we just got our flock of 4 (silkies and cochins) last month and we love chicken keeping! we have a yard on the smaller side and I'm trying to make the best use out of the land we have. in the main part of our backyard we have a urban coop company starter coop. our contractors will be converting 3'x40' of our side yard into a hardware cloth covered run with a gate. its not ideal but its our only option really.
4 days out of the week we will have to walk them from the coop a few feet to the run- again the set up of the yard requires the 2 to be separate. which may sound sucky but considering we have to walk the dog every day much farther than that just to do her biz its relatively not that big of deal. The other days are my days off and i can just hang with them in the back yard or put them in the run. we want them to have run time or supervised free range time every day.
at this point i really want to keep the floor of the run bare dirt so they can dust bathe, dig for bugs and will not have to deal with run flooring getting too hot for their feet (i.e. sand), we're in LA and its hot and dry.
i can hang feeders and nipple waterers for them, there will be roost bars and built in shade areas, a swing and, i can provide some nest boxes. i feel like I'm describing a giant coop!
so now i need to hear what possible issues may arise or things i might be overlooking. I'm very open to ideas and i really want these girls to have a spoiled and happy life. thanks peeps!