Monday, March 7, 2005
Poultry > Facilities & Housing
Dear Ken, I'm trying to figure out a porch coop/run for 2 or 3 hens. I've seen some small coops, but nothing that small! (1) it seems like lots of people have slats on the bottom of the roosting area, but in our northern IL climate, it'd get too cold, right? or, what would it land on? or maybe i should just ask, what should i make the floor out of for easy cleaning? does one need shavings if the floor is easily cleaned? (2) i was thinking of rigging up a "yard" on wheels that i could move underneath the hens' "run" (which would be ~18 inches above the ground) - sort of move it back and forth to let stuff grow there a week or two before letting the hens peck at it. am i being silly? (3) should i be nervous that overhead pigeons will transmit disease to the hens? should i build a roof on the run? if so, should it be something semi-translucent? (4) would a chicken wire floor work (for the run), if it were right above a retractable dirt thingie?
Thanks for any thoughts! Chuck
Chuck - my thoughts:
I like your No. 2 idea. That would work if not too much trouble to build. I would be nervous about pigeons overhead transmitting diseases. Put a roof on top - chicken wire would work well for a run. Let the droppings go through to avoid coccidiosis challenge. If you use a floor, use pine shavings. Not good to have a floor that is slick.
Ken Koelkebeck Extension Specialist, Poultry
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