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DIY Chicken Coop Construction Part 13 - Constructing The Chicken Coop Pen Enclosure

In order to keep our chickens safe, healthy, and happy, it is imperative that we protect them from all of the things that would love to do harm to them.  This might include some surprising as well as not so surprising critters.  Some of the local critters that would love to get at your chickens are the raccoons, fox, weasels, eagles, and hawks.  All of these animals would love to have a free chicken dinner if you gave them the chance.  You can't rule out your neighborhood cats and dogs either and depending on where you live, there are likely others that you will need to protect them from such as coyotes.

The biggest danger from most of these animals is from them climbing or more commonly digging under the fence.  While nothing you can build will likely be 100% safe from all predators that would like to make a chicken dinner from your flock, you can do some simple things to help with that.  One of those burying a portion of the fencing underground and protecting it with some type of block to discourage digging around the perimeter of the fencing.  Having built a raised chicken coop, we also needed to enclose the area below the coop.

 

We did not have the option of of "free ranging" our chickens where we live so knowing that they would spend their entire lives "behind bars" so to speak, we needed to make sure we had plenty of roaming space for the chickens and this determined the final size of the yard area.

 

 

In this photo you can easily see how we stacked 8" patio blocks along the edge of the bottom of each fencing panel.  The bottom edge of the blocks is laying on the fencing which will help keep the blocks from sinking lower over time as well provide a good barrier against digging predators that might want to gain access to the pen area of our chicken coop.

 

 

Here you can see the finished back wall of the chicken coop pen.  We built our chicken coop enclosure pen walls to height of 66" We were using a "72" high chicken wire which is how this height was derived. The height has been plenty to discourage the hens from "flying the coop" and is high enough in relation to the width to discourage hawks or eagles from trying to swoop in from the oak trees behind the pen area.  They might be able to land, but it would be difficult for them to take back off again and so far has not been an issue for us.

 

Here you can see the both of the front pen enclosure panels in place.  We measured for a 24 inch entry door.  This was just wide enough to get the wheel barrow through and kept the entrance door to a manageable size for easy entrance or exit from the chicken coop pen enclosure.

 

 

In order to provide a good support as well as a anti digging barrier under the main chicken coop pen entrance door, we buried more patio blocks on end.

 

 

 

On top of that we laid in patio blocks in their normal position.  This gave a good stable foundation under the pen door and provided a very good barrier to all manner of critters that might want to enter.

 

 

The pen door was constructed to give the door strength as it was going to have survive multiple daily openings and closings over time.  We installed 3 sufficient size hinges for this reason as well which keeps the strain on the hinges and not the pen enclosure door frame.

 

 

Now the entire pen area is enclosed and ready for chickens.  Depending on the needs for your local area and your budget, you could opt to use hardware cloth in lieu of standard chicken wire as we did.  The chicken wire is more than sufficient for protecting the chickens from the local critters we most often encounter but your area may require more robust measures and you should plan accordingly.  The only thing we wanted making a meal of our chickens were us, should their laying abilities wane to a point where they would make better soup than layers.

 

“Here’s How To Keep Happy, Healthy, Egg Laying Chickens In Your Own Backyard or On The Farm…

 

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[ purchasing, raising, & caring for our new chickens ] [ diy chicken coop ] [ chicken coop size & location ] [ building our chicken coop ] [ chicken coop construction part 1 ] [ chicken coop construction part 2 - ] [ chicken coop construction part 3 ] [ chicken coop construction part 4 ] [ chicken coop construction part 5 ] [ chicken coop construction part 6 ] [ chicken coop construction part 7 ] [ chicken coop construction part 8 ] [ chicken coop construction part 9 ] [ chicken coop construction part 10 ] [ chicken coop construction part 11 ] [ chicken coop construction part 12  ] [ chicken coop construction part 13  ]

 

Written by: WM8C, November 8th, 2006.  Not for use without written permission

 

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