Originally Posted by hippiechickX4
I have a some questions. 1. Is a 5 foot high fence tall enough for a run? Chicks are 9-11 weeks old. 2. We decided in sand for the coop and thought it would be a great ideal. Only thing is it seems as if the sand all packed down and it's not easy to sift/clean. I thought the sand was suppose to be loose. What does everyone else use? 3. Since we just moved the chicks out to the coop have have kept them in. We have a hanging nipple waterer, but it seems to be making a mess under it. Will this probably happen with all waterer? Any one suggest a different type of water? We plan on putting the water outside once we get everything set up where they can go outside without getting away. We would like to free range, but not sure how that actually works and if the chickens would come back. We live right near a wooded area and a busy road.
Sand floor should stay fluffy and siftable but only if kept very dry. We have had a sand floor in our coops for many years, but coops are elevated and have a linoleum over wood floor or a plywood floor. Sand will not suit if ground moisture can get to it or other moisture sources are present. Waterers need a secondary catch basin under them if they leak or splatter at all. I either rake or sift the floor weekly, it doesn't take long unless I have neglected it or we have a bunch of broodies with teens messing it up.
Chickens love road banks, but it is hazardous to their health. A simple 2 or 3 foot high chicken wire barrier may keep them away from it but you may need more and supervision should be used until you see what works for them.
A 5 ft coop run fence will contain most adult birds, but young birds fly quite well and an open topped run can be risky for predators depending on their frequency in your area. I have found a couple of good flyers standing on the top of my 6ft fence, so keep that in mind.