Originally Posted by Fentress
Be prepared to loose a chicken. I have lost one this year, but none last year. Not bad. When you look at your flock and you see them on fresh grass, free ranging, doing what chickens are suppose to do, it is worth it. And if you could ask them, I am sure they would agree. The alternative for me is unacceptable. If you see one of my birds standing on dirt, it's because they chose to, not because they have to. I would be more concerned about 4 legged predators. They can wipe out your flock with one attack. I have electric net fencing which takes care of that. Good Luck.
Not sure it's easy to prepare/probably still comes as a shock but I will definitely try.
But yeah, they seem like they're so happy to be able to run around and be a chicken. And you're definitely right about the dirt because they ruin it very quickly. Plus I feel like even if you have a huge run or bigger than needed or whatever, it's still fenced in and they'll probably still destroy it eventually, even if it takes longer. With a huge run they do still have room to... Well... Run and flap about but I feel like it's still not the same plus most people, especially urban environments, don't have huge runs. And I've noticed, and maybe this is just me, that it sort of seems like even a properly sized coop and run (I'm going by 4 sq. ft. Inside, 10 outside) still seems kind of on the small side. Like it really doesn't seem like that much space. I taped an area similar to what i wanted and where i wanted a while ago and I was amazed at how on paper it seems so huge and like plenty of space but in reality it seemed tiny.
But yeah, I'm worried about the 4 legged ones too and our own dog. We have a lot.more coyotes though lately and a fox but hopefully they don't strike during the day