Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Poultry and Pets => Chicken Chat => Topic started by: Elcie on July 24, 2011, 20:46

Title: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on July 24, 2011, 20:46
OK, to start the story some background!

Started with 3 chickens just over 2 years ago in an Ebay purchased Eglu classic.  After a year we sadly lost 1 girl and decided to move to the allotment so I could have more!  Ended up with 11 lovely girls and a converted shed, resold Eglu for more than I originally bought if for!

Personal circumstances mean that I won't be able to get to the allotment every day during the winter so have made the (difficult) decision to move the girls home.  It is particularly difficult because I cannot accomodate 11 here so will have to give some of them away.  A lovely lady down at the plot has offered to rehome 4/5 of them so that means I can still visit them when I am there.

So have spent today clearing out the garden, moving stuff around in the shed etc so that they can come home.  Will be building a WIR and having an Omlet again, although probably a cube rather than classic.  Did consider 2 x classic but they will probably all try to squash into one of them.

Have just ordered my wood/roof/screws/saw/paint etc from Wickes (gulp at price!).  Next job is to dismantle greenhouse currently in the spot where the run is to go.  Hills of Devon out of stock on weldmesh I want but can wait as won't be ready for a while!

Exciting!
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: joyfull on July 24, 2011, 21:01
Exciting times indeed, don't forget to take photos for us all to see  :)
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: bantam novice on July 24, 2011, 22:53
Good luck  :D
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: Elcie on July 25, 2011, 07:39
OK well if we call Sunday 24th day 1 then this is day 1:

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0292.jpg)

Bikes and hosepipe have now gone via Freecycle, shed is cleared out and has space for bedding and chicken feed in it.  Today I will work on the greenhouse.  As you can see it is a very small garden so I can't fit a WIR and a greenhouse so it is being moved up to the allotment.  But that will be a project for next season, for now it will be dismantled and stored.
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: Elcie on July 25, 2011, 20:08
The end of day two and the greenhouse is no more!

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0299.jpg)

It wasn't too bad taking it down although I don't think I have ever seen so many spiders/bugs in one day in my life!
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: Elcie on July 26, 2011, 17:27
Day 3:

Doesn't look like that much has changed but I haved moved the slabs around so that it is foxproof and created a wood chip area where I will put a small patio table so I can sit and watch the chickens and enjoy the sun at the same time!

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/Picture205.jpg)

The chicken run is going to be in an L-shape where the slabs are with a little seating area for us outside on the woodchip.  The delivery came today as you can see so lots to be getting on with tomorrow.
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: joyfull on July 26, 2011, 18:22
looking good so far  :)
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: ANHBUC on July 26, 2011, 22:56
Hope the weather holds for you to complete your WIR   :D
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: CluckyChicken on July 27, 2011, 17:37
Hope the weather holds for you to complete your WIR   :D

WIR?  ??? Excuse me if I'm being dim here  :lol:
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: joyfull on July 27, 2011, 17:42
Walk in run  :D
Title: Re: The process begins!
Post by: Elcie on July 27, 2011, 22:11
Day 4 (already!):  spent a lot of time out shopping today making the most of the car which I will not be able to drive after Sunday.  Have cut lots of the wood and started to screw some bits together.  Having a problem with some of the screws not going all the way in which is a nightmare.  Also realised the top horizontal piece of wood at the front should be at the top for the roof, doh!  It's a learning curve!

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/Picture001.jpg)

Some of the wood is leaning against the back fence where it will go.  Think I have pretty much decided on an EgluClassic now rather than Cube as not that much space.  Was also very pleased on my shopping trip to pick up a bistro table/2 chairs in the pic from Asda for 15 reduced from 25, was exactly what I wanted!

Tomorrow is a day off as going to London for the day with my son and watching Harry Potter at the IMAX.  Friday part day as off to Primark with my lovely daughter and grandson, but should see some difference, well hopefully!
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: ANHBUC on July 28, 2011, 13:20
Having a problem with some of the screws not going all the way in which is a nightmare.

If you pre drill the wood with a very fine drill bit (smaller than the gauge of your screws) you should be able to get the screw in all the way.  Start off with a fine drill bit and increase in size if the screw will still not go in all the way. 

Looking good.   :D
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on July 28, 2011, 21:46
Thank you so much, I will do that tomorrow!
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Mirf on July 30, 2011, 18:59
Another tip regarding the screws is to dip them in washing up liquid or rub them on a var of soap. It makes screwing them in a far easier task.

I can't believe my first ever post on here was about screws :lol:
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: themagicaltoad1 on July 31, 2011, 13:30
That's very thoughtful of you to provide them with a bistro table and chairs but will they not take up a lot of the room in the run? lol
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on July 31, 2011, 22:12
Mirf I am honoured that you picked this thread for your first post!  Welcome to the forums and please continue posting, it is a very friendly and helpful site  :D  Lol at Themagicaltoad but I actually bought 2 sets with the idea that one could go in the run, although may not be room for the full set!

Day? I have lost count!  This is actually last night's picture but haven't done much today so not lots to see.

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0325.jpg)

There have been 'look what I have achieved' moments and 'why on earth did I start this' moments!  It seems to be turning into the house that wonky built but hopefully by the end it will be something to be proud of that the chickens will be happy in.  I must admit I can't wait for the evening when I can sit at the table with a glass of wine watching my chickens in their run!

It probably doesn't look like a lot has gone on but have started to paint the back fence.  Was only going to paint the horizontal posts but had to do it all as used the wrong paint!  I found a tub in the shed when I cleared it out and thought it must be the original one I used but it is a different colour.  Never mind, it looks better anyway!

Oh and as you can see in the front of the picture the weldmesh has arrived from Hills of Devon so that is probably on the list of jobs for tomorrow!
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Dominic on August 01, 2011, 11:32
I use the Turbo Drive Screws
They are more expensive, the 4" ones are shocking, but no problem going through 2 pieces of 2" pressure treated with a half decent cordless or a super cheap corded.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 01, 2011, 18:51
A very warm day today here in Milton Keynes so quite slow going but it is taking shape on Day 6:

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0326.jpg)

Pleased with how it is looking so far.  Have ordered a purple classic from Omlet which will be with me on Tuesday next week so I have a finish date to aim for!
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 03, 2011, 20:38
In between the rain, thunder and lightning I am still making progress!

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0328.jpg)

Still hoping for completion by Tuesday when the Eglu is delivered.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Ice on August 03, 2011, 21:00
Lovely des res you're building there Elcie, hope they appreciate the effort you are putting in.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: CluckyChicken on August 05, 2011, 14:32
wow, it's really good!  You can come and do one for me if you'd like...  :D
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: storme37 on August 05, 2011, 22:05
very nice :)
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 06, 2011, 19:40
Hi everyone the chicken run continues to progress, if a little slowly!  Just need to sort out the roof and the door now.  Along with the interior obviously!

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0344.jpg)

I'm finding weldmesh at 1.6mm quite difficult to work with I must admit, but I'm getting there.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Mirf on August 07, 2011, 22:05
It's looking fantastic.  :)

Can't wait to get started on our quail house and run, if it ever stops raining that is.....
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: min200 on August 08, 2011, 07:57
Its that good you have inspired me to build a new pen!  :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: ANHBUC on August 08, 2011, 09:14
Are you using a heavy duty staple gun for the weldmesh Elcie?  They are usually good but you would need someone to put pressure behind the wood when stapling.  Commercially they make the panels and attach the weldmesh before constructing.  This way they can lay the panels down and get maximum leverage on the staple gun. 
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 08, 2011, 10:01
Thanks for the lovely comments everyone, it spurs me on at times like this when I only have the difficult bits (roof/guttering/door!) really left to do and I don't want to do them because they are too hard!!!!

The staple gun I'm using is a heavy duty one (I think) but some of the staples I bought are a bit small so I will have to go over some bits of it again with larger ones.  It is quite hard work but I'm pleased with it overall so far.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: ANHBUC on August 08, 2011, 10:26
If you hold something solid like a brick directly behind the piece of wood you are stapling this should help.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Sue33 on August 08, 2011, 10:49

looking good Elcie, when are the girls arriving ?
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: themagicaltoad1 on August 08, 2011, 19:45
I found using a small angle grinder to cut the weldmesh was a doddle if that's the problem you're having with it. There must be something in the water on Heelands I have several friends there with chickens.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: JaK on August 08, 2011, 20:35
Well done Elcie, it's looking really good.
When we made ours I found the mesh to be really difficult too.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 08, 2011, 20:46
I'm not on Heelands, but am in MK.  I was cutting the weldmesh fine with some cutters my brother lent me, getting it flat enough to staple it was probably the hardest part.  I used the earlier advice and put the weldmesh on the door panel whilst it was on the floor and it was sooo much easier.  Would definitely advise people to put the mesh on before putting the frames together, although with my very poor measuring skills I kind of had to build it as I went along to fit the uneven floor.

This is tonight:

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0346.jpg)

Not much left to do other than the roof which I have put off until the last thing!  I have
the onduline sheeting just need to cut it and fix it.  Oh and there's the guttering too but that I'm finding tricky as there isn't much space to work with.

The picture actually doesn't look that much different to a couple of days ago as you can't see the door or all the painting I've done!  You can see the extra roof supports though, a couple of dustbaths and some woodchip on the floor!

Sue - the girls are at my allotment so as soon as it is ready they can move in.  The eglu is due to be delivered tomorrow so I am hoping it will be ready Wed/Thurs latest.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Anndee on August 10, 2011, 18:22
I like the idea of the flower troughs fastened on the sides.
what are the pink spikey looking things in the run?
I'm really impressed with your handy work. Well done.
Loved watching it all progress. don't forget to put on piks when its all complete with the Eglu in place.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 10, 2011, 21:43
I can hardly believe it but the girls are here!  I had a friend visit unexpectedly today so didn't get it 100% done but it is fox proof and pretty much rat proof.  It was an experience getting the girls into the boxes to move them over here, but they are now here and I am so happy.

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0348.jpg)

People ask whether chickens have memories, well it was my two chickens Nugget and Daisy who lived in an Eglu 18 months ago who went straight to bed in it.  The other girls bless them preferred the log in the run but I moved them in when they were sleepy and all seems well.

I will post one final picture on this when it is completely finished and will also give some advice that I have learnt - eg weldmesh is hard to work with at 1.6mm and why on earth did I put the roof supports above the level of the surround when it would have been much better completely level!  But you live and learn.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 10, 2011, 21:45
I like the idea of the flower troughs fastened on the sides.
what are the pink spikey looking things in the run?
I'm really impressed with your handy work. Well done.
Loved watching it all progress. don't forget to put on piks when its all complete with the Eglu in place.

Thank you  :D

The pink spikey things are bird feeders that I bought from Poundland.  I thought they looked nice!  There is also a blue on to the very left in front of the Eglu which we put a slice of bread in today but the girls have so many other new things they don't seem to bothered by it!
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: ANHBUC on August 11, 2011, 12:42
Well done Elcie, you should be really proud of what you have achieved.  Hope that your girls settle in to their new home and you can finally sit with a cuppa and enjoy watching them.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: CluckyChicken on August 12, 2011, 20:28
That is absolutely amazing!  Your girls are so lucky!!  I'm sure you'll have loads of fun with them, and I hope they lay you lots of eggs  :D  congrats with the whole thing  :D
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: joyfull on August 12, 2011, 20:30
great, well done  :D
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: JaK on August 12, 2011, 21:05
It looks great, well done. Is the eglu on a table/platform thing? Love the bird feeders too (i'm going to steal that idea).  :lol:
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 13, 2011, 22:03
Ah thanks for the lovely comments everyone, I am proud of myself and it is so lovely sitting at the table watching them!

Jak - please take any ideas!  I haven't used them other than to put a slice of wet bread in one but they didn't eat it!  May pop something else in them at some point but they look nice!

The eglu is on my old garden table and has a chair in front of it.  They hop onto the chair then the table and into the eglu.  Just gives them that extra space underneath that they wouldn't have if it was on the ground.  I have started collecting twigs as would really love to make them a twig latter and move the chair as this would give them more space.  Although having said that they do form a kind of queue in the mornings when they are wanting to lay their eggs at the same time and they stand on the chair waiting for the nest box to become free!
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: NormandyMary on August 13, 2011, 22:43
That is a fabulous run. Wouldnt like to come over and do mine would you? Your girls are going to be so happy in it Im sure.
Title: Re: The process begins - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 14, 2011, 22:57
Hi everyone,
my final picture:

(http://i510.photobucket.com/albums/s346/LisaCrane2008/IMG_0354.jpg)

Thank you all so much for the helpful comments and advice as I have gone along.  It has really helped to know that you were all here.  It wasn't an easy process and there were times I felt like giving up if I was honest, but it has all been worth it in the end and I am happy to have them back in the garden.

It is such a small space that I had to be careful of how I planned it so that I still had some garden left for Lewie (dog) and Oliver (grandson).  I think I have achieved the balance and it works well.

I found the weldmesh very difficult to work with and in hindsight may have put it onto the frames before putting them up, although I would have then had to be much more careful of the sizes/measurements.

I wanted something that the girls would live happily in and also that would look ok in my garden.  I have achieved that!

Good luck to everyone else and if anyone out there is wondering whether or not they can do this I say go for it - if I can do it anyone can  :D
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: GrannieAnnie on August 15, 2011, 08:50
It's lovely Lisa!  You are right to be proud of yourself!  :)
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: MellowYellow on August 15, 2011, 15:49
It looks brilliant Elcie!!!

I saw your post about the bird feeder and have to say I nicked the idea aswell  :blush:

I filled a fat ball feeder with leaves and berries that I know they love (they nick enough of them from my veg patch!!!).

They loved it!
 
What a great idea of yours.   Thank you.   :)   :)
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: NovaStar on August 15, 2011, 16:02
That's a gorgeous set-up!
I can only hope ours looks as good when we're done!

Love the wall baskets on the front
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: Anndee on August 15, 2011, 17:37
Looks brilliant. Well done
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: bantam novice on August 15, 2011, 20:37
Lucky hens  :)
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: Ben_H on August 29, 2011, 18:18
Hi Elcie, may I ask where you got your roofing? I'm in Bedford so not too far away if you bought it locally.
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on August 30, 2011, 15:09
The onduline sheets came from Wickes. I actually ordered online as wanted delivery too but they have it in their stores too.  It is really good stuff actually and the chickens are all dry even in the weather we have had so that is a good sign!
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: Ben_H on August 31, 2011, 06:14
Thanks, we're only ten minutes from wickes.

Can't find anything called onduline but guess that's a trade name. Did you use this stuff?:  http://www.wickes.co.uk/twin-wall-polycarbonate-sheet/invt/246000/  (http://www.wickes.co.uk/twin-wall-polycarbonate-sheet/invt/246000/)

Only want to do a small part of the run so this should fit the bill though doesn't look corrugated.

Actually, just had another look at your photos and I think you've used bitumen coated corrugated roof sheet:  http://www.wickes.co.uk/bitumen-corrugated-sheet/invt/240039/  (http://www.wickes.co.uk/bitumen-corrugated-sheet/invt/240039/)
Title: Re: The process is finished - building a chicken run
Post by: Elcie on September 01, 2011, 17:16
Hi Ben, it was bitumen sorry I forgot they called it that.  I looked for ages on their site for onduline too so I should have remembered.  Although when you get it it does say onduline down the side of the panel!