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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:54 pm
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Hi,
We're just planning our first coop & run, considering a zincalume Absco or GardenMaster "fowl house" for the coop (will build the run ourselves in the star dropper/blue stripe polypipe style). We were looking at the below two styles (although the Chook Palace may be a bit $$ for the budget).
Attachment:
File comment: Absco chicken coop/dog kennel
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LS_A15301FK.jpg [ 267.09 KiB | Viewed 898 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: GardenMaster Chook Palace
chookpalace-m.jpg
chookpalace-m.jpg [ 77.25 KiB | Viewed 898 times ]

My concern is that they might be too cold/draughty (particularly the Chook Palace doesn't seem to have a properly sheltered area, except the back corner? I have seen it set up with roosts/perches side to side, so some birds would be exposed to that through-draught I would have thought, unless they just wouldn't roost on that end?) I'm not sure if the sheltered (back) area of the Absco one would still be draughty, would love to hear anyone's thoughts or experience with a similar set-up.
We're in the Adelaide Hills so it does get pretty cold here in winter.
Any advice appreciated!
Thanks,
Ali


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:04 pm 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:54 am
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Location: Canberra
I'm in Canberra and we get pretty cold here too. Chooks do quite well with cold weather - it's the hot weather they find most difficult. The important thing with a metal shed would be to site it in the shade, otherwise it will get too hot and radiate too much heat onto the birds. Plenty of ventilation is a good thing, to help with the heat, so I wouldn't worry about having too much. The birds will also need protection from the prevailing wind and storms. If you put your shed so it has its back to the direction the main weather comes from that should do the job.

Do you have a level site that'd tick off on the shade and weather protection requirements?

One other thing to plan for is fox proofing the floor. I would lay down a couple of welded mesh panels and peg them down round the edge with heavy duty metal pegs (like tent pegs) and then sit the coop on top of that. You'll want to do the same kind of thing with any run you are adding to the coop - needs to have a mesh floor, walls and roof to keep out foxes.

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Cheerio, Rach
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:04 am 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:54 pm
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Thanks for the info Rach. I'll have to check the intended position for shade at different times of day tomorrow, most of the yard is shaded by a couple of enormous gums so hopefully they do the trick. We have worked out where the prevailing wind/rain comes from so will face the coop away from that. We were going to put concrete pavers under the coop and put some kind of bedding material over the top of that, will allow an overhang outside and probably bolt the coop down to that to avoid movement if a fox jumps against it. We have a serious fox problem here (daytime as well) so we were going to use heavy duty mesh to make a sort of arched/hoop run with a 60cm mesh skirt running out along the ground/lightly buried, does the floor need to be mesh as well then? I'm pretty nervous about foxes since there are so many around here and they are so brazen, someone near here lost 22 hens and ducks a few weeks ago in broad daylight!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:27 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Location: Canberra
That sounds like a great plan, but just a couple of suggestions below.

The 60cm skirt should do the job - many people use that approach and find it very effective. If you want total peace of mind, though, and can afford it, I’d spend a bit extra and cover the whole floor instead (if you cover the floor there’s no need for a skirt). I’d probably also put mesh under the metal coop instead of the pavers. Over time you may/will find that mice will make a home under the floor, and if it’s pavers these will destabilise and sink as a result of mice burrowing (even if the pavers are big). With thick mesh panels you’ll have a permanent barrier.

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Cheerio, Rach
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:53 am 
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Great Game
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:09 am
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Location: Murwillumbah, NSW
Speaking from experience the only problem with concrete pavers is that rats and mice love burrowing and nesting underneath them and pretty quickly you end up with an unstable surface.

Just read all of Rach's last post and see she has said the same thing :-)

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