We raised 6 chickens from babies with utmost care and gave them to my parents to care for them when they got older. My parents stupidly forgot to close the coop for two nights and now only one chicken is left. We are devastated and disappointed with how irresponsible my parents have been and are therefore considering if we should look after that one remaining chicken ourselves. I would love to get your thoughts.
We live on an acreage property with mowed lawns, a few very tall trees in the backyard, no secure fencing around the property and there is a pre-existing coop which is situated in the middle of our backyard. We have a good view of the coop from the kitchen/dining room. I would like to let the chicken free-range during the day and lock up the coop at night but am worried about predators. Our backyard is very open.
We live in Australia and regularly have kangaroos, wild rabbits, a peacock and guinea fowls on on our property and we have seen a snake and possums. Our direct neighbour has lots of chickens and guinea fowls which basically just live in wired chicken runs and never free-range.
I’ve attached images of the pre-existing chicken coop. Is it a decent coop? How predator-proof is it? I can see gaps between the roof and the sides which we will fix. What else could be done to make the coop better?
The other issue is we would have to get more chickens to keep the remaining hen company. I didn’t plan on having chickens and would only do it to take care of the remaining hen. I am also vegan and don’t eat chicken eggs.
What should we do?