Housing to Separate Breeds of Chickens

by Ginny
(Happy Valley, CA)

I'm looking for suggestions on coop/yard plans to keep the chicken breeds separate.

We have a small farm I suppose you'd call it, in northern Calif. I grew up w/ chickens.. but 2 years ago my eyes were opened to the many different breeds of chickens and I'm hooked. I especially want to breed the endangered types of chickens, but we also want to have this as a small business.
I currently have 5 specific high quality breeds and Silkies, and then a flock of "mixed" chickens from when we first began. Forgot to mention I have 4 peacocks in their own 2 story huge aviary, 4 turkeys and 8 guineas.
We love our chickens and incubate eggs successfully, currently having more "special" eggs in our incubator now! Which brings me back to my question.
We are building as we go.. but I really need to get a handle on this, and would like some good suggestions especially now when everywhere there are chickens is complete mud!

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Oct 13, 2016
Muddy birds
by: Anonymous

I agree with the hay as a solution it is cheap and works great to keeping their feet out of mud during the rainy season.

May 19, 2011
After the cattle panels...
by: Robert

After we fenced the orchard to keep deer out and chickens in we lost a hen to a redtailed hawk. I found the answer on the internet. The orchard is rectangular. I added two 20' vertical pipes on the N/S centerline and wires from the tops to the perimeter fence. No more hawks. They circle but leave as soon as they see the wires.
Robert Bradford

May 16, 2011
Catle panels
by: Robert

Ginny, I like to use 4X16' cattle panels to house chickens. They are like an erector set in that they can be taken apart and reassembled in any other configuration. They can be secured with T post, 3/16'' cable clamps and or 1 1/8'' split ring key rings and 4' chain link tension bars. The holes are too large to control most birds so I line the panels with 2X4'' welded wire for hens or hardware cloth for chicks. Both are attached with pig rings. I would start with 3 panels forming 3 sides of a square secured with the cable clamps. Next depending on the ratio of how many pounds of chicken each section is hold to the total space additional panels parallel to the 2 parallel sides and secure with the rings and bars which will make them easily adjustable. Gates for the open ends can be made by cutting additional panels to the desired length with bolt cutters and using rings as hinges and rings and bars to lock them closed. The coop can be as simple as a large plastic doghouse. A top can be made with 2X4 wire. I suggest that you build with paper and pencil first. I prevent the mud by using a bagging mower to collect fallen leaves for bedding in the pens up to 6'' deep. The chickens rearrange the bedding often enough to permit grass to grow. This set up is expensive but it will last as long as we do and it is very flexible.
Robert Bradford SW MO,uSA

Mar 28, 2011
coops and mud
by: Marvin

Scatter straw or hay about the ground to cover the mud.

If your area gets really hot in the summer, either place the coops under large shade trees if using a metal roof, or roof the coop with OSB, tar paper and shingles.

The metal will get really hot if it's in the summer sun.

Mar 28, 2011
separate breeds
by: Marvin

Here's what I sent someone a few days ago >

If the wire floor is off the ground, you'll need 1/2" hardware cloth. The 1x1 welded wire is too large for them to walk on.

Hardware cloth usually comes 12", 24" 36" 48" wide. Joists need to be the same width. I use 24".

You probably will not have to clean out under the coop if the chickens are allowed to range. They will keep the poop scattered about.

Install the floor before setting the walls. Set the walls outside the joists.

The small coops I make and sell have the floor 18" above ground. Roof is 28-1/2" above floor in front with a 6" drop roof line.

Plywood covers one side, the rear and 1/2 of the 2nd side. Front is doors with cloth and the remaining 1/2 side is cloth.

All coops I make use 2' dimensions. 2x4, 2x8, 4x8. Less waste. I don't know why the advertised coops have wierd dimensions. Makes no sense to me.

How many chickens do you plan to have? Will they be cooped or have pens to get out into during the day?

Minimum inside floor space for chickens that get outside during the day - 4SF per bird for heavies.

If always inside - well, I just don't like the idea at all but I would allow a bare minimum of 8-10 SF per bird.
Any tighter fit will encourage picking feathers.

We are getting another 50 hens for layers and their house will be 8x16. They will be let outside to free range in their 1/4 acre pen every morning.

I am building 4'x20 outside pens for breeder banties (3-4 hens, 1 roo) and 4x40 for heavies (3-4 hens, 1 roo).

Chickens are outside birds and want to range. Actually, they are dinosaurs that survived whatever killed their larger counterparts.

What part of the world are you in?

Marvin Shelley
Rural Real Estate agent
Fayetteville, Arkansas
----- Original Message

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