Thinking forward to spring, green grass and how to manage 24 hens outside of the coop/run so they are able to forage, but can no longer free range safely.
Last year the girls grazed freely across our property, but we encountered problems w/ red-tailed hawks putting a dent in the flock. Quick fix was plastic garden fencing around the base of the kids trampoline which worked GREAT for the chickens (only 5 chickens at the time), but was inconvenient for the kids since they bounce a lot more than we realized. We moved the trampoline around weekly to fresh grass. Girls would run to the trampoline in the AM when I opened the run and back to the coop again in the evening. I liked that they were digging for bugs, worms and getting grass.
Winter now so chickens are confined to a nice sized coop and attached run which is covered with fencing (and would be adequate year-round), but looking forward to spring and wondering what we can build that would be large enough to allow 24 birds to forage safely? (We have/are increasing the flock since last year so we need to consider area for 24 chickens)
- enclosed to contain and protect from predators, but not feeling like it needs to be fort knox. our biggest threat so far has been hawks, although we do have coons, foxes, possum, dogs, cats, etc.
- easily move-able
- accommodate 24 chickens
- budget-friendly (we are DIYers)
- does not need to house chickens 24/7, only needed to allow freedom to "free-range" safely during daylight hours
Do we build one large chicken tractor that could be moved around?
2 smaller move-able tractors and split the flock?
1 tractor and rotate who gets to go out each day (could be tricky since all are integrated)?
How do others "free-range" safely w/o actually "free-ranging"?
Would love to hear some thoughts and maybe angles that we haven't considered!
Edited by chxmama - 2/4/16 at 12:27pm