefore respiratory problems are lessened.

It is not big enough for chickens to stay in permanently so you do need to let them out into a run or put the shed in the middle of a big yard like I do and close the shed at night.

As there is no build up of faeces it is easy to collect eggs from internal laying boxes.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:55 am 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:43 pm
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Location: Gowrie, Canberra ACT
Thanks for the replies

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:28 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
I have a similar one and have put clear laser lite on one mesh panel for weather protection and made a chook flap in the door.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:38 am 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:55 am
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how does one go with the steps inside these things. Looks rather steep for the chickens to climb up onto the ledge


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:02 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
They hop/flap quite well, even up a steep ladder. I would probably adapt this particular one so that there was a perch where the laying shelf is and put a nest box below perch level ( otherwise they are likely to sleep in the nest) and the top chook will sleep on the top rung and poop on the ones below.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 6:30 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:49 am
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Sue, are you able to post a photo of your flap door? I have a very similar coop that I've been for about 9 months and would like a flap the chooks can get in and out of that might deter small birds from entering the coop space. I added a cobbled together run with star pickets and chicken wire and it's been great up until the last couple weeks when one of the girls decided she could flap out & destroy my garden! Can't blame her for wanting to free range but my husband but he sounds like yours, feijoa - hates poop and scratched up mulch. He's not much thrilled about the run as it looks messy but finances won't permit anything fancier / tidier at the moment. I've used an old lawn mower catcher as a nesting box and it works very well but have thought about cutting in and adding an external one. Would it be as simple as cutting a flap with an angle grinder and inserting a supported box?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:54 am 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:55 am
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im going to modify the prefab and have the perch on the side ( rather than the back ) and have a custom pvc feeder on the back panel

First is to concrete the whole chicken run first


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:03 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
Have a look here - you might get some ideas from the nest box. There are also some 'flaps' earlier in the thread (but hubby might not appreciate them).

The thread is quite long - go to page 5
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8034902&hilit=recycle+reuse+reinvent&start=

On most of my coops I have simply cut out a square hole in the wire, put a piece of timber along the bottom cut to protect feet and wired on a metal oven rack (or heavier piece of wire mesh) as a lift up pop hole door. It is secured open with a carbiner on a chain and secured closed with a couple more carbiners (spring clips) I don't open them fully - the chooks soon learn to squeeze in but they seem to deter even the currawongs. Feijoa - something like this would give you your small access for treats.
(will try to post a pic to night)


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