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Do I need more roost space and higher fencing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My coop is 4x6 with 2 exterior nest boxes on the back side. The roost runs the short length over a droppings pit on the right hand side farthest from the run. The attached run is 4x8, plus they will have free-range every afternoon when someone is home to "supervise" and keep watch for the Bald Eagles we have in the area. A couple years ago I had my first chickens ever - 6 Red Cross hens - in there with no problems, and they were hardly ever out in the yard because it wasn't fenced in. We are right on the river, so we have fox, coyote, fishers, etc... Because of zoning, I had to rehome my girls after only about 1.5 yrs. Now, I've relocated the coop so that it is inside my garden area (and the zoning board can kiss my *****), and the plan is to let the girls roam in there in the afternoons. I'll be putting fencing around the raised veggie beds to keep them from destroying the veggies, and I'm thinking I might need to raise the height of the perimeter fence a bit, too? Right now, it's only about 30" at best. I'm not worried about ground-dwelling predators getting them in the garden, or the coop - I built it to withstand pretty much everything once that pop-door is latched shut for the night, but I am worried that the more adventurous chickens might head over the fence into the backyard, from which I'm certain they'll never find their way back to the coop because it drops down about 10ft just beyond the picket fence to the left. (Speaking of picket fence, I'm going to cover that with chicken wire to make sure no chicken heads get stuck).

I just ordered six chicks from my local feed store for April 15th: 2 buff orps, 2 silver-laced wyandottes, 1 Red Cross, and 1 Barred Rock. Is 4ft of roost going to be enough for these girls? My only experience has been with the Red Cross. Also, I'm not sure if these chicks are already sexed, or if they are straight run. (Yes, I know, I didn't think to ask until after the fact, lol). If they are straight run, you think I'd be okay getting a few more to up the chances of ending up with 6 hens? We aren't allowed to have roosters here in the city limits, so I'd have to cull those either way. Fingers crossed, they are not straight run, and I only get girls like last time!! I have to call and find out so I can stop stressing about it.

I did just get my new Sunbeam heating pad in today, and a new indoor/outdoor thermometer that does temp and humidity, so we are cruising right along to being ready for the little darlings. I still have to scrub out the coop and bleach it down, which I'm hoping to do this weekend if the weather cooperates with nicer temps.

Egads, I'm rambling. Forgive me. I'm just so excited to try this again, especially with breeds that are more docile and friendly. The Red Cross were approachable enough, but very pecky - especially to toes and such, and you couldn't pick them up even though we handled them from the time they were babies. My daughters and I are looking forward to a more affectionate group this time. smile.png

Thanks for your help

Heather

post #2 of 6
Ok well I am not seeing where u said about how tall the fence is around ur garden area and with 6 hens on a four foot roost u may need to add about another 2 feet of roost because if they feel crowded then they arnt going to be happy and lay eggs so if u can cut a board two feet long and put it in the corner next to the other roost so they have a little more room. And for ur last question I am not to sure what u are meaning but if u end up with any roosters u are culling those correct and so if u add more than six birds to that coop I think they would be to crowded as I have 8 birds in a 4x8 coop with a run of 11x36 feet so I would think that any more than 6 birds would be to many for the coop size
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
ThanK you for your input. smile.png
post #4 of 6
Any time I didn't see the pick before but the fence looks good but u may have a bird jump over it every now any then but u could away get this type of plastic netting that people use to keep rabbits and stuff out of there flowers u can get a big role of it at lowes pretty cheap
post #5 of 6

The general rule of thumb for chicken / coop size is:

 

1 ft roosting space per bird (I prefer a little more)

4 sq ft per bird in the coop

10 sq ft per bird in the run

 

Its not written in stone, but in times of bad weather, the chickens may wish to remain the coop, so that may be worth considering. 

 

Good luck

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpierce88 View Post

....., and I'm thinking I might need to raise the height of the perimeter fence a bit, too? Right now, it's only about 30" at best. 

They'll be going over that by a couple months old if something looks good on the other side.

 

4/10 is minimum.

Check out the article on Space, and Ventilation,  linked in my signature.


Edited by aart - 4/2/16 at 4:39am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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